The Honda Racing team are taking the positives from a tricky weekend at Brands Hatch for the final round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, where Andrew Irwin scored a hat trick of top tens aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
Intermittent weather hampered progress during practice sessions and in yesterday’s qualifying Andrew and Xavi Forés headed out to a dry track for the first time. With work to do in the first race the Honda teammates dug deep from their starting positions (Forés 17th, Irwin 19th), to carve their way through the pack into the top ten with Forés eighth and Irwin ninth at the flag.
The weather today was dry but with a chill in the air at the Kent circuit, progress for the Honda duo was present from warm-up when Irwin took 1.1 seconds off his qualifying time. Lining up on the grid further up the rankings than the day before, in tenth and 11th respectively, the duo enjoyed battles on-track with their championship rivals and made up places to cross the line with Irwin ninth and Forés 11th.
The final race of the 2019 season was down to the line to decide the championship, which thrilled teams and fans alike at the 2.43-mile circuit. Sadly for Forés his race ended early on the sixth lap with an unexplained lack of grip from the rear tyre, which sees him wrap the championship up in ninth position. Meanwhile teammate Irwin took his third ninth-place finish to wrap up the season eighth overall.
It’s been a challenging season for the Honda Racing team, but with the lows there have been many highs and plenty of positives to take away with Forés on the podium at Donington Park and Knockhill, and celebrating Irwin’s debut BSB win at Thruxton.