BSB | Donington Park Test Results

 

The heavily delayed and now condensed 2020 Bennetts British Superbike season sprang back into life with an official pre-season test at Donington Park yesterday with a raft of riders and teams itching to get back on track among their competitors for the first time since March’s previous tests at Monteblanco and Jerez.

Donington Park’s 1.98-mile National circuit will play host to the first of six triple-headers with racing beginning across 7th – 9th August. The wait since March was worth it too with plenty of action over the four sessions with many riders using the valuable track time for bike familiarisation and testing set-ups including tyre wear over longer runs. 

Championship favourites, Tommy Bridewell and Josh Brookes, on their Ducati V4Rs lead the way at the previous tests at Monteblanco and Jerez respectively but in terms of outright lap time at Donington it was the Massingberd Mundy FS3 Racing Kawasaki of Lee Jackson, making his return to the Superbike class, who ended the day on top of the pile with a 1m06.583 (compared to Brookes’ 2019 pole position time of 1m05.868). Conditions improved throughout the day with the wind dying down so much so that 23 of the 27 riders set their best laps in the fourth and final session, though many said they weren’t aiming for a lap time and instead were concentrating on set-up. Proving just how close to call the 2020 Bennetts BSB season will be, the top 18 riders were covered by less than 1-second, as the new Jason O’Halloran’s new Yamaha R1 finished the day in second place just 0.014s behind Jackson despite an earlier tip-off. MotoGP exile, Hector Barbera, continued to impress on with his new Rich Energy OMG Racing team and their switch to BMW power for 2020. The Spaniard has now finished all three pre-season tests inside the top four and was just 3-thousandths of a second behind O’Halloran. The top six was rounded off with Glenn and Andrew Irwin on their new Honda Fireblades, plus Danny Buchan on the sister Kawasaki to Jackson. All six were covered by less than one-tenth of a second.

 

 

Pre-Season Test Results, Donington Park (Combined)

Pos.

No.

Name

Team

Best time

Gap

Difference

1

14

Lee JACKSON

Massingberd Mundy FS3 Racing Kawasaki

1:06.583

 

 

2

22

Jason O'HALLORAN

McAMS Yamaha

1:06.597

0.014

0.014

3

80

Héctor BARBERA

Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW

1:06.600

0.017

0.003

4

2

Glenn IRWIN

Honda Racing

1:06.637

0.054

0.037

5

18

Andrew IRWIN

Honda Racing

1:06.663

0.080

0.026

6

83

Danny BUCHAN

Massingberd Mundy FS3 Racing Kawasaki

1:06.664

0.081

0.001

7

25

Josh BROOKES

Vision Track PBM Ducati

1:06.719

0.136

0.055

8

7

Ryan VICKERS

RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki

1:06.836

0.253

0.117

9

40

Joe FRANCIS

Lloyd Jones PR Racing BMW

1:06.849

0.266

0.013

10

28

Bradley RAY

Synetiq BMW

1:06.871

0.288

0.022

11

60

Peter HICKMAN

Smiths Racing BMW

1:06.981

0.398

0.110

12

12

Luke MOSSEY

Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW

1:06.993

0.410

0.012

13

95

Tarran MACKENZIE

McAMS Yamaha

1:07.004

0.421

0.011

14

46

Tommy BRIDEWELL

Oxford Products Ducati

1:07.060

0.477

0.056

15

77

Kyle RYDE

Buildbase Suzuki

1:07.139

0.556

0.079

16

75

Alex OLSEN

Smiths Racing BMW

1:07.198

0.615

0.059

17

41

Jack KENNEDY

Santander Salt TAG Racing Yamaha

1:07.369

0.786

0.171

18

21

Christian IDDON

Vision Track PBM Ducati

1:07.370

0.787

0.001

19

33

Keith FARMER

Buildbase Suzuki

1:07.662

1.079

0.292

20

4

Dan LINFOOT

Santander Salt TAG Racing Yamaha

1:08.156

1.573

0.494

21

79

Storm STACEY

GR Motorsport

1:08.176

1.593

0.020

22

44

Gino REA

BikeDevil Kawasaki

1:08.288

1.705

0.112

23

65

Josh OWENS

CDH Racing

1:08.403

1.820

0.115

24

3

Graeme IRWIN

Team 64 Motorsports Kawasaki

1:09.016

2.433

0.613

25

99

Taylor MACKENZIE

Synetiq BMW

1:09.466

2.883

0.450

26

27

Bjorn ESTMENT

NP Motorcycles

1:09.497

2.914

0.031

27

11

Brian McCORMACK

RoadhouseMacau by ON1RacingBMW

1:10.910

4.327

1.413

 

 

Rider Reactions

Lee Jackson reflected on his fastest lap, “Today’s been a really good day, we’ve been chipping away all day. We went out on the new tyre with about 20 minutes to go then came back in with 10 minutes to go and chased my teammate for that lap time.”

Christian Iddon on the title winning Ducati from last year, “It's been a very productive day. The team's worked well and the bike's feeling good. We will check the data and make a few little alterations ready for the race weekend coming up."

Championship favourite, Josh Brookes, "Today was quite difficult at first. We were last on track at Knockhill, and made some good improvements for that circuit, but they didn't transfer to Donington Park. We referred back to the feeling I had with the bike at Jerez in February pre-season and finished the day only one tenth off the fastest.

Honda Racing’s Andrew Irwin, “We probably didn’t expect to be as close to the front as we were, which is a nice feeling. The Fireblade is completely new and we don’t have a lot of different parts on it from the road bike, so that’s a positive of how good the bike is out of the crate. My consistency is good, I have good race pace and I’m feeling strong ahead of the first race.”

And his team-mate, and brother, Glenn, “We needed every lap today and we worked through a lot and topping the times in the third session was really encouraging to show we are competitive. The last session I didn’t really get a clean lap, but overall I am really happy with the times and today is a real testament to the new Fireblade, we do need to stay realistic to where we are keep our feet on the ground heading into Round 1”

Rich Energy OMG Racing’s Luke Mossey, “So nice to be back on the superbike since Spain! Few things to change ready for next weekend's first race but awesome day”

McAMS man Jason O’Halloran, “Today has probably been the best day we’ve had all pre-season, we’ve worked to a plan and stuck to it and it’s paid off. I had a small tip off in session two which set us back a bit, but we regrouped and got back on track with the plan for the final two sessions.

And his team-mate, Tarran Mackenzie, “I just wanted to get a feel for the new R1 around this track as it’s the first track I’ve ridden it at that we’ll race at so I wanted to make sure we made use of the time. I’m really happy with our pace, it might not look great on the timesheets, but I know we’ve had a strong day.”

The 2020 season may be short but on this showing it will still be as exciting as ever.

Images: Jamie Morris

 

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