Tom Neave ready for 2022 British Superbike challenge as Round 1 roars into action this weekend at Silverstone
This weekend (15-17 April) at Silverstone’s National Circuit, reigning Pirelli National Superstock Champion Tom Neave embarks on his debut season in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, making the move into the highly competitive series aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Although the weekend won’t be the first time Tom has raced in BSB having been a stand-in rider for Honda in 2018 for two rounds – where at Cadwell Park he impressed with his performance finishing 15th and 12th – 2022 will be Tom’s first-full season in the Superbike class.
Continuing his journey with the Honda Racing UK team, this year will be Tom’s fourth year with the squad and working alongside him in the garage is experienced Crew Chief Chris Pike, who has worked across various championships including BSB, WorldSBK and the Endurance World Championship.
Tom had his first experience aboard the Superbike Fireblade at the first official BSB test at Snetterton last month, then again at the final pre-season test at Silverstone last week and with no pressure on Tom for results both tests were very much about getting used to the Superbike, which has its differences to his winning Superstock machine including no traction control, extra horsepower and less weight.
The weekend kicks off with Superbike first practice today at 13:00, with Race 1 taking place on Saturday, and Race 2 and Race 3 on Sunday. Click here for the full weekend timetable.
I’m feeling excited heading into my first race in my first full season in BSB. I do feel a little apprehensive, but in a good way! I’ve had a taste of Superbikes before, but now I’m in a new territory – the Fireblade is different, I’m different and it’s probably the best field of riders out there that BSB has seen this year, so I’m under no illusion of the challenge that awaits me and being competitive. However, I feel more than ready to step up into this challenge, I have a great team around me and I’m going in as the reigning Superstock Champion. This weekend is all about getting comfortable and learning, there’s no pressure at all from the team to get results, it’s about finishing each race and gaining that valuable experience, which we can then build on. I haven’t had as much time on the Superbike as I’d have liked due to weather conditions at the final test, but Silverstone is a track I like and it’s relatively simple in the layout so for learning the Superbike it’s the ideal place.