Scottish success for Tom Neave during the fourth round at Knockhill
After a short break in the series, the Bennetts British Superbike Championship returned to action over the weekend with Round 4 taking place north of the border at Scotland’s Knockhill Racing Circuit. The weekend was a positive outing for Tom Neave aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP in his rookie year in the premier class.
Returning from injury after a crash at the second round at Oulton Park where Tom suffered from concussion, the weekend was a ‘start again’ for the 26-year-old who arrived in Scotland with the aim of building back confidence and enjoying riding his Superbike machine.
However, the start of the weekend didn’t quite go to plan after a crash in the opening stages of FP2 on Friday afternoon sidelined Tom for the rest of the session with substantial damage to his machine. Unhurt from what was a heavy fall, Tom came into Saturday keen to make amends and take the days’ sessions step-by-step.
Qualifying 21st for the opening race of the weekend, Tom had a steady start but soon started to build momentum and towards the end of the race had started moving up through the field. Passing Danny Kent on lap 18, he then made a move on Luke Mossey, then teammate Ryo Mizuno and crossed the line just shy of the points in 17th place.
Enjoying Saturday’s 22-lap race, Tom was looking forward to Sunday’s two races, which were slightly longer at 30 laps. Turning his weekend round and with Friday’s crash firmly behind him, Tom shone with confidence landing himself in point scoring positions in both races with 13th and 14th place finishes, where in the final race of the weekend he came through the field from 21st.
There’s now over a months’ break between races with the fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship taking place at Brands Hatch in Kent on 22-24 July.
I’ve had a difficult time recently following the crash at Oulton Park and not being where I wanted to be. I’d never had a concussion before and therefore didn’t fully appreciate the recovery which saw me rush back in at Donington and put far too much pressure on myself to come back. The break between rounds was perfect as it gave me time to focus on my recovery and getting back to where I was before the crash. Friday was horrendous crashing in FP2 and afterwards I was in a bit of a bad place, so it was baby steps back into Saturday. The first race was really enjoyable and I could feel my confidence coming back and was looking forward to the two longer races. Sunday was a good day, the second race was a bit of a gifted result if I’m honest after a few people crashed out, but the final race was a hard-earned 14th place. I dug in and made a good start to come through from 21st on the grid and to get 14th is a high achievement for me considering how this weekend started out. I did exactly what I set out to do today, which was take it step by step and build confidence back after a few poor rounds. We’ve just started to build back our momentum and I’m enjoying riding the bike again. We have a nice little break now and I’m looking forward to coming back for Brands Hatch next month.