A tough weekend at Thruxton for Tom Neave
The sixth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship was somewhat a challenge for BSB rookie Tom Neave, who struggled throughout due to a recent shoulder injury, which hampered his progress across the weekend.
Arriving at the Hampshire circuit, which is one of Tom’s favorites on the calendar, his hopes were high after a successful outing last time out at Brands Hatch. However, his aspirations for the weekend were quickly dashed in first practice when the extent of his injured shoulder became apparent.
Battling through the pain and wrestling with his CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at the super-fast 2.3-mile circuit, Tom pushed through each practice session and qualified for the first race of the weekend in 27th.
Across the 15-lap eBay Sprint Race Tom showed fantastic pace and at the end of the first lap was sitting 21st. Moving up through the field, Tom eventually crossed the line, just outside the points and behind his Honda Racing UK teammate Ryo Mizuno, in 16th place.
For Sunday’s first race Tom was 25th on the grid and he quickly got to work making up places. However on the fifth lap while running 22nd he experienced an issue with his rear shock and was forced to retire from the race.
Determined to try and salvage the final race, Tom pushed hard from his starting place of 28th and at one point had progressed to 17th place. Chasing down a point scoring position, it was in the final stages, still struggling with his shoulder, he dropped back to finish 20th.
There’s now a two-week break in the championship, before round seven takes place at Tom’s home round in Lincolnshire. During the break Tom will focus on his shoulder and he will come back stronger ready to fight at Cadwell Park across the Bank Holiday weekend.
“Thruxton was a difficult weekend, but there are some positives we can take from it. In Race 1 I was the rider who made up the most positions going from 27th up to 16th, just missing out on the points. I had the motivation going into Sunday, following Saturday’s race, but with the issue in Race 2 and my shoulder the results just weren’t there. I came into the weekend with high expectations and we just couldn’t achieve those, which was frustrating as I feel without the issues we could have had a good weekend pushing for the top 10. I need to get the shoulder looked at ahead of the next round and come back fitter, stronger and ready to fight at Cadwell Park. It’s my home round and favourite on the calendar, we’re only at the halfway point of the season and I’m positive we can build and come back from this. The lads have proved what the Fireblade is capable of at Thruxton, so the weekend was one of those; we move on and come back stronger.”