Home round struggles for Tom Neave at Cadwell Park
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend the seventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship took place at Cadwell Park, which was a mixed weekend for Tom Neave at his home round.
Coming into the weekend the Honda-rider was confident heading to the Lincolnshire circuit he knows so well, and with extra track time on Friday for an official BSB test, the weekend was extended across four days, with the final two races taking place on Bank Holiday Monday.
During the opening practice sessions Tom was 20th on combined times and had his eyes firmly on improving his lap time chasing down a 1:26. Sunday saw Tom in the SUPERPICKS Qualifying where he wrapped up the session sixth, scoring his fastest-ever lap of the circuit with a 1:26.842 time. Outside of the Superpole session, Tom lined up for the eBay Sprint Race in 18th place.
The 14-lap Sprint Race was red flagged on the third lap after a crash on the Mountain top, where Tom had progressed to 14th place. With the race restarted over a shortened 12-lap dash, Tom lined up 16th and fought hard across the distance to finish in the points in 14th position.
Lining up for Race 2, Tom had a fantastic grid position in 15th. However across the 18 laps he dropped back a few places and crossed the line just shy of the points in 17th place. The final race of the day saw Tom get a strong start off the line, where he’d managed to get up with his Honda teammate Glenn Irwin.
However disaster struck on the first corner, with Tom on the outside and left with nowhere to go, he was forced across the grass and rejoined the group in 26th place. At the very back of the pack, Tom had some work to do, but digging deep he quickly started to make up places passing his BSB rivals, where he took the chequered flag in 19th place.
Although a disappointing weekend for Tom, not breaking into the top-ten as he wanted, Cadwell Park did have some positives as he continues to learn and develop in his rookie year in the BSB class. There’s now a two-week break in the championship, with round eight taking place at Snetterton on 9/10/11 September.
“It was nice to be back in the points in the Sprint Race, but I am super disappointed with the weekend if I’m totally honest. I arrived at my home circuit with such a buzz and excited to see what happened but it just didn’t click for us unfortunately. My aim is still for the top ten, and it’s something I know we can do, but for some reason it’s just not happening at the moment. The Superbike is so different to the Superstock machine that I’ve been used to, and the level of competition in BSB is unreal, and with all that in mind I know I shouldn’t be putting too much pressure on myself but I just want to show the team what I’m truly capable of. We have Snetterton next on the calendar, which is another of my favourite circuits and one we know the Fireblade is competitive at and, I’ve also enjoyed good results there in the past. We’ve got to keep believing and sometimes you have to focus on the positives, and I’m sure everything will click soon.”