Kawasaki’s Lee Jackson topped the Bennetts British Superbike Championship official test times at Donington Park this week after taking the top spot in the last two minutes of the final session to edge out McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran by just 0.014s.
The Massingberd-Mundy Kawasaki team had a strong start to the day with Danny Buchan holding a top three place in the earlier sessions, although the leading position was initially held by the Honda Racing team with the Irwin brothers earlier in the day. Andrew Irwin headed the pack at lunchtime before Glenn Irwin topped session three.
A frantic end to the day saw Buchan setting the pace with just under ten minutes to go, however it was constantly changing and soon Hector Barbera had fired the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW into second ahead of Andrew Irwin and Jackson.
Glenn Irwin moved back to the top of the times with four minutes to go ahead of Buchan who had edged back into second place with Josh Brookes then moving into third for the VisionTrack PBM Ducati team.
Jason O’Halloran then hit the top after his final run with two minutes on the clock remaining despite an earlier crash in session three, but the McAMS Yamaha rider was nudged into second as Jackson saved his best laps until last.
Barbera held third position at the end of the final session ahead of Glenn who led the Irwin charge ahead of brother Andrew with Buchan just 0.001s adrift to end the day sixth fastest.
“Today was a positive day, 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. I am looking forward to coming back to Donington in just over a weeks’ time and get racing. My consistency is good, I have good race pace and I’m feeling strong ahead of the first race.”
Josh Brookes was seventh after the chequered flag.
Ryan Vickers bounced back from a crash in the opening session on the RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki to post the ninth fastest time with Joe Francis and Bradley Ray completing the top ten ahead of the opening round of the season on August 7/8/9 which will be held at Donington Park National Circuit and will be the first of six tripler-header rounds rescheduled because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The series will be open to spectators but under strict COVID-19 distancing regulations.
Donington Park will be the first of two visits to the Leicestershire circuit although Round 5, the penultimate round, will be held on the longer Grand Prix layout.
Josh Brookes – P7
“The bike was good at the end of last year and I was very pleased with pre-season testing in Spain and the changes to the bike all felt good. The Croft and Knockhill tests proved to be very beneficial also. We started putting things together at Donington Park today, but we got on the wrong path and the bike wasn’t suited to the track and we ended up with something like what he had in Spain. But we plugged away and it was a positive finish at the end. The benefit of test days is you get to test stuff and we did get through a few settings. It’s all positive and we were only a tenth of a second in it on the timesheets in the end. It’s looking good for the race and the bike I finished the day on was great.”
Round 2 takes place in Norfolk at Snetterton then it’s Silverstone’s National Circuit two weeks later before Oulton Park, then the final two rounds at Donington and Brands Hatch respectively.
Missing circuits from this season’s series include Assen, Cadwell Park, Thruxton and Knockhill.
2020 Revised British Superbike Calendar
1: August 7 – 9 Donington Park (National)
2: August 21 – 23 Snetterton
3: September 4 – 6 Silverstone (National)
4: September 18 – 20 Oulton Park
5: October 2 – 4 Donington Park (GP)
6: October 16 – 18 Brands Hatch (GP)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Donington Park Official Test
Lee Jackson (Massingberd-Mundy Kawasaki) 1m:06.583s
Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.014s
Hector Barbera (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +0.017s
Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.054s
Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.080s
Danny Buchan (Massingberd-Mundy Kawasaki) +0.081s
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack PBM Ducati) +0.136s
Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki) +0.253s
Joe Francis (Lloyds & Jones Bowker Motorrad BMW) +0.266s
Bradley Ray (Synetiq BMW Motorrad) +0.288s
Peter Hickman +0.398s
Luke Mossey +0.410s
Tarran Mackenzie +0.421s
Tommy Bridewell +0.477s
Kyle Ryde +0.556
Alex Olsen +0.615s
Jack Kennedy +0.786s
Christian Iddon +0.787s
Keith Farmer +1.079s
Dan Linfoot +1.573s
Storm Stacey +1.593s
Gino Rea +1.705s
Josh Owens +1.820
Graeme Irwin +2.433s
Taylor Mackenzie +2.883s
Bjorn Estment +2.914s
Brian McCormack +4.327s
British Superstock 100
A huge 37-rider Superstock 1000 field also saw tight competition with only a second separating pace-setter Chrissy Rouse (BMW) and Australia’s Brayden Elliott (Suzuki) in 16th place.
Danny Kent made it a BMW 1-2 at the end of proceedings ahead of Tom Neave (Honda) and Lewis Rollo (Aprilia) while Kiwi Damon Rees (BMW) made an encouraging start to his BSB campaign by finishing in P7 just ahead of South Australian Billy McConnell (BMW).
TT legend Michael Dunlop also took part in the Superstock 1000 test onboard a Buildbase Suzuki and finished in P32, 2.581s off the benchmark set by Rouse.
Superstock 1000 Test Times
Chrissy Rouse 1m08.236s
Danny Kent +0.068s
Tom Neave +0.073s
Lewis Rollo +0.144s
Matt Truelove +0.210s
David Allingham +0.296s
Damon Rees +0.302s
Billy McConnell +0.350s
Fraser Rogers +0.381s
Joe Collier +0.479s
The combined British Supersport and GP2 sessions were busy with 47 riders taking to the 3.18 kilometre Donington Park National Circuit. Rory Skinner topped proceedings by half-a-second ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Bradley Perrie, James Westmoreland (Kawasaki), Brad Jones (Yamaha) and Victorian Ben Currie (Kawasaki) in P5.
South Australia’s Levi Day (Yamaha) ranked P15 at the end of proceedings. 2.133 seconds behind Skinner’s becnhmark.
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