British Superbikes: 'Weekend of frustration' for Glenn Irwin as Showdown hopes ended

Glenn Irwin had a mixed weekend at Donington Park as the Honda Racing rider’s outside hopes of lifting the British Superbike title were mathematically ended at the penultimate round of the Showdown.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 11:15 am
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 1:54 pm

In Saturday’s opening race, held in wet conditions at the Leicestershire circuit, Irwin crashed out of third place on lap three at the Fogarty Esses.

The Carrick man finished 10th in Sunday’s second race on a dry track, before Irwin battled his way through to 10th position in the final race of the weekend, again held in terrible conditions, after he was forced to start from pit lane when he suffered a technical problem with his quickshifter on the warm-up lap.

“Race two today was fun, the Fireblade was working well but physically I was beat and couldn’t give any more,” said Irwin.

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Glenn Irwin in action on the Honda Racing Fireblade at Donington Park.

“We made a change for the last race and it felt good in the dry, but in the end it didn’t matter as we had the issue with the quickshifter and it was a wet race.

“Losing the warm-up lap and initial heat in the tyres wasn’t ideal, but fair play to the team, they had to make another quick change and they were faultless. During the race and seeing the likes of Josh [Brookes] and Danny [Buchan] go out, I thought to myself ‘we’re not able to win the championship, but we can beat those guys and fight’,” he added.

“It has been a weekend of frustrations at times, but the positives have outweighed those frustrations, and we’re coming away having learnt a lot and I can tick off gaining confidence riding in the wet.”

Irwin was one of five Showdown contenders caught out by the wet conditions on Saturday along with Tommy Bridewell, Danny Buchan, Josh Brookes and Peter Hickman.

Gino Rea clinched his first BSB win on the Buildbase Suzuki from OMG BMW’s Kyle Ryde, with Christian Iddon third on the VisionTrack Ducati.

McAMS Yamaha riders Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie were fifth and seventh respectively.

In a dry race two, Mackenzie picked off Buchan for the win with Iddon third.

Rea dominated the third race on the Buildbase Suzuki for his second win of the weekend by 2.6s from Iddon, with Lee Jackson third.

Mackenzie pulled out with a problem on his Yamaha, while O’Halloran finished eighth. Mackenzie now leads the title race by 10 points from his team-mate, with Iddon five points back in third.

Andrew Irwin was 12th on Saturday and eighth and fifth in Sunday’s races on the SYNETIQ BMW.

Brands Hatch hosts the final round from October 15-17.