BSB Brands Hatch: Glenn Irwin ends tough weekend with battling podium for Honda Racing

Glenn Irwin came out fighting to clinch a hard-earned podium in the final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

By Kyle White
Sunday, 24th July 2022, 7:10 pm

The Honda Racing rider suffered disappointment on Saturday after crashing out of the Sprint race on the first lap at Druids after qualifying in 11th position.

That left the Carrickfergus man in a lowly grid position for race two, but Irwin battled through from the sixth row to salvage 10th place.

However, after starting from eighth place on the third row in race three at the Kent circuit, Irwin made an excellent start to slot into third place behind Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) and Bradley Ray (OMG Yamaha).

Glenn Irwin finished on the rostrum in third place in the final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch on Sunday. Picture: David Yeomans.

He moved into second place on lap two and hit the front from Mackenzie on the third lap, with Irwin leading the 20-lap race until the 13th lap, when Mackenzie and team-mate Jason O’Halloran both passing the Ulster rider.

They quickly pulled clear, with Mackenzie going on to wrap up a double on a dramatic final lap ahead of Saturday’s winner O’Halloran, while Irwin held off Ray to clinch third, coming home 3.5s behind Mackenzie.

“After I led for so long, I thought, ‘they’re not just going to go past me, I’m going to fight’,” Irwin said.

“I expected them to go past me early but my bike was quick, stopped good, so I was as late as I could be and got out of the corners as hard as I could, and I knew that was probably the way to ride against the Yamaha to slow their corner speed.

“When I was down to third I just gave it everything I know he’s my mate, and I like Bradley too, but I wasn’t giving him a podium today!

“It was so unexpected but I deserve that one and cheers to everyone at Honda.”

Irwin remains in sixth place in the standings after five rounds, while O’Halloran has taken over at the top and is 10 points clear of Ray.

Mackenzie has moved into the Showdown in eighth place after recovering from injury following a crash in a pre-season test, which ruled the reigning champion out of the first two rounds.

Andrew Irwin finished 12th in race three on the SYNETIQ BMW after crashing out in the early stages of race two. Irwin was 14th in Saturday’s race and his prospects of making the Showdown now appear bleak, with the 27-year-old in 15th place in the standings, 50 points adrift of the top eight.

Jack Kennedy dominated the Supersport Feature race for a double on the Mar-Train Yamaha, winning by 4.8s from Luke Stapleford (Gearlink Kawasaki).

Lee Johnston, sixth in the Sprint race on Saturday, slid off unhurt. Eugene McManus was seventh overall ahead of GP2 rider Korie McGreevy.

Eglinton’s David Allingham sealed an excellent runner-up finish in the second National Superstock 1000 race, narrowly missing out on victory by only 0.056s to Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper in the dash to the line.

Thruxton hosts round six from August 12-14.

Meanwhile, Thomas O’Grady was a double winner in the Superbike class at the Dunlop Masters Championship at Mondello Park over the weekend.

Derek Sheils won the third and final race on his Roadhouse Macau BMW at round four of the series, while Josh Elliott from Fermanagh won the opening Supersport race on Saturday and twice finished as the runner-up on Sunday behind Kevin Keyes.