Knockhill BSB: Glenn Irwin reveals health struggles after frustrating weekend
Glenn Irwin cut a dejected figure as the Honda Racing rider admitted his team had made ‘huge errors’ with the new Fireblade at Knockhill in Scotland.
The Carrickfergus man struggled during the second round of the championship, finishing 12th in the opening race on Saturday and 11th in race two before crashing out of the final race yesterday, forcing a red flag.
Irwin, who led last year’s condensed championship for much of the season – eventually finishing fourth – also revealed he had Covid-19 in April and said he was planning more tests after feeling ‘drained and wrecked’ following his races at Oulton Park last month and again at Knockhill.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on – for a start I feel really bad physically, I had this Covid thing in April, which I didn’t really know about,” said Irwin.
“I felt terrible and then we did these tests, and it said I had Covid.
“I’m drained and I’m absolutely wrecked every time I come off the bike and I’m not even trying right. I was physically exhausted at Oulton Park going into race two and it was the same again here.”
Irwin believes the changes to his CBR1000RR-R Fireblade this season have progressed too far in the wrong direction and said the team held a meeting on Saturday night to discuss the issues.
“Basically, we made huge errors with the bike as a team and we all hold our hands up to that. It was what it was and my hands were tied,” added the Carrickfergus man.
“It was just a massive disappointment and we changed a lot of things this year – in my eyes we went way too far away from what was good last year, and we changed too much.
“But the bike was good there (in race two) and we had a good team meeting last night (Saturday), because you can’t leave it like this, longer.
“But the problem is now that I’m physically wrecked and I just don’t feel good at all on the bike.
“On lap 18 there it wasn’t even a case of trying to catch Gino (Rea) ahead of me, it was just about trying to get to the end of the race. I don’t know what’s going on but we’ll get some tests done because I feel horrendous.”
His younger brother Andrew also had a weekend to forget at Knockhill, with the SYNETIQ BMW rider clinching a point in 15th in Saturday’s race before improving one place to 14th in race two. Irwin also finished 15th in the final race of the weekend.
In contrast, team-mate Danny Buchan turned his pole start into a coveted victory in race two on Sunday, beating rookie Rory Skinner (FS-3 Kawasaki) and Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha).
The Essex man then completed a double in race three, taking victory ahead of Skinner and Mackenzie after the race was stopped on lap 25 of 30 following Irwin’s crash.
Buchan earned the TAS Racing team’s first BSB rostrum since Michael Laverty claimed a podium at Brands Hatch in 2018 with third place in Saturday’s race, which was won by VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon from Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha).
Iddon now leads the championship by six points from O’Halloran, with Buchan up to third, 20 points off the top. Glenn Irwin is 12th, 79 points behind Iddon, with Andrew in 16th having only claimed five points so far.
Round three will take place at Brands Hatch from July 23-25.