Nasty knock sees champ miss opening round
With his team-mate Shane Byrne out of action (see right), Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin took his chance to shine by carving through the pack to take a strong podium in the second race – upsetting a few riders with his hard riding in the process.
Irwin finished sixth in the opening encounter but felt that wasn’t reflective of his true pace, which showed in the second race as he fought through from eighth to finish third in the final six laps.
While the Northern Irishman was undoubtedly aided by the Ducati’s ability to conserve the softer rear tyre while other riders struggled, it was Pirelli’s all-new soft option front that gave him the confidence to pull the kind of hard-but-fair moves he became renowned for in British Supersport.
“Last year my biggest weakness was overtaking, but I seemed to have overcome that today and I think it’s down to the new Pirelli SC1 front,” Irwin explained.
“I was able to pull some big braking moves on some very experienced riders, I had a great scrap with Josh Brookes in race one, and I feel it’s because the stiffer sidewalls of the tyre gives me added confidence.
“It wasn’t until race one that I realised I could do it and I came in and said to the boys ‘this is going to change my season’! The only issue we had in that race was I held back far too long so when I had the pace at the end I couldn’t quite get to the podium battle.
“One strength of our bike is looking after the soft tyre so we can be strong late in the race. With a race under my belt and a few chassis changes my confidence was boosted massively for race two. My Dad always says if you’ve time to think about a pass you’ve got time to make one, so that was my attitude and it worked!”
The return of Irwin’s Supersportstyle lunges saw him come under fire from Anvil Hire Yamaha’s Josh Brookes for ‘almost wiping him off the track’ in the early stages, but the Ulsterman bit back by telling the series returnee to ‘get used to it’.
‘I was able to pull some big moves and had a great scrap with Josh’ GLENN IRWIN