Shakey side­lined

Nasty knock sees champ miss open­ing round

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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

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