SHOCK BSB WIN­NERS Ir­win and Lin­foot bag first BSB wins in ter­ri­ble con­di­tions

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - OLI RUSHBY SPORTS RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­ @Mc­n­sport mo­tor­cy­cle­news

The un­pre­dictable weather con­di­tions at Sil­ver­stone paved the way for two de­but win­ners from the week­end’s three races with both Du­cati mounted Glenn Ir­win and Honda’s Dan Lin­foot tak­ing their maiden BSB vic­to­ries.

Ir­win came out on top in Satur­day’s hor­rific half-wet, half-dry race, where parts of the cir­cuit were sat­u­rated with stand­ing wa­ter while other parts were bone dry. Hav­ing opted for wet tyres, the choice proved the best op­tion by far with the top five all on full wets. Ir­win proved to be in a class of his own as he charged through the pack to build a big enough gap to be able to wave at the crowd in the fi­nal turns.

The vic­tory was an emo­tional af­fair for the North­ern Ir­ish rider af­ter he’d strug­gled since re­turn­ing from a frac­tured shoul­der and el­bow sus­tained in a high speed crash when his han­dle­bar snapped at Knock­hill.

“I al­ways be­lieved I could win my first BSB race this year,” Ir­win said. “When I ar­rived at Knock­hill I was on a high af­ter some good BSB re­sults and I’d just won the North West. I felt ready to win but un­for­tu­nately I ended up mashed in hospi­tal.

“That in­jury was one of the worst of my ca­reer. I don’t think peo­ple re­alise quite how bad it was and it’s caused a lot of prob­lems since, but I guess I can’t use it as an ex­cuse now! I feel the mon­key is off my back now. In any form of rac­ing, in any sport, once you get the vic­tory it be­comes eas­ier to get to that level again.”

Lin­foot’s vic­tory came com­pletely out of the blue with the Honda rider hav­ing en­dured a dis­as­trous week­end un­til the fi­nal race. Crash­ing out three times left him on the back foot and he even started Sun­day’s third race from 21st on the grid, but his im­pe­ri­ous wet weather pace saw him charge through to take the win in a race that only seven rid­ers would even­tu­ally fin­ish.

It also marked the first vic­tory for the new Honda Fireblade with his team-mate Ja­son O’hal­lo­ran hav­ing se­cured the bike’s first pole on Satur­day.

“I didn’t think I’d win this week­end! I’ve been on my arse three times and started that race 21st on the grid. I’ve wanted to win a race for so long and fi­nally we have. I’m not in the Show­down but I can take some con­fi­dence from this.

I’ve had a ter­ri­ble year and this week­end has been the worst week­end I’ve had rac­ing in years. I need to make some steps to get my name back in the frame.”

Ir­win and Lin­foot’s vic­to­ries, as well as strong show­ings from El­li­son, Laverty and Hop­kins, show that the non-show­down rid­ers won’t be afraid to get in the mix, es­pe­cially when the weather throws a span­ner in the works.

‘I felt I was ready to win, but I ended up mashed in hospi­tal’ GLENN IR­WIN

Lin­foot is a lit­tle bit happy about win­ning his first BSB race Ir­win’s de­ter­mi­na­tion – and wet weather tyres– paid off at Sil­ver­stone

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