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