Donington BSB: Podium for Irwin despite missing footpeg

| | British Superbikes
Picture: Impact Images

Glenn Irwin’s strong end of season form, and Showdown form in particular, continued at Donington Park at the weekend with the Honda Racing rider taking a brace of podiums to move into second overall in the championship standings.

Slightly disappointed with fifth in Saturday’s Sprint race, Irwin was a lot more racy on Sunday, battling throughout with the likes of championship leader Bradley Ray, Tom Sykes and brother Andrew.

Two third place finishes were the outcome, the second one extremely impressive after losing his foot peg midway through the race, which denied him a possible fourth victory of the season.

“It’s always nice get on the podium and whilst I try not to treat Andrew as my brother when I’m trying to overtake him, it’s not always easy to do that,” he explained after his first podium finish. “He was so strong in sector four and I had to work hard, really hard, to get by him and whilst he could overtake me in that sector fairly easily, I was on the kerbs and all sorts.

“I eventually got by him and tried to close the gap to Bray and Tom but I haven’t had the best feeling of the bike this weekend and wasn’t all that comfortable, maybe due to the temperatures, but we got the bike home in third.”

The Carrickfergus rider finally had the feeling he was looking for in the final race of the weekend, with the Honda Fireblade chassis working well and the grip he’d been searching for in evidence.

After battling with Sykes, Ray and brother Andrew once more, he grabbed the lead for the first time on lap seven having made many of his overtaking moves on the brakes. However, the foot peg had already gone by then and it looked like he’d miss out on a podium altogether when Tommy Bridewell overhauled him in the closing stages.

However, he fought back and reclaimed third with three corners to go to take his seventh podium of the season. The result saw him move up to second in the title standings, overhauling Bridewell, as he looks to better the third place finish he achieved in the 2018 Championship.

“I had some good moves with Tom and it’s nice when you’re fighting with a former World Champion when he’s on top form, and it was the same with Bradley as he’s had a mega season so far. To be able to fight with him is an amazing feeling.

“The foot peg snapping off will probably be the talking point, but there’s so many positives to take from this weekend instead. Touching on the foot peg, my foot was touching the back tyre at times, so I had find another place to put my foot.

“I tried everything I could and if the front was going to fold, then it was going to fold, because I couldn’t do anything to help as my centre of gravity was so high. When Tommy went by, I don’t know, I just thought to myself ‘imagine if I got a podium with one foot peg’. I’d say I’m speechless with the podium but I’m never speechless’”