Honda’s Andrew Irwin has warned he will not give up on a place in the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Showdown until he can no longer do anything about it.
The Irish youngster, who currently holds the final spot with a one-point advantage over Peter Hickman in seventh, has the disadvantage of starting race one from the back of the grid after his collision with Scott Redding at Cadwell.
But he believes he has a much stronger package than the last time BSB visited the Cheshire track and the laptimes should come easier.
“At the minute we go to the next round in a better place than the riders in seventh and eighth if you look at it that way, looking at the points,” said Irwin.
“I don’t feel like there is any pressure because I feel that people don’t expect us to get through because the last time at Oulton Park are rivals were much stronger than what we were.
I don’t give up I never do. OK, I have to start at the back of the grid for the first race of the weekend, but you never know what is possible and anything can happen in the races.”
“We have three races so it is important to finish all three. If it is dry the front three are fairly consistent and Danny is there too now and have a little bit more at the moment. But for us it is about to have three solid results and see where we are at the end of the Oulton Park weekend.
“Don’t get me wrong, in race three I will be trying to gain as many points as I can, and I will be fighting really hard to do it, but I know so long as I have given a hundred percent in all of the sessions and in the races then I will still be happy. Hopefully we will still be in the top six at the end of the weekend.”
“We have made some massive changes to the bike from the last time we were at Oulton Park. Last time we were there we struggled but we go back with a much stronger package than we did last time so I think the results and the lap times should come much easier than before.
“I think we have to keep pushing for the best results we can. Taz will be stronger than he was at Cadwell and he is only five points ahead so I think we need to keep looking ahead and not behind because you can easily get caught out.
I think by looking forward and treating it like any other race. I always ride to my maximum that I can and the bike can. We will try to get the three best results we can and if we don’t want to throw anything away; we can’t try and protect something that we haven’t got yet.”
“I think it would be a pretty big achievement if I could get in the Showdown this season. I am a bit of an underdog and people don’t expect me to do it, so to show people what Andrew Irwin can do is nice and it would be a real credit to the Honda Racing team who helped me get into a position to fight for the top six.
“We didn’t have a new bike this year but myself, Xavi and the whole team have worked really hard on the development of the Fireblade.”