Glenn Irwin is ready to build on his debut season in the Honda Racing team when the Bennetts British Superbike Championship gets underway at Oulton Park this weekend (June 25/26/27).
Irwin delivered an impressive campaign with the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP in its debut season last year, holding the advantage in the championship over the majority of the season before finishing in fourth place overall.
Now the team have had a season of development and a positive start to the year in the official tests, Irwin is ready to come out fighting in his quest for British Championship glory.
Glenn Irwin said: “Testing has been good this year. It’s been very different to last year when we had the delays. When we went testing, we had a list to get through and that has been fun. I’m realistic and so I don’t expect everything we try to necessarily make the bike better, but we have achieved some positive changes.
“It pleases me from a different point of view as well. I always said how good the road bike was and some areas of the bike I still prefer what comes on the standard Fireblade and so we’ll stick with that. I’m still searching for some edge grip and I feel that we lose compared to some of the others in that area, but we do have plans to try and improve that going forwards. It’s been productive and we have been fast when we’ve needed to be.
“We were on the lap record at Knockhill and unofficially fastest there, we were fastest at Silverstone, and then at Donington we were in the top four there, and so we’ve always been there or thereabouts.
“I haven’t done loads and loads of race runs, I’ve always done race distance on the tyre and I’ve struggled with the last few laps of the tyre. You know I’ve seen some other riders who have certainly done some impressive runs, but doing race runs in testing is completely different to racing.
“You know in racing you have to defend and adapt to other bikes being around you and different scenarios and I have seen that some other riders have been extremely strong, but I don’t expect it to be like that once the lights go out.
“I think I can build on last year and we’ve taken on confidence from what we achieved in our first season together. It was great – me, understanding the team and the team understanding me. I feel like I’ve changed a lot as a person in the last year, both on track and away from the track too. We’ve got the belief that we can achieve and last year we very nearly achieved what we strived for with the championship.
“The bike will be better, I feel like I’ll be better and I feel like I’m hungry to go better. We probably still need more testing with the disruption we had at Snetterton, so we will be continuing to improve at Oulton Park and make a few small changes.
“There’s a lot going on and I think we’re in a good position - I’m looking forward to this weekend. It wasn’t easy for us last year and when we say it wasn’t easy, we mean we were fighting to be in the top six and if we can go and have a strong start to the championship then we’ll leave Oulton content.”