Glenn Irwin claimed his first victory of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship last time out at Silverstone, cementing his Title Fighter status, and the Honda Racing rider heads into the opening round of the Showdown at Oulton Park next weekend (September 24/25/26) determined to close the deficit.
Irwin holds seventh in the overall standings, trailing Danny Buchan ahead of him by just two points and 14 points adrift of Christian Iddon in third as the chasing pack bid to close down the McAMS Yamaha pairing at the top.
Irwin said: “We are going into the Showdown in a good position; it’s good to go into Oulton Park off the back of the win at Silverstone and just 14-points off third place in the standings. First and second are a little bit further away, but we saw at the last round that anything can happen in racing.
“Right now I am looking at closing that gap down and that is something that is definitely worth fighting for. Making the Showdown wasn’t easy this year after some early season struggles, and technically we have been working on a number of areas. Despite that, and my shoulder injury from Donington Park, we made it.”
The shoulder injury for Glenn Irwin is something that he continues to overcome, and after a tough weekend at Snetterton, he was happy to be back on the podium last weekend when it counted.
“I do expect it to be tougher on my shoulder at Oulton Park, just due to the nature of the circuit and how physically demanding it is. I arrive at a track feeling good, but by the end of the weekend, I do feel it,” added Irwin.
“We are made of tough stuff – you only have to look at Taz last weekend at Silverstone, but it certainly does make race three more difficult. Of course, that made getting in the Showdown all the more sweeter.”
To be embroiled in the battle at the front has given Irwin another confidence boost ahead of the Showdown, and Irwin is hoping that the knowledge gained since the previous visit to the Cheshire track will put him in a stronger position next weekend.
“The Honda Racing team are fantastic and they are one of the top teams in the paddock, if not the top, and have shown before what we can do as a combined package,” added Irwin.
“Yes, we had a bit of luck to get that win at Silverstone, but we were quite close to the Yamahas before the final lap. To get the victory was a nice moment and one the team deserved and I take a lot of confidence from that.
“I am conscious of the job in hand; I am buzzing and want to fight but also intrigued as to how it will feel with the shoulder, certainly later in the weekend. The first round at Oulton Park was a difficult weekend. We used the harder option tyre, even in qualifying, so it will be interesting with it getting colder now maybe that is something that might pay dividends to us as we have a whole round of data on the harder tyre, which may come back in to play next weekend.
“The bike is in a much better place now compared to at the start of the season, so technically I feel we are in a much better place and I am looking forward to it. We have had good results at Oulton Park before, and we know the Honda has worked well there in the past, and I think the changes might make the bike easier to ride over a race distance.
“I am looking forward to seeing if we can make some inroads into our rivals and it’s a track that is a bit of a favourite of mine, but in the past it has worked well for our rivals, the Ducatis and Yamahas.”