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Andrew Irwin reflects on debut win and the team’s home round

Andrew Irwin and Honda Racing head into the team’s much-anticipated home round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park next weekend (August 16/17/18) boosted by their first victory of the season at Thruxton and bidding to strengthen their position within the top six ahead of the Showdown.

Andrew Irwin made his debut in the Superbike class last season, but in his first full-time campaign, the Honda Racing rider has been steadily building momentum and after claiming his first win at Thruxton, has thrust himself into the top six in the standings.

However he admits that he has to continue with his current approach despite his recent success, as he bids to become a Title Fighter in the Showdown in his first attempt and credits the hard work of the Honda Racing team and his teammate Xavi Forés.

Andrew Irwin said: “What a weekend! Because we had the second race still to come in the afternoon, I don’t think it really all sank in straight away but now I can really appreciate what an achievement it was for myself and the whole Honda Racing team. I feel that the win was something I had wanted to achieve since I was younger – I used to watch riders like Jonathan Rea, Cal Crutchlow, Leon Haslam and Kiyo win races with Honda Racing and aspire to be able to achieve that one day. It was always a dream but now that is a reality and that is a big moment in any riders’ career.

“I think both myself and Xavi have shown how competitive the Honda is in BSB; we have both been strong and I think nobody would have expected me to win at Thruxton and I love that; when you almost over achieve what people think you are capable of – that makes the win even better! The Fireblade is a really strong package and myself, Xavi and everyone in the team have worked hard this year and we can see the development in our results.

“I am now just ahead of Xavi, and we are sixth and seventh in the championship standings ahead of Cadwell Park and we really are not that far off fourth place either. It would be a dream for sure if we can get both Hondas into the Showdown that would be a dream come true and a reward for everyone who has worked so hard in the team.

“We still have five races to go before the Showdown and we are currently in sixth but I am approaching these next races as I have done all season; some will be more difficult than others and we need to be consistent. If you start changing your mentality now that is when you will start going backwards and I am just focused on scoring top six finishes and trying to keep the place in the Showdown.

“Cadwell Park is always a big round for our team; pretty much everyone who works in our garage live nearby, it is ten minutes from the workshop and so we will have a lot of support next weekend! Winning does make you more confident and it does give you that little bit extra, but at the same time Cadwell Park is a really difficult track. You have to be sensible and it is technical, physical and does sometimes require a bit of a compromise with the setting just because of the characteristics of the track. But I am feeling good, I know I have a great team behind me and we are looking forward to the weekend.”

The ninth round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Oulton Park on September 6/7/8 for the Showdown Title Fighter decider. for more information and to book visit www.oultonpark.co.uk

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