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BSB Donington Park | Glenn Irwin loses series lead but saves best until last

Tim Keeton/Impact Images

Glenn Irwin left Donington Park a frustrated figure after suffering his first DNF of the 2023 British Superbike Championship (BSB) season, losing him the series lead to BeerMonster Ducati team-mate Tommy Bridewell.

Coming into the weekend with a target to build on his newfound championship lead after Oulton Park, instead Irwin spent much of the weekend chasing set-up and selecting the correct tyre compound.

“We arrived at Donington excited about the weekend, but it turned out to be harder than both Silverstone and Oulton,” he told BSN. “FP1 was difficult, to say the least so full credit to everyone in the team to end the weekend with two BeerMonster Ducati’s on the podium once more.”


After only managing 16th in FP1, some 1.6s off the pace, Irwin improved steadily throughout practice and Superpole and felt confident of fighting for a podium in Saturday’s Sprint race but a tyre issue meant he had to settle for fifth.

“Right from the beginning of the race, there was something not quite right with the rear tyre. The grip was a little bit unpredictable but with the bike we had, it was the best I could do. It’s frustrating not to have been on the podium, at least, but at the same time, fifth wasn’t too bad a result and we didn’t lose any ground to our main rivals.”

However, that’s exactly what happened in Sunday’s opening 20-lap race when he dropped down the order to 14th after running wide at Redgate on the first lap and he then crashed at the same corner four laps later.

Starting 11th for the third and final race, Irwin quickly moved through the field to engage in a fierce tussle with LAMI OMG Yamaha's Ryan Vickers for the final step on the podium. Despite a last ditch attempt by Vickers at Goddard's, Irwin held firm to end a tricky weekend with silverware.

“The crash was just one of those things and no-one’s fault but we bounced back well and I think we’ll be even stronger when we get to circuits with more traditional surfaces.

"Donington was a strong track for the Yamaha, especially through the chicane, but Kyle rode faultlessly as did Tommy and although we were running out of tyre at the end, we got the job done and 1-2 in the championship is a pretty good place to be ahead of the break.”

CLICK HERE to view the 2023 British Superbike Championship (BSB) standings

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