Glenn Irwin insists he retains a good relationship with British Superbike Championship (BSB) title rival Tommy Bridewell as he prepares to go head-to-head with his BeerMonster Ducati team-mate in the title race.
Just half-a-point splits the two riders heading into the final two rounds of the 2023 BSB season after Irwin’s two wins last time out at Oulton Park saw him dethrone Bridewell from the top of the standings for the first time since Round 3 at Donington Park.
The Leicestershire venue sets the stage for this weekend’s penultimate round but despite the pressure rising from the simmering title battle with the rider he shares a pit box with, Irwin insists relations remain good.
“We all say things in the heat of the moment,” he told the official BSB website. “So I will continue to do what I have done all season and that is to continue to work on myself and continue to respect Tommy and get on like we do.
“In hospitality, the craic has been good and Tommy has my full respect. I am sure we can have a beer at the end of the season after the championship has panned out.”
Looking ahead to the final two events, Irwin says he remains focused on the goal of a first BSB title and heads to Donington Park looking to remain consistent and avoid critical mistakes.
“Obviously going into Donington Park, the script writes itself as such. It’s nice to go in as the championship leader. I have always said throughout my career, when expectation is on me to perform and you are carrying the mantel of the red plate as such.
“If you were to look at American Supercross the leader carries the red plate, I have had experience of that in the past and returning with expectation. I like that; it is something that gives me great confidence.
“That being said, I won’t be too hung up on individual races, I don’t really have a plan as such or a need for each race to achieve a certain target, we just keep focusing on the end goal to lift the British Superbike Championship. That combined with the efforts of the team and myself should put us in a great position.”