Fresh from his exploits at the Isle of Man TT, where he became the fastest newcomer ever, it was back to the day job at the weekend for Glenn Irwin with three top eight finishes taken at Knockhill, venue for round four of the British Superbike Championship.
The Honda Racing rider showed great pace all weekend, topping the third free practice session, and although a best finish of sixth wasn’t, arguably, a true reflection of his speed, the haul of 27 points was his best since the opening round at Silverstone back in April.
“Qualifying went a little bit wrong as I had a small niggle at the start of the session and by the time I got around that, we had the pace for the front row,” Irwin admitted. “It just didn’t come together, which falls on me, I wish I could blame someone else but I can’t!”
Seventh was the outcome in Saturday’s first race before he took eighth in Sunday’s opener but he saved the best until last with sixth in the third and final race. He sits in the same position in the table on 134 points.
“I went into Saturday’s race with a positive frame of mind and felt quite good but we were missing a little edge grip, which in turn can go into drive grip as once we spin the spin can continue. It’s an area we know we need to improve on long term, but I’m confident we can do that.”
The results on Sunday although not what Irwin wanted, still made it a positive weekend as he adjusted from the demands of a 37.73-mile lap to one of just 47 seconds.
“Obviously we want to be on the podium every race, so that can be really tough but I’ve really enjoyed riding the Fireblade this weekend and it’s been so refreshing to come back to BSB after the TT.
“We’ve had a lot of success this year at various events and to come back here and continue to be strong, after flying about road racing, is important for me. It’s a huge step forward at Knockhill compared to last year, so I’m happy.
“Harv (Beltran) said to me ‘carry on what you learnt at the TT to BSB’. The riding is so different but I’m calm at the TT as you can’t afford to be any other way, and I think that approach this weekend has been evident throughout the whole garage and it’s been a fun weekend.”