Fresh from his podium finish at Brands Hatch, Honda’s Glenn Irwin continued his return to form at round six of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with two fourths and a sixth across Thruxton’s three races.
Irwin had struggled a bit after his stunning hat-trick at the opening round at Silverstone and had it not been for them, he may well not have been near the Showdown places.
As it is, the podium at Brands and the results at Thruxton mean he’s now moved himself up to fifth in the table with his position in the all-important top eight now looking an almost certainty. A strong fourth on Saturday got his weekend underway in fine fashion.
“Free practice on Friday was a little underwhelming going by previous years here on the Hondas old and new, but I feel like I worked the team hard; I demanded a lot and they responded and worked brilliantly across the board,” Irwin explained.
“Qualifying wasn't the first job of the weekend, it was a tick on the list, but the main job was the race and to back up fourth on the grid with a fourth in the race from a championship point of view was strong. It was also important to finish ahead of Pete [Hickman] and our package was great.”
Sunday saw similar pace from the Carrickfergus rider and although the three Yamahas of Jason O’Halloran, Tarran Mackenzie and Bradley Ray had too much pace for the rest of the field, Irwin proved to be the best of the rest.
Sixth in the opening 20-lap race was followed by fourth in the second, which was arguably his best ride of the weekend as he found himself at the wrong end of the top 15 in the opening laps.
“Overall, it's been a good weekend, we've had a fourth, sixth and another fourth, so in terms of points it has been good. The second race today was a strange one though as the bike didn't change from yesterday but for some reason we struggled throughout the whole of the race.
“We made some changes for the final race and it was better. At the start there were some riders being over eager, which stopped me from getting closer to the front guys and getting away with them.
“I then had to plan the race, be smart and work out a realistic position, which I thought was fifth, then Pete [Hickman] went out and it was fourth. I was pleased with how the Fireblade was in the final race and to pass so many people was enjoyable and makes our Showdown challenge much stronger, which is always the goal.”
The next round takes the series to Honda’s home circuit of Cadwell Park and Irwin will be looking to capitalise and get more podium credits on the board.