Despite an initial set-back for Glenn, both Irwin brothers were able to score solid results in the opening round of the showdown at Oulton Park.
Glenn Irwin fought back from the back of the grid to take 12th in the opening race, before securing a strong sixth position in race two. Meanwhile, Andrew Irwin secured his best-ever Bennetts British Superbike result with fourth in race one. A slow start in race two saw Andrew fall down the order, eventually crossing the line in ninth.
With wet conditions for the opening 16-lap race, a problem seconds before the start meant that Glenn Irwin was unable to take his second row position. Instead, he was forced to start from the back of the grid.
The 28-year-old fought his way through the pack and gained several places on the opening lap. Progression would become more difficult as the race went on though, and it wasn’t until lap 10 that he moved into the points. He would clinch 12th spot on the final lap, for what could prove to be four crucial points in the showdown.
Looking back on the opening race, Glenn Irwin revealed that his Be Wiser Ducati had stalled on the grid he said:
“Unfortunately, the bike stalled at the beginning of race one and I had to start at the back of the grid and although I’m normally good in the damp conditions, I didn’t carry the confidence I’d gained in practice into the race, so it was a long 16 laps.”
Glenn Irwin started race two from 14th on the grid, but found himself inside the top 10 by the end of lap five. The circuit was almost dry all the way round and although the leading group of six riders had made a break, the Ducati man was able to close them down.
Fifth going into the final lap, Irwin was lining up a move on Tarran Mackenzie, only for Josh Brookes to sneak by on the run in to the line.
The Carrickfergus rider was much happier with the result in race two:
“It was a bit of a blip but in race two I fought as hard as I could and once I got going, my pace was similar to the leaders. Coming from 14th on the grid to sixth place was good and the bike felt strong and the team have worked really hard all weekend, like always, so a big thanks to them.”
The results at Oulton Park mean that Glenn Irwin has moved back up into joint-third in the championship standings, level with Brookes on 530 points.
On the other side of the garage, it was a day to remember for Andrew Irwin. The younger of the Irwin brothers started race one from 10th on the grid, and had already moved up to seventh by the end of the opening lap. He would make further progress as the race entered its final few lap, with the young Northern Irishman chasing down Jason O’Halloran for fourth. Despite a few near misses, he was able to take fourth away from O’Halloran on the final lap.
Speaking about his best British Superbike result so far, Andrew Irwin said:
“Race one was really good and although I had a few moments, they came when I was a little bit eager and trying to make up the ground a little bit too soon. Had it not been for that it could well have been a podium although I was still more than happy with fourth at this stage of my BSB career.”
He performance in the opening race meant that Andrew Irwin would begin race two from the front-row. He would make a poor start though and fell down to sixth on the first lap. Unable to repeat his first race performance, the 23-year-old would finish the race in ninth.
On race two, he added:
“Unfortunately, I made a bad start in race two and rode tense for the first dozen laps but after that things started to flow again and ninth ensured I’d finished both races inside the top ten which is always my aim.”
Round 11 of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at the iconic Assen circuit in two weeks time.