Irishman, Glenn Irwin has stated on his social media accounts that he and the Bournemouth Kawasaki team made a “breakthrough” with the Kawasaki ZX10 RR at Oulton Park, despite what was a tough weekend for Jack Valentines’ team.
It started on Saturday morning when Irwin ended the opening day of action down in seventeenth position, + 2.579s off pace-setting, Josh Brookes. However, things improved after the opening session on day two, with Irwin putting his Kawasaki fourth on the timesheets after a wet Free Practice three. But he soon dropped down the timesheets come to a dry qualifying session later on in the day.
Irwin’s struggles became clear at Oulton Park, getting knocked out in Qualifying one, and being left way down in Twenty fourth position.
Irwin returned to his garage after the tough fifteen-minute session and, it’s claimed, Glenn punched the sponsors boarding in the pit garage, apparently leading to an altercation with his mechanics and crew chief Simon Green. An apparent and rumored outburst from the Irishman caused Irwin’s crew chief to leave the team Saturday evening.
The loss of Simon Green is a big blow to the team, as he took Leon Haslam to his maiden British Superbike championship last season, and knows the Kawasaki ZX10 RR very well.
Despite the loss of his crew chief, Irwin lined up on the grid in race one, where a mechanical issue caused the rider from Carrickfergus to retire from the opening race.
However, Glenn and his team seemed to have found a light at the end of the tunnel in race two, despite his race being ruined when he made an over-ambitious move on road racing star, Dean Harrison, on the run into Hizzies chicane. This forced the pair to run off the track.
Despite this, when speaking about his weekend on Twitter, Irwin claimed that he “couldn’t even tell you where I finished in race 2 but all I can say is that we made a huge breakthrough with our bike. The Kawasaki ZX10 RR was doing a lot of things right. As mad as it sounds this weekend has ended very positive. Now we can fine-tune and be where we can be.”
Glenn Irwin now has a week in Northern Ireland where he and the JG Speedfit team will be competing in the North West 200, a track where Irwin gave Ducati’s first win in the NW200 since 2008. But he promptly gave the Italian manufacturer two more wins in 2018.
Irwin will be back out on track with the Bennetts British Superbike riders at Donington Park on May 24-26th where he will be hoping for much better things around the shortened National circuit.
Feature image credit: Double Red Photographic