Eazi Grip

A clean sweep for PBM BeerMonster Ducati at Oulton Park

Saturday – Glenn Irwin takes an emotional victory at Oulton Park

Glenn Irwin gave the BeerMonster Ducati team an emotional, fairytale victory in round nine of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park this afternoon when he won the first race of the weekend which was the first outing for the PBM team since the passing of team owner Paul Bird.

Irwin was locked in battle with teammate Tommy Bridewell for the entire 12 laps around the Cheshire track, but it was the Ulsterman who came out on top when Bridewell ran on at the chicane on the final lap. It was Glenn’s seventh win of the season and saw him cut the gap in the championship standings to just 7.5 points behind Bridewell who salvaged fourth at the flag.

Both riders enjoyed strong practice sessions, particularly Irwin who topped the leaderboard ahead of qualifying, but it was Bridewell who claimed pole position for the afternoon’s BikeSocial Sprint race, just 0.006s ahead of Irwin, which emphasised how closely matched they were around the 2.692-mile circuit.

With cloudy but dry conditions prevailing for the race, the duo duly lined up on the front row with Carrickfergus rider Irwin taking the holeshot as Bridewell, from Devizes, slotted into second. The duo soon opened a one-second gap over the rest of the field although as the race entered its final third, Lee Jackson and Leon Haslam had reeled them back in.

Irwin’s lead over Bridewell was never more than a tenth of a second and the victory was set to be between them and Jackson going into the final lap. Bridewell nosed ahead for the first time at the Avenue only for Irwin to retake the lead immediately and when Tommy got into Hizzy’s too hot, he had to run straight on allowing Irwin to come home for the win. Bridewell’s mistake saw him drop back to fourth at the chequered flag and in doing so, relinquished seven points of his lead to his teammate.

  • Earlier in the day, the BSB paddock community gathered to pay their respects to Paul Bird with an emotional tribute on the grid which included the PBM team, friends, and family members as well as a number of significant machines from the long and successful history of the Lake-District-based team over the past 30 years. The bikes will remain on display during the pit walk at Oulton Park tomorrow morning. The team would like to thank everyone for their support

Glenn Irwin: “It’s so nice to lead the race from start to finish, or at least most of it and the plan worked. The bike is so good this weekend, especially on the brakes, and I made the perfect start, managing the race from there on in. Tommy’s so strong around here at Oulton so to force him into a mistake on the final lap and come out on top shows how strong I rode, but I’m humble about the victory as we get on so well and it’s tough fighting your teammate for the title. At the same time, we’re professional riders who want the same thing so you must take whatever advantage you can get. We still have two more races to go but I’m feeling confident and that one’s for the Birdman.”

Tommy Bridewell: “I didn’t make the best of starts from pole, so rode a patient first lap but, unfortunately, I’ve been struggling to stop the bike for a couple of rounds now and the same problem occurred today. The bike’s not giving the support I need under braking and that, in turn, is reducing stability and causing the rear wheel to lift off the ground. I’m OK when riding on my own as I can roll into the corner but in a group it’s difficult and if I hadn’t picked the bike up, I’d have taken both Glenn and me out. It’s a disappointing start but whilst you can’t win the title this weekend, you can lose it, so we’ll use tomorrow’s warm-up to get to the bottom of the problem and come out fighting in Sunday’s races.” 

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “Right from the get-go on Friday, the boys have been really, really strong and they worked hard on their race pace, which paid dividends. The one lap pace in qualifying was phenomenal too and fair play to them both for lapping so fast. It was fitting to start our first race without the boss 1-2 on the grid and I’m sure he was looking down super proud of what the boys were achieving. Both made great starts and pulled a gap on the rest of the field, and it all came down to a last lap battle which could have had a very different outcome. Tommy just got into Hizzy’s too hot but was wise enough to pick the bike up to avoid Glenn who went on to take a great win and that one’s definitely for the boss.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – BikeSocial Sprint race (12 laps)

1 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

2 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)

3 Leon Haslam (BMW)

4 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

5 Josh Brookes (BMW)

6 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)

Championship Standings

1 Bridewell 321pts

2 Irwin 313.5

3 Ryde 266

4 O’Halloran 258.5

5 Haslam 247

6 Jackson 238.5

Sunday – BeerMonster Ducati sweep the board at Oulton Park

Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell served up a masterclass in riding in the two Bennetts British Superbike Championship races at Oulton Park today with the duo taking a win each to strengthen their stranglehold on this year’s series.

The victories made it eight each for the teammates for the Penrith-based PBM team as they sit just half a point apart in the championship standings, continuing to honour their late team owner Paul Bird in the best possible manner.

The opening race of the day held over 18 laps saw Tommy again line up in pole position with Glenn starting from fifth and they were quickly running in line astern in first and second place ahead of Kyle Ryde (Yamaha), Leon Haslam (BMW) and Lee Jackson (Kawasaki).

In a similar pattern to yesterday’s BikeSocial Sprint race which Irwin won, it looked like it would come down to a last lap shoot-out between the pair but a safety car period on lap 14 brought the pack together and meant the race would be decided over the final three laps.

Drama followed, however, as Tommy was deemed to have made an incorrect re-start which saw him given a penalty and despite crossing the line first, he was ultimately demoted to sixth which handed Glenn the win from Jackson and Ryde. It also saw Irwin re-take the championship lead by 3.5 points ahead of Bridewell.

The final race saw the pairing again go head-to-head throughout the 18 laps and although Glenn briefly led early on, it was Tommy who hit the front and controlled proceedings. He continually kept his teammate at bay and pulled away in the closing laps to win by 1.1s and make up for the earlier disappointment with the result seeing the team claim their sixth 1-2 of the season.

Glenn Irwin: “I couldn’t have expected any more from the weekend and with two wins and a second, it’s been unbelievable. There was obviously a lot of emotion, but everyone handled it well and put on a show and it pleases me how hard the guys worked and how I rode all weekend. To come back from 34 points adrift a few races ago to be in the lead is really good especially as I’ve had one additional DNF but hats off to Tommy in the final race. He rode perfectly in the final laps and when I saw +0.8 on my board, I settled for second and 22 points so with two wins and a second, it’s a great start to the final three rounds. I never expected to pull 15 points back this weekend and I have a lot to be grateful for.”

Tommy Bridewell: “It’s been a tough weekend, not just for me but for the whole team and everyone involved, and it’s been lovely to see the deserved tributes from the BSB paddock to Paul. I felt like I deserved two wins today and didn’t think I’d done anything to deserve a penalty, but I accept it and although I lost some points to Glenn I’m not overly concerned as I know how strong we’ll be at Donington and Brands Hatch. Having said that, it was nice to respond with the victory in the final race and whenever I wanted to, I could drop into the low 34s and when I did, my lead increased. Glenn was riding well all weekend and it’s very much ‘game on’ in the championship and that win is dedicated to Paul.”

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “We could quite well have come away with a 1-2 in both races today, but we can understand why the decision was made to give the penalty although it was obviously a bitter pill for Tommy to swallow. His misfortune meant Glenn got the win, but Tommy made up for his disappointment in the final race and the two boys have been dominant in all three races so hats off to them. They rode away from everyone and that’s credit to them and their respective crews and you could see just how evenly matched they were all weekend, as they have been all season. As a team, we couldn’t have done any more this weekend so hopefully we’ve done the Birdman proud and he’s looking down on us with a smile on his face.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (18 laps)

1 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

2 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)

3 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)

4 Leon Haslam (BMW)

5 Josh Brookes (BMW)

6 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race three (18 laps)

1 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

2 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

3 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)

4 Leon Haslam (BMW)

5 Josh Brookes (BMW)

6 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)

Championship Standings

1 Irwin 360.5pts

2 Bridewell 360

3 Ryde 300

4 Haslam 283

5 Jackson 280.5

6 O’Halloran 276.5 


Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2023 in News

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