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Eazi Grip

Glenn Irwin does the double at Knockhill with Tommy Bridewell securing 2 second places for BeerMonster Ducati

Saturday

BeerMonster Ducati rider Glenn Irwin enjoyed an excellent start to round four of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill this afternoon with pole position followed by a dominant performance in the BikeSocial Sprint race to take his third victory of the season.

With the team having taken part in a test at the Scottish venue earlier in the month, hopes were high coming into the meeting, but it was Irwin who shone the brightest in qualifying as he claimed pole position on Paul Bird’s F23-specification V4R BeerMonster Ducati.

A time of 47.158s gave him the top spot with teammate Tommy Bridewell having to settle for tenth place, three rows further back, albeit less than four tenths of a second adrift.

The 20-lap race was expected to be a tight and hectic affair around the 1.269-mile Fife circuit which overlooks the Firth of Forth, but Irwin quickly took the lead from Jason O’Halloran and from there on he was never headed, consistently maintaining a half second advantage over the rest of the field. Towards the end of the race, he upped his pace to extend his lead and eventually took the win by 0.606 seconds over Kyle Ryde with O’Halloran finishing third.

Irwin’s debut Knockhill victory sees him reclaim the title lead ahead of Bridewell, who put together a strong race from his fourth row starting position. With two places gained on the opening lap, Tommy continually moved forward and once he’d overtaken Leon Haslam, he immediately pulled away from the chasing pack to take a hard-earned fourth place to end up just three points behind Irwin going into tomorrow’s two races.

Glenn Irwin: “It was a tough start to the weekend, and we knew it would be a strong track for our rivals, but we improved in every practice session, and I was really happy to take pole position. I knew then that we could have a great day and we made another change to the bike ahead of the race and it was so enjoyable. I wanted to be precise, composed and at one with the bike and everyone’s working really hard so, hopefully, we can do the same again tomorrow.”

Tommy Bridewell: “We were off the pace initially but made a bold geometry change ahead of qualifying which was massive step forward and we then made another change ahead of the race. That meant I had to re-learn the bike and, of course, when you go faster, you find new issues. That said, our pace was good and once I’d got up to fourth and pulled away from Leon, the gap to the front three stayed the same. We’ve got some good data now and I’m confident we’ve got the pace to fight for the wins tomorrow.”

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s been a really good day. The test a couple of weeks ago put us in good stead and Glenn has been able to fine tune the bike in each session and ride it to its limits. Pole position was an unexpected bonus, but we knew if we could do low 47s, we’d be hard to beat. He rode an impeccable race with pinpoint accuracy and never let anyone get close enough to pass; it was a fantastic ride. Tommy and his side of the garage have had to work a bit harder, but they found a good setting in qualifying and to come from tenth to fourth around here was a remarkable ride. We’re still 1-2 in the Championship so let’s see what tomorrow brings.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – BikeSocial Sprint race (20 laps)

1 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
2 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
4 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)
5 Christian Iddon (Ducati)
6 Leon Haslam (BMW)

Championship positions

1 Irwin 134 pts
2 Bridewell 131

3 Ryde 125
4 Brookes 121
5 Haslam 120
6 O’Halloran 84

Sunday

Round four of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship proved a successful one for BeerMonster Ducati with doubles all round following the three races held at Knockhill in Scotland this weekend.

Following Glenn Irwin’s victory in the BikeSocial Sprint race yesterday, he backed that up with another win today to claim his first double of the season whilst teammate Tommy Bridewell kept his title charge on course with a superb double podium in both of today’s races to increase his championship lead.

Saturday’s results meant Glenn and Tommy lined up in fifth and ninth respectively for the opening 30-lap race around the 1.26-mile Fife venue with Irwin quickly slotting into third as Bridewell set about moving his way through the field once more on Paul Bird’s F23 specification V4R BeerMonster Ducati.

Tommy had moved up to sixth at half race distance with Glenn continuing to hold onto third as just 1.5 seconds covered the top six riders. It was all change on lap 23, however, as Irwin moved into the lead with Bridewell up to fourth before taking third two laps later.

But with three laps to go, there was heartbreak for Irwin as he crashed out of the lead at the Hairpin and that meant it was Kyle Ryde who got the win with Bridewell coming through for an excellent second.

That put Tommy in the middle of the front row for the final race of the weekend with Glenn in fifth once more. The duo completed the opening lap in the top five and soon moved forward, with Tommy taking the lead on the third lap as Glenn moved up to third.

By the tenth lap, they were running first and second and with Glenn having slightly quicker pace, he took over the lead on lap 18. On this occasion, he controlled proceedings all the way to the end and this time there was to be no mistake as he took the win from Bridewell by 0.879 seconds.

The result, which was the team’s second 1-2 of the season, sees Bridewell increase his championship lead to eight points ahead of Ryde with Irwin in third just three points down on his Yamaha rival.

Glenn Irwin: “It’s a shame what happened in today’s first race as I could have been coming away with a hat-trick but I’m happy with the two wins we had, and I really enjoyed the final race. I could see Tommy in the lead and knew when it was time to up the pace as whilst he was strong in some areas, I felt strong all around the circuit. He’s improved his braking into the Hairpin all weekend, but the BeerMonster Ducati was strong out of the Hairpin, and I was able to make my move along the straight and into the first corner. Two wins out of three means it’s been a pretty good weekend.”

Tommy Bridewell: “I’m over the moon with two seconds today especially as we were off the pace for the first day. I struggled a bit but credit to the team, we turned it around from qualifying onwards and I felt a lot better. It was a shame to see Glenn go down in the first race as it was again showing the strength of the team and the bike, but I knew he’d come out fighting in the third race. I got to the front and set a steady pace, trying to look after my tyre, but I knew Glenn would be there. He’s been riding with a bit more confidence than me, so I’ll take the two seconds especially as they’ve increased my championship lead.”

Johnny Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s been another good day and whilst we could have come away with all three wins, we’ve still had four podiums and that’s a really good return given we thought this would be one of the more difficult circuits on the calendar. The team have worked phenomenally hard so full credit to them and both riders rode exceptionally well. Glenn’s had that bit more than the rest of the field this weekend and the crash was just one of those things where the penalty didn’t fit the crime. He bounced back superbly well but Tommy kept him honest in the last race and it’s great to have another 1-2. We’re looking good in the championship table and the way things are going, it’s going to cost us a lot in win and podium bonuses this year!”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (30 laps)
1 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)

2 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)
4 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)
5 Christian Iddon (Ducati)
6 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
DNF Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race three (30 laps)
1 Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
2 Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)

3 Ryan Vickers (Yamaha)
4 Kyle Ryde (Yamaha)
5 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)
6 Leon Haslam (BMW)

Championship positions (after four rounds)
1 Bridewell 163pts
2 Ryde 155
3 Irwin 152
4 Brookes 136
= Haslam 136
6 O’Halloran 98

Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2023 in News

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