Glenn Irwin will start Saturday’s Superbike races at the 2022 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 from Pole Position after a superb qualifying this afternoon, which saw him top the timesheets in both the final Superbike and Superstock qualifying sessions aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.
Making his road racing debut with the Honda squad at the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit, Glenn and the Fireblade dominated today’s Superbike session lapping at 124.102mph, 1.8 seconds faster than the current Superbike race lap record, with an incredible 4’20.205 lap time. The four-time NW200 Superbike winner also led the way in the Superstock session, claiming the top spot for the race later in the day, with a lap time of 4:24.671.
Glenn’s teammate John McGuinness MBE has also enjoyed solid sessions aboard the Fireblade qualifying 10th for Saturday’s Superbike races and eighth in Superstock.
With inclement weather conditions today at the circuit, the rain came just as the roads started to close for the evening’s scheduled three races. Watching the opening Supersport race of the NW200 week, both Glenn and John made the joint decision to sit out of the 6-lap Turkington Superstock Race, and will be back in action for Saturday’s (14 May) Anchor Bar Superbike, CP Hire Superstock and the feature Merrow Hotel and Spa North West 200 Superbike races.
#1 Glenn Irwin
Qualifying today was so good, I had a good feeling from the first lap and set about our work, and to go under the faster-ever lap by two seconds, is something that pleases me a lot and again shows the potential of the Fireblade as a roads package, as well as our potential for this weekend. To back up the Superbike pole position, with the Superstock pole position just shows the package that we have. It was great to see so many spectators around the track this morning cheering me on. I spoke with John [McGuinness] about this evening’s Superstock race and spoke with some riders in the 600 race, and made the decision to sit it out. I have a young family and racing on the roads in the rain is not a risk I’m willing to take, so sorry to the fans but I’m sure everyone will understand, and we’ll be back in action on Saturday.
#2 John McGuinness MBE
I’m really enjoying this week, it’s been great, we’re learning loads, the Fireblade’s going great and we’ve been working well as a team. Glenn is on fire and it’s just all super positive, it’s the first time the Honda has been on the roads and to get pole in both of the big classes, everyone here has a smile on their face! Today has really built my confidence back on the roads and going back to the big bikes takes a bit of figuring out, but everything is coming. It’s disappointing with the weather this evening and I’m disappointed to not get out there, it’s my first time back here on the 1000cc Fireblade and I’m just a bit unsure in wet conditions, so we’ll save it until Saturday!