British Superbikes, Knockhill: Andrew Irwin - Races in BSB ”start from qualifying”

Andrew Irwin credited his upturn in form to a strong qualifying and a fast teammate after finishing third in race one at Knockhill.

Andrew Irwin, BSB, 2024, Knockhill, 15th June
Andrew Irwin, BSB, 2024, Knockhill, 15th June
© Ian Hopgood Photography

Andrew Irwin was able to put his Knockhill demons to bed with a rostrum visit at the circuit where he picked up the injury which saw him miss most of the 2023 season after an accident in testing.

Still with Honda Racing UK after the team stood by their rider during his period on the sidelines, Irwin has been a consistent points finisher so far this season with a jump during the last round at Donington Park - taking ninth and seventh in the Sunday races.


The #18 claimed his work building on that in practice, which lead to a better qualifying and the chance to make a strong start, was key to his success:

“I got a good start, I think that races in BSB, it normally starts from qualifying. I was on the front two rows and especially when the conditions are like this, it gives you the opportunity to go forward".

The weather affected many of the riders differently with some falling back in the pace with a lack of confidence and a lack of grip on slicks in the wet declared race after the rain delay. Irwin was one of those pushing ahead.

The highlight of his race was his no holds barred battle on track with his brother, Ducati's Glenn Irwin, but it was his teammate Tommy Bridewell who proved to be a positive influence, but also impossible to catch:

“I think I was third, then Glenn came past, I went to fourth, and to be fair - Tommy - he’d cleared off! Then I kind of knew that I felt quite comfortable”.

The Honda man was much more comfortable than his sibling, able to pass him back after a series of errors and then take Jason O’Halloran, in second at the time, though Rory Skinner proved a much tougher opponent, using every ounce of his local knowledge to his advantage:

“With Jason and Glenn, I was able to pass them. Rory came by and kind of helped pull me away from the rest of the group. I don’t even know how big my gap was at the end to be honest”.

Irwin acknowledged the forward step he made at the last round in Donington and also took the time to mention the lift he gets from having a teammate who can challenge for a win:

“At Donington I made a big step, probably more mentally than anything else to be honest. We haven’t really overly changed the bike but also I think from having Tommy on the other side of the garage I can look at his data and understand what he is doing… having a fast teammate has helped me, especially with being in a difficult period, so now we’ve come out of that I think I’m in a good moment and we can keep carrying some momentum into the rest of the season”.

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