British Superbikes Oulton Park: Irwin in charge after race win

As with the last round Glenn Irwin built into the weekend to take the final win of the day and the championship lead from Oulton Park.
Oulton Park, Race Three, Podium , Irwin, Haslam, Ryde, round 2 , 2023
Oulton Park, Race Three, Podium , Irwin, Haslam, Ryde, round 2 , 2023

Race two went the way of Tommy Bridewell after he lead from start to finish, but it was teammate Glen  Irwin who brought home the final win of Oulton Park with a hard fought battle in race three.

The BeerMontser Ducati kept up his podium form and made good on his promise to go back and do homework with the team, improving every race from third to second to first in the last run around the track.

The win did not come easy, the #2 was constantly under pressure - with a long battle with Leon Haslam, and fellow PBM rider Tommy Bridewell eager to capitalise on his earlier success.

Initially Irwin used his brother Andy to gauge the race:

“Andy lead and I instantly felt good, let’s let him lead and have a look - I knew it’s maybe not the best track for the Honda, but he’d been doing a fantastic job all weekend, it’s been really nice to see.


Then I took the lead- I thought maybe he may be a block to the guys behind. I was like ‘should I let it go?’ But if you let it go and the tyre goes out that’s silly so I decided not to use Andrew like that.

His biggest pressure came from Leon Haslam, who pushed his way ahead briefly, forcing Irwin into his own errors up front:

“Leon came through and from then I felt under control, high pressure for sure but - I did have a moment deep into Hissy’s - Leon did me into turn one and I tunred into a ten year old and released the brake to try around the outside like a minimoto - you don’t do that on these things - bloody stupid! I’m like ‘what am I doing!’ aargh raging - I was having a proper chat to myself in the helmet!


‘No excuse just caffeined up, paracetamol, ibuprofen - rock and roll!


Irwin’s throat had noticeably sounded worse every time he’s been off the bike, so by the time hit hit the win in race three his voice was sparse, but the Ducati man was adamant the small illness had not held him back: 

“fighting this little bit of a cold in the chest, it hasn’t held me back at all, no excuse, just caffeined up, Paracetamol, ibuprofen - rock and roll! Got the win and we lead the championship! 


‘To do what they’ve done - three podiums - over the moon!’


Leon Haslam has had to build a whole team outfit to compete in British Superbikes this season. After a strong showing in SIlverstone the ROKIT BMW Motorrad rider continued his good form into Oulton Park and had secured podium finishes in both the opening sprint and race two.

His pace in that second race had landed him on the podium, but a necessary engine change to the one the team had planned to use for the season saw a sanction - a six place grid deduction.

Halsam had felt that overtaking had not been the strong point of the bike up to this point so was pleasantly surprised by his race three progress:

“we were struggling with passing all weekend, I was looking forward to starting from pole but obviously with the penalty, I thought ‘the one thing we can’t do at the minute is pass’.

Luckily I got a really good start, I got past a couple of people, I felt like a yo-yo with Glenn (Irwin) for a long time, I made some big moves, which obviously got me out of shape’.

On the engine change , the #91 could only sing the praises of his team for making to work so well so fast:

“We only got this bike engine pretty much Saturday morning so to do what they’ve done, three podiums - over the moon!”


‘I know it might look scary on TV with both legs off but I had it all under control!’


Kyke Ryde made strides ahead of the final race to finish on the podium after hard work to improve with an seventh and fifth leading up to his rostrum visit.

A front row start meant the LAMI OMG Yamaha rider had less work to do to get to the front, and although he initially slipped back, never lost the leaders allowing a charge in the final laos, resulting in a hard earned podium visit.

The determination that got the #77 in  contention was seen in his off the bike moment before making his final move for third hold instead. Speaking on the move at Lode Ryde said:

“I was on such a roll of passing people I just thought I might as well have a go at Leon(Haslam) as well with two laps to go and , yeah, it was a bit unfortunate , everyone was braking in the same part, then when I got to Leon it was another 40 metres deep, so a little bit my mistake but I managed to hold it up and not make contact.

 I know it might look scary on TV with both legs off the bike but I had it all under control, don’t worry!”.

He final race span the title lead in Irwin’s favour. He heads to the next round in Donington Park with a substantial 91 points in the bag after six races under the new points system, which award 18 points for a win.

Though off the podium in the final race both Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell are his closest rivals, both with 87 points to their credit.

Fourth overall is Leon Haslam after his podium run, with 76 just ahead of the determined Kyle Ryde, who was back on the rostrum in race three after his sprint race win at Silverstone, taking his count to 73.

Early pre-season favourite Jason O’Halloran finally got some points on the board at Oulton Park, a track which is quickly becoming his nemesis after two more DNF’s in race one and two. Tenth in race three sees him on 41 points, with Andrew Irwin ahead now on 44 ahead of the next set of races in Donington Park.

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