British Superbikes - Cadwell Park: Irwin back on top

Glenn Irwin was back to winning ways as he took advantage of Ducati power and the narrow nature of Cadwell Park in the round eight sprint race.
Cadwell Park, 2023, Race 1, Sprint, Glenn Irwin, Ducati
Cadwell Park, 2023, Race 1, Sprint, Glenn Irwin, Ducati

Beer Monster Ducati rider Glenn Irwin gave himself every opportunity to succeed after putting the Ducati on the front row for the sprint race at Cadwell Park, very much against the run of play - Jason O’Halloran took the treble at Thruxton and along with his fellow Yamaha riders over at LAMI OMG, Ryan Vickers and Kyle Ryde, had been in charge of the faster dry practice sessions, with Leon Haslam putting in a good showing on the BMW.

‘It wouldn't have surprised me if a manoeuvre came into the mountain chicane!’

Starting from the front row, a superb launch, bettered only by Vickers, gave an opportunity to hit the front on a track where overtaking is difficult due to the Lincolnshire circuit’s layout and design, finding a way around on lap one.

Irwin spoke of the need to get a good start with after the race:

“I HAD to get a good start, I had to dispose of Leon quite fast, we know the speed of his bike and he’s difficult to pass”.

Leon Haslam wasn’t quite out of the picture, behind, but running in the top three, when a mechanical removed him as a podium option, from there on the BeerMonster rider had just the Yamaha duo to deal with from the front, with his own bike issues playing a part in how he ran the race:

“I felt my lap time came quite easy, also I had quite a lot of chatter, we had a problem in qualifying … we rectified that problem and we had to stiffen the bike up, you could feel every bump in the road and turn two, three - I had huge chatter

I felt like just I decided, we have to rider defensive, it was one of them it’s a hard track to pass, but when people are fighting for a win, it wouldn't have surprised me if a manoeuvre came into the mountain chicane or something, I did a bit of the old stop/ go tactics, slowed the pace up”.

Though Vickers was able to put one more move on the man from Carrickfergus, he powered back in front and took the maximum eighteen points to pull ever closer to teammate Tommy Bridewell, who in fifth could only ride damage limitation style to reduce the damage to his lead.

Irwin collected his first win at Cadwell Park on his 200th start, and although he lead the majority of laps it was a close run to the line between the three in the lead group and Jason O’Halloran who had caught the trio by the last lap after a poor start for McAMS Yamaha.

‘If I don’t do it now, I’m not going to do it again’


Behind It was no longer Vickers in second as his predicament unfolded, trapped between trying to pass Irwin, while needing to defend himself from his teammate Kyle Ryde.

Ryde took advantage as was able to move ahead at Park in the closing stages, one of very few overtaking opportunites on the narrow track:

‘Very hard to pass, Ryan was in Glenn’s slipstream every lap, Ryan was real good at Charlie’s 2, so I could never get close enough. On the last lap, Glenn went real defensive into Charlie’s 2 … and I managed to get a real good run and I was in the bubble and I just thought ‘if I don’t do it now, I’m not going to do it again’. I made the pass and I decided to stay to Glenn’s back wheel, and if I had a chance I was going to have a go at the win’.

Ryde has had a tough time at the last few rounds, going backwards from his grid position, but has surprised himself by performing better than expected at what the #77 regards as his ‘bogey’ tracks:

I’m not thinking about anyone else except myself, I’m so happy with second place, that’s like a massive win, especially being at Cadwell Park!

Before I even started the year, I was cacking my pants about turning up at Knockhill and Cadwell - out of the four races at the two tracks I’ve had a first,a second, a fourth and a second - Maybe I need to put Cadwell Park at the top of my list and Donington at the bottom!

‘Aargh - what can I do more?!’


That move left pole man Ryan Vickers third, with pressure still coming from the rapidly closing fourth place rider O’Halloran.

Vickers had been hopeful that if he could hold the Ducati back in the early stages that he might have been able to forge a lead, but it was not to be:

“I lead the first lap into Park, Glenn came straight past me a bit like - that was the goal - was trying to lead ‘til Park, if we lead through Park I knew we would be able to stretch a gap-

That was pretty much the only place I could make the move, which was really difficult and he passed me straight back down the straight, it was like ‘aargh - what can I do more?!’

Talking after the race the #7 was able to explain what happened with his pit board and how it affected his chance at the win and holding onto second:

“Coming up to the last lap, unfortunately, I came down the the start/finish straight I had plus 1.1 on my pitboard - I though I had a gap behind me, so I wasn’t too much in a rush to try and pass, there was one more opportunity where I was going to try and do it and I didn’t make it happen, so I just relaxing a little bit, I saw him (Ryde) come past me into Park and I was like ‘where did he come from?!’ There was a bit of a mistake or miscommunication”.

The result sees Irwin cut Bridewell’s lead to 19.5 points ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday main races, with both Ryde and O’Halloran also making up extra points in third and fourth in the hunt for the 2023 title.

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