Mixed Fortunes In Qualifying For Irwin Brothers At KnockhillSat, 07/07/2018
The Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team of Glenn and Andrew Irwin suffered contrasting fortunes during today’s dramatic Datatag Extreme Qualifying session at a sun-baked Knockhill for round five of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
28-year-old Glenn, who yesterday signed a one-year extension to his contract, posted fourth fastest time on the factory-backed Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R to start tomorrow’s opening 30-lap race from row two of the grid whilst 23-year-old sibling Andrew crashed out in Q2 and will start the first race from 14th place on the grid for Paul Bird’s Penrith-based team.
Throughout the three Free Practice sessions, the Carrickfergus brothers had shown good pace with Glenn topping the combined classification with a time of 47.347s which was nearly a second inside injured team-mate Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne’s lap record at the Fife track.
Andrew, on only his second ride on the Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R, was placed eighth after combined Free Practice going into this afternoon’s qualifier whereby he set 12th fastest time (49.988s) in Q1 with Glenn third quickest (47.708s). Q2 saw Glenn again third fastest (47.487) as Andrew fell without injury after setting a lap of 47.830. As times tumbled in Q3, Glenn was on for a front row start but, in the end, had to settle for fourth fastest time (47.381s) behind title rivals Jake Dixon, Josh Brookes and Leon Haslam.
Glenn Irwin: “I am really happy with how today has gone, more so than the qualifying position we ended up with. P4 isn’t our true potential, we know our race pace is much stronger and we know what we need to do to make even more improvements. I struggled in one area of the track after a small moment earlier in qualifying, so that will be put to bed tonight and tomorrow we will come out fighting.”
Andrew Irwin: “Today was really positive, I found some time in FP3 this morning but in qualifying, I made a wee mistake and ended up crashing out. I just need to relax more and not tense up which is all part of learning to ride a Superbike. I’m not too happy with 14th but I have to remember it’s only my second Superbike qualifying. I’ll get a good rest tonight and look forward to tomorrow and will be hoping to get inside the top ten in both races.”
Johnny Mowatt, Team Coordinator: “We are really happy how the weekend has gone up to now, race pace is looking good for Glenn, so it was vital we qualified on the first two rows. Andrew is working away understanding riding a Superbike around a tight and twisty track. But with a good start he can achieve his aim of a couple of top ten finishes. As for Glenn we want to be fighting for the race wins which will cap off signing another year’s extension to his contract with PBM.”
1 J Dixon (Kawasaki)47.158
2 J Brookes (Yamaha) 47.256
3 L Haslam (Kawasaki) 47.342
4 G Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 47.381
5 D Buchan (Kawasaki) 47.430
6 M Laverty (BMW) 47.544
14 A Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 47.830