Post one of the most dramatic season finales of recent times at Brands Hatch, BeerMonster Ducati’s Glenn Irwin lost out on a maiden BSB Championship crown, finishing half a point adrift of team-mate, series winner Tommy Bridewell.
Entering this afternoon’s 20-lap 2023 curtain closing Superbike race, 5.5 points behind Devizes Bridewell, North-West 200 ‘King Pin’ Irwin knew that certain factors would have to be on his side, to become Northern Ireland’s first BSB Champion.
Fighting his way to the front, the fastest TT Races newcomer in history, gave it everything and more.
Despite going onto ultimately make it successive SBK race triumphs, ten wins in total this season, it agonisingly wasn’t enough as 46 plate holder Bridewell, made it past on the twentieth and final lap, OMG Racing’s Kyle Ryde for second, enough to enable him a first British Superbike title.
Post-race, series runner-up Irwin was magnanimous in defeat although you could clearly tell, sense the obvious disappointment.
Nevertheless, what a season put together by Irwin, one of bike racing’s best purpose-built circuit, real roads racing all-rounders.
Another worthy of this acclaim is quickest Northwest 200 newcomer of all time, Richard Cooper.
Confidently clinching today, the BMW Motorrad F900R Cup title, FHO Racing’s Cooper distinctive season CV, boasts going the entire series unbeaten, banking nine race wins.
Conqueror of the Supersport sprint race, the 16-lap feature-race saw the diminutive Cooper crash uncharacteristically out of contention.
Boyce Precision Engineering/Russell Racing team-mate Dean Harrison placed ninth whilst fellow Yorkshireman Jamie Coward, finished 18th overall, fifteenth in class.
Heading the TT riders brigade from the National Superstock 1000 season finale, was Nathan Harrison, who pocketed a new PB BSB support series result of ninth.
2013 Lightweight TT winner James Hillier was tenth behind Harrison whilst John McGuinness MBE’s one-off outing with Milenco by Padgetts, concluded with a solid run to seventeenth.
Photo credit: Michael Wincott
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou