Road Racing News

Then And Now: Glenn Irwin

Given it’s the BSB season finale this weekend, I thought It would be a good time to reflect on series front runner Glenn Irwin’s most famous moments at International roads events.

A top five finisher during his Ulster Grand Prix debut in 2014, 2015 saw Irwin take in for the first time, an event that he would soon become synonymous with, the North West 200.

Part of a two strong Gearlink Kawasaki team, competing alongside fellow Triangle debutant Ben Wilson, it didn’t take long for Irwin’s proven racing skills set to pay dividends, with an immediate front running challenge in the opening Supersport race.

Photo by Rod Neill

Ultimately a non finisher, he gave his fellow competitors just a glimpse into his emerging NW200 prowess.

His second, final race stint of his first Triangle course tenure would provide a better turn in fortunes, as he took a close second behind NW200 wins record holder Alastair Seeley.

Finishing in front of established roads forces such as John McGuinness, Keith Amor, James Hillier, Gary Johnson, Michael Rutter, Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison, it’s fair to say countless hardy road racing fans, astute road racing insiders were hugely impressed.

At the time you could sense there was more to come from Irwin at road race meets, the main question mark though was would he fulfil his potential by becoming an International roads regular?

As we stand now, the answer to this question is obvious, he’s an established International road racing ‘Alien’, who was due to make this year his TT Races debut before the Covid-19 pandemic ramifications.

Photo by Rod Neill

Four times a North West 200 winner, Superbike qualifying lap record holder, his first event triumph, the feature Superbike race from 2017 is regarded by many as the best NW200 race in history, with BeWiser Ducati mounted Irwin just getting the better of aforementioned meeting legend Seeley and 16 times TT winner Ian Hutchinson.

Alongside his sustained NW200 success, Irwin has also taken the prestigious Macau GP title in 2017 and scored Ulster GP rostrum finishes.

In firm contention for this year’s British Superbike Championship, expect the ebullient, well liked Honda Racing rider to continue to excel at roads courses for many years to come.

Words by Stevie Rial

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