Belfast Telegraph

Glenn, Graeme and Andrew keeping the Irwin name in lights

 

By Roy Harris

While Glenn Irwin was still celebrating his sensational Vauxhall International North West 200 Superbike success, his brother Graeme was making headlines of his own by taking overall victory in the fourth round of the Maxxis British Motocross MX1 Championship at the legendary Hawkstone Park in Shropshire on Sunday.

Riding under the Buildbase Honda banner, Graeme was in tremendous form, winning both legs at the ultra-tough venue from French Kawasaki rider Steven Lenoir, with Estonian pair Harri Kullas and Gert Krestinov claiming a third place apiece.

This success moves Irwin into the lead of the Championship on 166 points, four clear of Lenoir, meaning the Ulsterman will lead the series into the next round at his home track at Desertmartin on June 18.

Irwin is on the crest of a wave at the moment having blasted the Honda to a double a week earlier during the Michelin MX Nationals at Lyng in Norfolk to extend his MX1 Championship lead in that particular series.

On the sidelines cheering his brothers on is Andrew, who competes in the British Supersport Championship for the Gearlink Kawasaki Team, who of course supplied east Antrim neighbour Alastair Seeley with his North West 200 Supersport-winning machine.

Andrew was a double Supersport winner at Bishopscourt last October during the Sunflower Trophy meeting and currently lies fourth in the British Championship.

There is no doubt that the Irwins are a skilled family, and when you consider their father Alan Irwin was a prolific winner on both the roads and short circuits throughout Ireland and beyond in the 1980s and 90s, you can see where the talent comes from.

With his Sunflower Trophy success last year, Glenn and his father became only the second such combination to win the prestigious race behind the Reas, Johnny and Jonathan.

On Saturday, Alan - a podium finisher at Portrush a number of times - was quick to point out to Glenn: "You've done something I never achieved in my career; win a race at the North West."

During the British Motocross meeting at Hawkstone at the weekend, Ballyclare rider Martin Barr, who also rides for the Buildbase Honda Team, finished third overall in the MX2 class after second and fourth-place finishes in his two races.

He climbed to third in the MX2 Championship ahead of his home round in June.

Again there is a tarmac connection, as Martin's father, also named Martin, raced the roads and circuits with success in the same period as Alan Irwin.

With the Dunlops (Michael and William), Irwins, Rea and Barr to name but a few, racing, be it tarmac or off-road, will undoubtedly continue to make the headlines for a number of years to come.

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