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Irwin has momentum to land podium places at Knockhill

By Roy Harris

After a seven week break, the battle for the MCE British Superbike Championship re-ignites this weekend at Knockhill in Scotland, with Shakey Byrne and his PBM Be Wiser Ducati team-mate Glenn Irwin looking to carry on where they left off during the last round at Oulton Park where they finished 1-2 in the second race.

Of course, Irwin enhanced his reputation with a little detour between Oulton and Knockhill when he scored a sensational maiden Superbike victory in the Vauxhall North West 200 Superbike race after a heart-stopping dice with Tyco BMW pairing Alastair Seeley and Ian Hutchinson. With practice set to commence tomorrow morning, 27-year old Irwin said: "It seems like a long time since my last pre-BSB race thoughts.

"Thankfully I had a successful week on track at the North West 200, then a wet test at Knockhill and a dry test at Snetterton to keep the boredom away. I'm a racer and cannot wait to get back into the cut and thrust of close racing that the short, tight Knockhill Circuit is famous for."

Irwin, looking for two good points scoring finishes at the fourth round to consolidate his current fifth position in the championship, also commented: "I have to be truthfully honest and say I will be disappointed if I don't leave Knockhill with a double podium, and I want to try to get my first win in the championship. We found some positives at the Snetterton test with a new swingarm which I was real happy with, and I feel we have a bit of momentum going at the moment."

Returning to Superstock 1000 championship action at the Fife circuit is Ballinamallard rider and ex-champion Josh Elliott, who is reuniting with the Tyco BMW Team, standing in for the injured Ian Hutchinson.

Elliott said: "I haven't been riding this season, so it is great to be back on the British Championship grid. I have been keeping myself fit and with the new format for the class giving me two bites at the cherry I'm confident we should be there or there about.

"I won the title with Tyco BMW in 2015 and last year took five podiums and a race win, finishing fifth in the series.

"I would like to thank TAS Racing for the opportunity to work with Tyco BMW again. It is a shame what happened to Ian and I wish him well in his recovery."

The 23-year old, with a wealth of racing experience behind him, will clash in the class with Lisburn rider Carl Phillips, who rides the Michael Dunlop Racing Suzuki, while in the Superstock 600cc class Dundrod rider Robert Kennedy (Sandown Kawasaki) will be looking to put the disappointment of his Oulton Park crash behind him as he chases a podium finish.

In the Motostar class, 18-year old Eugene McManus from Randalstown and 17-year old Richard Kerr from Donegal are both potential podium runners riding Moto3 KTM machinery, while 14-year old Scott Swann from Magheramorne continues his learning curve riding a 250cc Honda NSR in the concurrently ran standard class.

Belfast Telegraph

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