Glenn Irwin up for tough Sunflower battle
Fresh from a podium finish in the British Superbike Championship last weekend, Carrickfergus ace Glenn Irwin will now be gunning for his debut Superbike win at the Sunflower Trophy Races this Saturday at Bishopscourt.
Irwin will be riding the same BeWiser-backed Ducati Panigale R that he campaigned as a rookie in this season's British Superbike Championship and that alone should give him the inspiration he needs to add his name to the famous trophy that his father Alan won on two occasions back in 1982 and 1986.
But to do so, as he's all too aware, he must topple Essex lad Danny Buchan, who is the reigning champion and lap record holder having won the Sunflower Trophy for the past two seasons, and Christian Iddon.
"I may have won the last four Supersport races at the Sunflower but, on paper, Buchan is the man to beat," said Irwin.
"I've had a good rookie season in BSB and I'm really looking forward to coming to Bishopscourt to ride the Ducati. It should be fun and yes, of course I'm here to win, but it will not be easy with Danny and Christian Iddon also on the grid."
Notably, 23-year-old Buchan didn't have the best of seasons this year on the British Superbike scene, finishing the campaign with a one-off ride in the European Superstock series after parting with his Moto Rapido Ducati team. But with Bishopscourt now looming, his only goal is to make it three Sunflower Trophy triumphs on the spin and take the famous prize home for keeps.
Back on his trusty home-built ZX-10R Kawasaki, with additional support from MSS Kawasaki boss Nick Morgan, Buchan is excited about his trip to the County Down coast.
"That bike began its life in my dad's shed," laughed Buchan. "But with the support of Nick Morgan it's pretty much a BSB specification Superbike now and good enough to give me a good chance of winning my third Sunflower. That's the aim as I really want to take that big trophy home.
"Both Glenn and Christian have been in good form of late in BSB and will be confident of winning. I'm all up for a hard fight as that's what the fans want to see and they always come out in force to support the event. I just hope the weather is consistent."
Iddon is the dark horse and, despite never having ridden the full Bishopscourt circuit on tarmac, the Stockport lad is quietly confident of success on the Tyco BMW.
"I've ridden part of the circuit in my Supermoto days, so it shouldn't be too difficult to learn. It's an event I've always wanted to race at, and with the history the TAS guys have there, I'd love to grab a win," said Iddon of the team that has won the Sunflower on five occasions.
Practice and qualifying get under way tomorrow from 9am with a 14-race programme on Saturday.