Carrickfergus racer Glenn Irwin says he will regard this season as a great success irrespective of what happens in today’s final races of the 2020 British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.
Irwin has been in rejuvenated form this year after a sub-standard 2019 by his standards.
He joined younger brother Andrew in the Honda Racing colours to ride the brand new Fireblade machine and has certainly enjoyed a welcome turnaround in form.
The 30-year-old lost the lead of the Championship after sliding out in the wet conditions in race one at Donington Park at the penultimate round a fortnight ago, but Irwin still remains in the title frame going into today’s finale.
He lost more ground at the top of the standings yesterday after finishing the opening race in sixth place, with fellow title contenders Jason O’Halloran, Christian Iddon and Josh Brookes coming home ahead of the Ulster rider.
However, Irwin says he will look back on this year as a successful one whatever the outcome this afternoon at the Kent circuit.
“It has been a great year for me regardless and I think we’ve established ourselves,” said Irwin.
“We haven’t just come back to the Glenn of 2018 that was fighting for podiums, I think we’ve shown ourselves as one of the main BSB frontrunners and that has taken a lot of work.
“Either way, I have a lot of satisfaction this season and I will throw everything I have at it. I feel confident and happy with what’s underneath me and it has been a dream season for the new Fireblade.”
Irwin had a long spell at the front in yesterday’s first race at the Brands GP track but he was unable to maintain his pace.
Australian rider O’Halloran came on strong in the closing stages after a thrilling battle and was able to pull a slight gap on his McAMS Yamaha.
He won by 1.8 seconds from Iddon, with Tarran Mackenzie — also riding a McAMS Yamaha — taking third following a late charge.
Championship leader Brookes finished fourth but his advantage at the top is now only seven points over O’Halloran, with Iddon just two points further adrift in third.
Irwin, though, is 21 points off the top after he came home in sixth behind Kawasaki rider Danny Buchan, while Andrew Irwin finished seventh (Honda Racing).
Race two is scheduled for 12.45pm today with the third and final race, which is likely to decide the title outcome, at 4pm.