Glenn Irwin may have missed out on a coveted Showdown spot in this year’s MCE British Superbike Championship, but the Ulster rider’s appetite for success remains undiminished.
Irwin’s hopes of becoming one of the top six title fighters were dealt a hammer blow following a crash during practice at Knockhill in Scotland, which left the Carrick man with serious elbow and shoulder injuries.
He missed the following round at Snetterton and although he made his return at Brands Hatch in July, the 27-year-old was nowhere near peak physical fitness and has struggled with his injuries since.
As a result, Irwin dropped down the championship leaderboard and after finishing 11th and ninth last time out at Cadwell Park, he is 79 points behind Luke Mossey heading into the triple-header Showdown decider this weekend at Silverstone.
Mossey currently occupies the sixth and final Showdown place and with only a maximum of 75 points up for grabs, Irwin can no longer mathematically break into the top six.
However, he is eager to finish off the season strongly and has vowed to help his PBM Be Wiser Ducati team-mate and title contender Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, if he is in a position to take points off the reigning champion’s Showdown rivals.
“I think everybody should be excited going into this weekend with it being a triple-header but I can only speak for myself,” Irwin said.
“The body has had a good rest since Cadwell but I have got more miles done on my pushbike than ever before and we’ve made more progress with my injuries, which is big a step forward.
“I like Silverstone and I need to repay my team for not delivering the results recently so I intend to do that this weekend. Also, if I can help Shakey in any way possible, it goes without saying I’ll do that.”
Speculation on Tuesday suggested team owner Paul Bird was considering running a third Ducati this weekend at Silverstone, but he has ruled out the possibility, although Bird has admitted he could field another machine and a third rider when the Showdown commences at Oulton Park next weekend.
Byrne leads JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam by 10 points ahead of Silverstone, with Peter Hickman in third place for Smiths Racing.
Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran, Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) and Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) are the current top six.
However, Jake Dixon on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki and Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon are right in the mix for the Showdown, with both riders only a few points behind Mossey ahead of the triple header.
The first race is scheduled for 4pm on Saturday, with Sunday’s two BSB races pencilled in for 1.30pm and 4.30pm respectively.
Meanwhile, Keith Farmer will be aiming to strengthen his grip on the Dickies British Supersport Championship.
The Clogher Bullet clinched a brilliant double at Cadwell Park on the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha to increase his advantage at the top to 63 points over Dublin’s Jack Kennedy on the Tempus MV Agusta.
Eglinton’s David Allingham (EHA Racing Yamaha) and Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) are third and fourth respectively as Irish riders dominant at the top of the standings.
Farmer, though, has established a comfortable cushion over his key rivals and the two-time British champion is now the hot favourite to secure a third crown with only four rounds remaining.
The Supersport Sprint race on Saturday takes place at 4.45pm with Sunday’s Feature race due to start at 3.40pm.