Donington Park podium finish for Glenn Irwin

Donington Park podium finish for Glenn Irwin

Shane Byrne sits out both races after suffering concussion in morning warm-up
Hopkins battles back from foot injury to secure points in race 2
Glen Irwin takes race 2 podium for BeWiser Ducati team

5 time BSB Champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) was forced to sit out both races at Donington Park following a concussion after falling at Craner Curves during the Sunday morning warm up session.

John ‘Hopper’ Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) also crashed during the warm up session, breaking a couple of bones in his left foot but went on to line up on the grid in 6th place for the race 1. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) qualified for Race 1 in 8th.

Race 1
With a quarter of the race run Hopper was down in 12th position but went on to have technical difficulties, returning to his garage on Lap 8. Irwin was then the sole Ducati out on track. With 5 laps to go the Be Wiser Ducati rider was still in 8th position, 2 seconds behind Michael Laverty. He chased down the Yamaha rider and went on to pass James Ellison on the final lap to claim a Top 6 finish and 10 championship points.

Irwin and Hopper’s lap times would see them line up for Race 2 in 8th and 13th places respectively.

Race 2
Hopper got a great start on board his Panigale R and had soon made a couple of passes on his opening lap. By half race distance Hopper was up into 9th while Irwin was challenging Peter Hickman, taking 6th from him. Irwin went onto pass Ellison for 5th, Luke Mossey for 4th and with just a lap and half left of the race the Be Wiser had Christian Iddon and a step on the podium on his sights. Irwin made a pass into Redgate which Iddon snapped back but Irwin was not to be outdone and fought for his 3rd place finish, claiming the first Ducati podium of the year in the British Superbike class.

Hopper put on a brave ride with his foot injury hampering progress and eventually passed the chequered flag in 13th.

Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati #2) – 3rd
“I sat back for a little bit and I saw Peter start to drop, made a move on him. I saw Luke and Christian catching Ellison which was for the podium position. James kept them guys behind him for a lap, he was obviously struggling with the tyre quite badly. I really started to hammer on then and bang the 29s in which for me was good in that stage of the race. I was saying to Leon earlier that Dad always told me if you’ve time to think about a move you’ve time to do it. So I did that on Luke. Starting the last lap I was maybe 2 or 3 bike lengths behind Christian and I thought about him into turn 1. So if I’d thought about it I went for it and got back by him.

Massive credit to the team. It hasn’t been an easy weekend, probably for anyone in racing with yesterday’s heartache. And as a team for us a bit more personally with Shakey being injured. So thank you to them guys for rallying behind me and I think I’ve shown them we can progress along in this championship in the future.”

John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati #21) – 13th
“Not the start of the year we were hoping for. A rough weekend. We started off alright, Friday we were working solidly through our programme. We didn’t make a whole load of changes to the bike but we were right there within the top 5. Unfortunately, Saturday it started to go wrong. I had a crash in the morning at Craner Curves which was quite a big one and destroyed the bike. I had 3 crashes in 3 sessions in a row, which I’ve never done in my career.

I went out this morning, highsided and fractured my foot and sprained my ankle quite good so it was tough. We had a little bit of an issue, a minor electrical issue, which DNF’d us out of Race 1 but we got out in Race 2 and tried to make the most of it. I got the best start I could and started picking off quite a few positions in the beginning of the race and at one point had made it up into 8th. My foot just literally seized up and I was just struggling to shift and I had to come in. So not where we wanted but I did the best I could. It was just nice to finish the race.”