Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin is tempering his expectations for the final round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship this weekend at Brands Hatch.
The Carrickfergus man – who finished fourth in the standings last season – has been hampered by an old shoulder injury, which he made worse in an accident at Donington Park in August.
Irwin is set to go under the knife once the season is over, but the 31-year-old believes he can still have a productive weekend at Brands.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend and the final races of the year,” said Irwin, who is eighth in the showdown.
“For me the goal this weekend is to improve our results at Brands Hatch and take that step forward.
“We’re going to be limited with my shoulder and we’re prepared for that, but we’ll use the weekend to test and develop a few things, because we’re in a position in the championship where we can afford to do that.
“I can’t wait to try out the new ideas we have, to get stuck and aim for the best possible results to finish the 2021 season.”
Irwin joined the official Honda Racing UK team in 2020 and was set to make his highly anticipated Isle of Man TT debut.
However, the event was canceled last year and again this season due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing Irwin – who won the last four Superbike races at the North West 200 – to put his plans on hold until 2022.
He said he would prefer to stay with Honda for a third year, but the Ulster rider recently said he has yet to sign a contract for next season.
The BSB title this weekend is set to be contested between McAMS Yamaha riders Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran – separated by 10 points at the top – and Christian Iddon (Vision Track Ducati) and Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati), who are 15 and 21 points behind Mackenzie respectively.
Testing kicks off today at the Kent circuit, with the first of three races this weekend taking place tomorrow at 4:05 pm.
In the British Junior Supersport Championship, young Cameron Dawson is set to win the title, with teenage Co. Tyrone’s first chance in tomorrow’s opening race (2:45 p.m.). Dawson leads Ash Barnes by 43 points with two races to go and a maximum of 50 points to win this weekend
Download the Belfast Telegraph app
Get quick and easy access to the latest news, sports, business and opinion from Northern Ireland with the Belfast Telegraph app.