Andrew Irwin: 'We shouldn't be far away with new Honda in British Superbikes'

Andrew Irwin

Andrew Irwin says the new version of the Honda Fireblade should be competitive when this season's British Superbike series finally gets underway.

Irwin is starting his second year with the Japanese manufacturer but the first three rounds of the championship have been postponed because of coronavirus.

"When I first rode it I felt more comfortable on it than I did the old bike," reflected the 25-year-old.

"I think by the time we come to race we shouldn't be too far away."

Andrew, who will have older brother Glenn as his team-mate for 2020, has tested his new machine at the Albacete circuit in Japan and was immediately impressed.

The Carrickfergus rider finished eighth in the standings in his first full season after a campaign which included a maiden race win at Thruxton.

"The bike we had last year was 10 years old but was fully developed whereas now we are on the most undeveloped bike that we could have," explained Andrew.

Honda Racing rider Andrew Irwin
Honda Racing rider Andrew Irwin took a first and a second place at Thruxton last season

"As a road bike it is phenomenal but as a race bike it's not fully developed yet.

"Hopefully we will have some new parts from Japan the next time I come to ride it and as long as I keep myself sharp physically and mentally I should be raring to go," he added.

'Testing' times

While racing may be out of the question for the foreseeable future, Andrew and Glenn both recently took up the opportunity to secure their road bike licences after undergoing tuition in Grantham.

Andrew says a desire to visit the Isle of Man TT, where Glenn had been scheduled to make his debut this year until the event was cancelled, was part of the reason behind his desire to take to the road.

"Now was the right time to do it. I wanted to do it because I have never been to the TT and I wanted this to be the year.

"I went to the Southern 100 for the first time last year and thought to myself that I'd love to be on a bike to help me get from A to B.

"I mentioned it to Honda and they told me I had to go through a proper test so they put us through it. It was really fun.

"We both passed, which was the main thing, but it felt different to when I'm usually on a bike because you have an instructor in your ear constantly telling you what to do."

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