BSB: Andrew Irwin impresses with debut front row

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Bennetts British Superbike rookie Andrew Irwin stunned by securing a debut front row start for tomorrow’s opening race at Thruxton.

The Be Wiser Ducati star set the quickest lap of the weekend to top the second qualifying session, a time which wouldn’t be bettered in Q3 as the nine riders on track fought for pole position.

However, the younger Irwin’s time of 1’15.682, just over a tenth off his brother’s pole, was enough to secure his first front row in just his fourth round with the Be Wiser Ducati team as he stands in for the injured Shane Byrne.

“I can’t be disappointed with that as our aim was to get into Q3…” Irwin told MCN.

“I did the lap time in Q2 though, a fast lap always feels easy and I didn’t feel out of control. I obviously had a really good target with Glenn ahead of me but in Q3 I made a mistake and couldn’t go quite as fast as I had in the session before.

“I’m not sure if I would have gone quicker, but I have to be happy with P3 as it sets us up in a really good position for the race tomorrow. It’ll be a race of two halves with some people fast in the first half and drop back while others come through the pack.

“We have a chance of a top six tomorrow and that’s what I need, a couple of top sixes would be awesome. My aim is usually top ten but when you qualify on the front row you always want more.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing