Tag: Glenn Irwin

Jonathan Rea named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for third year in a row

Jonathan Rea has lifted yet another trophy as he was named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year at last night’s Cornmarket Bike Awards.

The three time back-to-back World Superbike Champion took home the Joey Dunlop trophy for the third time in the row, becoming only the second rider ever to do so – the other was Dunlop himself. Rea has now won the award five times having previously been given it in 2007 and 2008. It comes after he placed second in BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in December.

It was a successful night for the Reas at the annual awards – held once again at the Ramada in Belfast – as TT winner Jonathan Rea Snr was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Kawasaki stalwart and Jonny Rea Jnr’s crew chief Pere Riba was also presented with an Outstanding Achievement award.

The presentations were kicked off with a Special Recognition Award for the Enkalon Motorcycle Club – the group who originally founded the Bike Awards – who are due to step away from motorcycle racing after over 40 years of service. The club were presented their award by Eugene Laverty.

Glenn Irwin won two awards including the Greenlight TV Special Recognition Award. The BSB rider won at both the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix in 2017 and was given the award for entertaining on the track. He also picked up the award for Race of the Year after the North West 200 Superbike race was voted the best by fans. It was a thrilling battle between Irwin, Seeley – who was also there to receive the award – and Ian Hutchinson. Graeme Irwin was also victorious as he won Off Road Rider of the Year.

2017 Irish and Ulster Supertwin, Supersport, and Superbike Champion Derek McGee picked up the award for National Road Racer of the Year after a highly successful year on the roads. Peter Hickman – whose 2017 road racing results included a hat-trick of victories at the Ulster Grand Prix – was named International Road Racer of the Year.

Philip McCallen was on hand to present his sponsored award to the Young Rider of the Year Richard Kerr. Kerr finished fourth in this year’s Motostar British Championship just six points off third place. Cornmarket’s founder Sam Geddis received the Services to Motorcycling Award.

Last year’s British Supersport champion Keith Farmer won the award for Best Rider on British Short Circuits. Jason Lynn, who was recently named Young Rider of the Year at the Masters Superbike Championship awards at the end of last year, picked up the award for Short Circuit Rider of the Year after winning the Masters Supersport championship. Tyco BMW were named Team of the Year.

 

 

 

Glenn Irwin wins red flagged Macau Grand Prix

Glenn Irwin has won the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix, albeit a truncated race. Pole sitter Irwin was the race leader when it was red flagged on the sixth lap. The results were declared and he was joined on the podium by last year’s winner Peter Hickman, and eight time winner Michael Rutter.

When the lights went out Irwin stayed ahead but was soon passed by Hickman on the first lap. Martin Jessopp got himself up into third place with Conor Cummins ending lap one in fourth. Irwin took the lead back for lap two and started to build a lead.

The gap between the front two remained at just over a second with Rutter slotting into third ahead of Jessopp. Behind the battle for the podium positions Cummins was running in a solid fifth ahead of David Johnson and Gary Johnson. Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston and Danny Webb were the top ten at the halfway stage in the race.

The first retirement of the race was Derek Sheils on lap three, with the rider pulling off at the side of the track with a bike issue. Ben Wylie joined him on the sidelines with a smoking bike on the fourth lap.  The race was red flagged on the sixth lap following a serious incident involving a rider who, at the time of writing, has not been officially named.

Irwin, Hickman and Rutter were followed by Jessopp, Cummins, Gary Johnson, Harrison, Johnston, David Johnson, and Danny Webb in the top ten.

Glenn Irwin sets fastest ever lap on way to Macau GP pole

Glenn Irwin will start the 2017 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix from pole position. The PBM Ducati rider signalled his intentions by going fastest in the practice session and both qualifying sessions.

His fastest lap of 2:23.081 was faster than Stuart Easton’s lap record from 2010 of 2:23.616. Irwin out-qualified fellow front row starter Peter Hickman by 1.8 seconds. Hickman has won the race for the previous two years and will be looking to make it a hat-trick. Eight time Macau Grand Prix winner Michael Rutter will go from third after narrowly missing out to Hickman’s time by just a tenth of a second.

Behind the top three Conor Cummins qualified in fourth for Padgett’s while last year’s pole sitter Martin Jessopp was fifth. Australian rider David Johnson will start the race from sixth ahead of Lee Johnston, Horst Saiger, Derek Sheils and Gary Johnson. Dan Kneen qualified in 11th with Didier Grams 12th, Danny Webb 13th and Dan Cooper 14th. Daniel Hegarty, Ivan Lintin, Sam West, Dean Harrison, Marek Ceveny and Ben Wylie rounded out the twenty fastest qualifiers.

In total 27 riders qualified for the 51st running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix. Last year’s race was won by Hickman who beat Rutter and Jessopp. Newcomer Irwin had been running in a podium position before being forced to retire to the pits.

2017: North West 200 Round-Up

The 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 saw records broken and extended, new winners and what has been dubbed one of the most exciting races at the event ever.

Practice

Dry and sunny conditions greeted riders for Tuesday and Thursday’s practice sessions and they were able to complete a number of laps in preparation for the racing. Newcomers got the event underway with their practice session on Tuesday morning, giving riders such as Mark Purslow, Joey Thompson, and Neil Kernohan their first taste of the Triangle circuit.

In Tuesday practice Alistair Seeley topped the times in both the Superbike and Supersport classes – the Carrickfergus man aiming to extend his most wins record after surpassing Robert Dunlop’s win tally last year. Martin Jessopp was fastest in the Supertwin class while Michael Rutter led a tight Superstock class. Race organisers and sponsors were left with red faces when the Superstock session had to be red flagged after just a couple of minutes when the course car got stuck on the apex of the chicane at the end of the start finish straight.

On Thursday it was the same men fastest again this time with Seeley topping the Supersport and Superstock times while Rutter went fastest in the Superbike session. Jessopp continued as the fastest Supertwin rider. The Superbike session – the last of the practice sessions – was red flagged following an incident involving John McGuinness. He crashed at Primrose corner and was taken to hospital in Belfast. The Honda team reported that he had a compound fracture to his right lower leg, four broken vertebrae, and three broken back ribs. The team subsequently withdrew Guy Martin from the Superstock and Superbike races as they were unable to investigate the cause of McGuinness’ crash.

Races

Conditions remained dry for Thursday racing and first on the race schedule was the first of two Supersport races. Seeley started from pole and was the man to beat having been fastest in both practice sessions. He failed to complete the first lap, however, pulling into the pits with a bike problem. It was Jessopp from the second row who went on to win after a race long battle with Ian Hutchinson. Both had spells at the front but it was Jessopp who went on to take the victory – his first ever win at the North West 200. James Hillier completed the podium finishers ahead of Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston.

Seeley did not face any problems in the Superstock class as he romped to a 12 second victory over Johnston. He didn’t have it all his own way, however, as Rutter led across the line on the second lap but the Bathams rider unfortunately retired from the race. Seeley and Johnston were joined on the podium by Harrison – his first rostrum result at the event. Hutchinson was fourth with Jessopp coming home in fifth place.

Like waiting for a bus, Jessopp found that after waiting for one North West 200 win that two come along at once. He started from pole position and crossed the line in the lead on every lap. Rutter – a last minute entry to the class on Ryan Farquhar’s KMR bike – was a close second just eight tenths back. Ivan Lintin was third ahead of Dan Cooper and Derek Sheils. Johnston had been considered a contender for the race win but struggled to get away for the warm-up lap and despite a push and getting away, he didn’t make the start. Jessopp also set a new lap record on his way to victory.

The weather was not as kind on Saturday and riders were faced with wet conditions. Up first on the schedule was the second Supersport race.

Riders were given two sighting laps before the race and it eventually got underway in damp conditions. The rain came on during the race and a number of riders raised their hands to get the race stopped at the end of lap 4 however it kept going for the full six. It was Seeley who won, four seconds clear of William and Michael Dunlop. It had been William who led across the line when the conditions deteriorated, but Michael Dunlop suggested after the race that his older brother’s face “didn’t fit the picture” which is why the race wasn’t stopped. Cookstown 100 race winner Adam McLean was an impressive fourth place – just a couple of seconds off a podium – with Hutchinson fifth.

There was a lengthy delay before the next race of the day due to the weather conditions. The Superbikes did get out for a sighting lap but it was red flagged due to oil on the track from Michael Dunlop’s Suzuki. With rain getting heavier it wasn’t until around 3pm in the afternoon when racing resumed. Seeley stormed to a dominant victory over Rutter and Johnston. He was 21 seconds clear by the end of the last lap with Rutter a comfortable seven seconds ahead of Johnston. Irwin was fourth in his first Superbike race appearance at the North West 200 while Peter Hickman finished fifth.

While Seeley extended his win record to 20, Rutter – the next most successful current rider – added another victory to his tally. He took a hard fought win in the Supertwin race after narrowly missing out to Jessopp on Thursday. Rutter led after every lap but could not shake off Cooper who finished just six tenths down. Jessopp finished the race in third place ahead of Michael Sweeney and Marty Lennon. It was a particularly special victory for Rutter as he won for Ryan Farquhar who was involved in a near fatal accident at the event last year. The win was Rutter’s 14th around the Triangle circuit putting him just one win off Robert Dunlop’s 15.

The second Superstock race proved to be yet another victory for Seeley, bringing his win record to 21. The race was red flagged on the fifth lap, leaving Seeley the winner as he crossed the line leading on the previous lap. He very narrowly beat Hutchinson – just two tenths separated the two riders. Rutter joined the pair on the podium with Johnston finishing fourth. The top four were separated by under a second while Hickman was just slightly further back in fifth. Riders were not impressed afterwards that the race had not been red flagged sooner – with a number raising their hands to indicate conditions were too difficult.

The Vauxhall North West 200 race – the feature race of the event – proved to be the most exciting of the day as three riders battled hard for the lead. It was a race long fight between Irwin, Seeley and Hutchinson. Irwin led across the line each time after perfectly timing his move onto the coast road each time. Seeley was able to take advantage through the long slipstreaming sections but Irwin was able to keep with him. Seeley was even onto the grass on the run to University at one stage but he lost nothing as he kept with the front two. Eventually the top three finished just seven tenths apart when Irwin pulled a well timed move on Seeley on the final lap. Hutchinson finished in second with Michael Dunlop fourth. Rutter completed a highly successful North West 200 for him in fifth place. There were huge cheers around the circuit when Irwin crossed the line to win on only his second appearance at the event. He previously raced at the North West 200 in 2015 on a Supersport but he broke down during the race while at the front.

Alistair Seeley’s win record around the North West 200 now stands at 21. Both he and Michael Rutter surpassed Philip McCallen’s podium record of 28. Seeley now has 32 North West 200 podiums while Rutter has 31. Riders will now head to the Isle of Man for TT fortnight (27th May – 9th June).

 

 

Michael Rutter fastest in truncated Superbike session

Michael Rutter topped the times in a shortened Superbike session following 25 minutes of running. His lap time of 4:23.943 was 1.7 seconds better than Glenn Irwin’s best effort.

It was Michael Dunlop who ended the session third fastest with a time of 4:25.756, ahead of Martin Jessopp and Peter Hickman. William Dunlop was sixth fastest with James Hillier seventh and Superstock and Supersport pole sitter Alistair Seeley eighth fastest. Lee Johnston and Dean Harrison were ninth and tenth respectively.  The session was red flagged following an incident involving John McGuinness at Primrose. The Honda rider has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.

The remainder of the session was abandoned with 20 minutes left to run due to roads needing to be open within half an hour.

Outside of the top 10 Derek Sheils finished up 11th ahead of McGuinness, Bruce Anstey, Dan Kneen and Jamie Coward.

  1. Michael Rutter 4:23.943
  2. Glenn Irwin 4:25.655
  3. Michael Dunlop 4:25.756
  4. Martin Jessopp 4:26.192
  5. Peter Hickman 4:29.455 
Alistair Seeley tops Tuesday Supersport and Superbike sessions

Alistair Seeley tops Tuesday Supersport and Superbike sessions

Alistair Seeley was the man to beat in the Tuesday Supersport and Superbike practice sessions at this year’s North West 200.

The record wins holder put his Gearlink Kawasaki on the top of the time sheets with his third lap in the Supersport class, beating Dean Harrison by 1.495 seconds. Lee Johnston was third fastest ahead of Martin Jessopp, John McGuinness, and Michael Dunlop. James Hillier, Bruce Anstey, Michael Sweeney, and Horst Saiger rounded out the top ten.

The session had been red flagged and restarted following an accident involving Chris Dixon who was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital with leg fractures.

  1. Alistair Seeley – 4:41.480
  2. Dean Harrison – 4:42.975 – +1.495
  3. Lee Johnston – 4:43.968 – +2.488
  4. Martin Jessopp – 4:45.063 – +4.583
  5. John McGuinness – 4:45.893 – +4.413
  6. Michael Dunlop – 4:47.344 – +5.864
  7. James Hillier – 4:47.899 – +6.419
  8. Bruce Anstey – 4:48.529 – +7.049
  9. Michael Sweeney – 4:49.452 – +7.972
  10. Horst Saiger – 4:49.908 – +8.428

Seeley backed his Supersport pace up with the fastest time in the Superbike practice as well. His best effort of 4:25.100 was 1.5 seconds faster than Michael Rutter with M Dunlop third fastest.

Ian Hutchinson was fourth fastest on the Tyco BMW while Glenn Irwin was fifth on his return to the Triangle circuit. Jessopp set the sixth fastest time of the session with McGuinness and Johnston seventh and eighth fastest respectively. Peter Hickman and Harrison were the ninth and tenth fastest riders in the session.

  1. Alistair Seeley – 4:25.100
  2. Michael Rutter – 4:26.670 – +1.570
  3. Michael Dunlop – 4:27.639 – +2.539
  4. Ian Hutchinson – 4:29.782 – +4.682
  5. Glenn Irwin – 4:30.030 – +4.930
  6. Martin Jessopp – 4:31.272 – +6.172
  7. John McGuinness – 4:32.280 – +7.180
  8. Lee Johnston – 4:32.477 – +7.377
  9. Peter Hickman – 4:33.815 – +8.715
  10. Dean Harrison – 4:34.657 – +9.557

Full Superbike Practice Results

Peter Hickman wins 50th running of Macau Motorcycle GP

Peter Hickman has won the 50th running of the motorcycle Macau Grand Prix. He was joined on the podium by Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp.

Last year’s pole sitter and podium finisher Jessopp once again started from pole position, joined on the front row by eight time winner Rutter and newcomer Glenn Irwin.

Rutter took the lead off the line with Irwin slotting into second place behind him. Jessopp held third at the end of the first lap with 2015 winner Peter Hickman chasing him down in fourth. Jessopp moved up to second in the second lap ahead of Irwin. Hickman, Horst Saiger, Ian Hutchinson, Conor Cummins, Gary Johnson, Stuart Easton and newcomer Derek Sheils rounded out the top ten.

Hickman made his move on lap four up into third while the top four continued to circulate separated by just over a second and a half. Jessopp took the lead on lap seven but only held it for a couple of corners before Rutter reclaimed it. The battle between the top two allowed Hickman to close up with Irwin holding on to the back of him. The lead changed hands again on lap eight.

On lap 10 Jessopp dropped from first to fourth after Bathams team-mates Rutter and Hickman pulled off a double pass. Irwin then slipped through into a podium spot as well as it looked like Jessopp missed a gear. Hickman – the only rider in the top four to be running Dunlop tyres – then took over the lead from Rutter on the penultimate lap. Jessopp moved back to third as Irwin dropped right off the pace before pulling into the pits.

Hickman held onto the lead to win the race for a second year in a row. Eight time winner Rutter was second with Jessopp third. Cummins finished fourth ahead of Saiger, Easton, John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson, Derek Sheils, and Dan Cooper. Dan Kneen recovered from the back of the field to finish 11th ahead of Didier Grams, Danny Webb, Sam West, and Mark Miller. Rounding out the top 20 finishers were Daniel Hegarty, Marek Cerveny, Allan-Jon Venter, Andre Pires and Michael Sweeney. Brian McCormack and Ben Wylie also finished.

Irwin, Johnson, Lintin and Davy Morgan all retired in the pits during the race.