British Superbikes: Glenn Irwin has ‘no relationship’ with rival Tommy Bridewell

Watch: Bridewell ‘lit a fire in my belly’ – Irwin

British Superbike Championship title contender Glenn Irwin says he has “no relationship” with team-mate and rival Tommy Bridewell.

Bridewell leads Irwin by just 7.5 points going into the final round at Brands Hatch on 14-15 October.

The has been a number of flash points between the PBM Ducati duo including Sunday’s crash at Donington Park.

“It’s hard to find respect for someone you race against when they show none of it back to you,” said Irwin.

After a number of tense rounds between the pair, things came to a head in the penultimate round last weekend when Bridewell crashed into Irwin and took both riders out of the second race at Donington Park.

The incident sparked a furious reaction from Northern Ireland’s Irwin, who had to be dragged away by a marshal after confronting Bridewell in the gravel trap.

Bridewell ‘declared war’ – Irwin

Bridewell was handed a grid penalty for the incident with Irwin given penalty points for his reaction.

“Respect is something that I value, especially with being a father now and setting an example to kids,” Irwin added.

“I’ve always had respect for everyone I have raced against. Tommy doesn’t want to be that person, so that’s Tommy.

“The best way to describe it is that there is no relationship any more. We have to respect what we are doing at the end of the day.

“He declared war, I chose not to go to war but I think war came upon us at Donington Park. It has lit the fire in my belly and I believe I can pass him anywhere I want to.

“That is something he helped ignite, somewhere deeper into my brain. Let’s go and do the job now.”

‘The heat of the moment’

Glenn Irwin has own eight races this season and is 7.5 points behind team-mate Tommy Bridewell

Irwin added his reaction to the crash was “tough in the heat of the moment” and he has had time to reflect on the incident.

“In the heat of the moment, I think I wished the gravel trap was a boxing ring and I would have been the first in the ring.

“I managed to control myself. Thankfully other than a few choice emotions and words, like I say, flying home on Sunday night, I was looking at things the only way – the right way and the positive way.

“My life was really lost for a period and 2019 and 2020 was the beginning of a real turnaround. I feel it would just complete that journey that I am back to being the person I always was.

“I was a happy kid growing up with no anxieties – just being really fulfilled.

“It’s funny, I was having a nice meditation the other day and I kind of realised that is already achieved. I feel like I have went that full circle.

“It would be the old cliche, it would be the cherry on top.”

Irwin will ‘keep believing’

The title battle also comes in the backdrop of the passing of team owner Paul Bird, who died aged 56 on 1 September.

Despite being 7.5 points down going into the deciding three races at Brands Hatch, there are still 105 up for grabs and Irwin says he will “keep believing”.

“I think we take more confidence in a weekend when you score no points and there are 75 up for grabs, and you only lose eight [to Bridewell].

“Something is happening, do you know what I mean? If I was a boxer I would have bene lying on my back and the ref would be counting you out.

“The Championship is 7.5 points. You can’t control it from the front at 7.5, you have to go out and win. The same as I have to.

“The points are a talking point, but it’s three races and may the best man win.”

2023-10-05 07:59:28
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