WORDS BY ADAM PROUD | IMAGES BY IOM TT RACES
It takes an alien-like amount of grit and determination to contest the Isle of Man TT, at any speed. But to set the all-time fastest newcomer record and come close to the 130mph barrier in just your first few sessions? That’s not likely, right?
Glenn Irwin has done just that.
The Honda rider will have been itching to set foot on the Snaefell Mountain course after waiting three years to do so since COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events. The former being the year Irwin was set to make his debut.
And since he took his first laps of the circuit, he’s been riding like someone with years of experience on the course, not a TT rookie.
The two weeks earlier in June spent racing around the island have set him up perfectly to become a regular at the TT, and a successful one at that.
As someone once told me, it usually takes around four years to learn the circuit and perfect each line. Looking ahead to 2026, it’s easy to imagine how many wins Irwin might have, given how quick he’s come out of the blocks.
A bike issue on the final day of racing forced Irwin to pull into the pits during the Senior TT race and retire, but there were plenty of positives to take from just that race alone.
At the time of retiring, Irwin had just broken into the top 10 and was closing down on eighth place, and the pace was there once again.
He has plenty of experience already on the roads, there’s no doubting that. Sure, the TT is a different kettle of fish in many respects, yet Irwin’s previous road racing experiences will have helped in huge amounts.
And if we look at his past results on different road events, there’s an instant realisation that Irwin is a fast learner. He won the Macau GP in only his second year, and was quick out the blocks when he made his North West 200 debut in 2015.
This is all a recipe for success for the British Superbikes rider, a new name has been thrown into the hat as the next start of the TT and it’s only a matter of time before Irwin seals his first win on the Isle of Man course.
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