Glenn Irwin and Davey Todd relishing chance to shine for Honda Racing at NW 200
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Glenn Irwin and Davey Todd relishing chance to shine for Honda Racing at NW 200
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Honda Racing riders Davey Todd and Glenn Irwin visited the North Coast last week.

Glenn Irwin and Davey Todd relishing chance to shine for Honda Racing at North West 200

New Honda Racing signings Glenn Irwin and Davey Todd are counting the days until they give the mighty Japanese manufacturer’s new 2020 Superbike its roads debut at the fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 (May 12-16).

The high-profile duo will spearhead Honda’s international challenge at the North West and Isle of Man TT this season, replacing Ian Hutchinson and David Johnson.

British Superbike star Irwin has won the past four Superbike races at the famous Ulster event, while up-and-coming prospect Todd clinched his maiden win on the big stage in a wet opening Supersport race on the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda last May around the 8.9-mile ‘Triangle’ course.

Irwin, who will also ride for Honda in BSB alongside his brother Andrew, is set to make his debut at the TT this year, but says he doesn’t view the North West as preparation for the Mountain race.

“The North West is an end in itself, it isn’t preparation for the TT,” he said.

“I love this part of the world, I love the road racing vibe and I understand why there is an expectation on me.

“We will have plenty of testing but will everything be in place by April or May? Probably not because that is just how racing is,” added Irwin, who will compete in the Superbike and Superstock classes on the Fireblade.

“But by the time the North West comes around I think we will be starting to find our feet with the bike.”

Irwin, though, knows what it takes to win at the North West and the Carrickfergus man says he now has the experience to cope with whatever may be thrown at him.

“I’ve won a last lap race at the North West and I’ve come around on the first lap five seconds ahead of everyone,” he said.

“I’ve made a mistake and recovered and pulled away again. I’ve won in the wet. These are all things I didn’t think I would do and I can’t doubt what I can do because I have now won four in a row.

“I am happy because when you win somewhere that feels like home you can take that tag. I feel like this is my house.

“We all know everyone wants to win here. Look at the fight Michael Dunlop put up to me two years ago. He was the only one who came.

“Peter Hickman didn’t come, Michael Rutter didn’t come. None of the short circuit men came, but the man who was going to the TT with probably more pressure on him than anyone else came.”

Todd has earned his place in the factory Honda team after a rapid rise through the road racing ranks and finished sixth in the Senior TT in 2018 in only his second year at the event, lapping at more than 131mph.

Despite only being 24-years-old, he has a wealth of experience in different disciplines of the sport, which the Saltburn lad says has enabled him to make such impressive strides over the past two seasons.

“I have raced in everything from motocross to Supermoto,” Todd said.

“I had a couple of years on the short circuits before I came to the roads, then a season on the Irish roads with John Burrows’ team. I have raced in the IRRC series as well as at the TT, NW200, Ulster and at Macau. They are all building blocks that have helped me progress as a rider.

“I’m eager to get back to the North West and TT but also to race in the British Superstock Championship to prove what I can do on the short circuits.”

Todd says he is keen to tap into Irwin’s knowledge at the North West and is more than willing to return the favour at the TT, where Irwin will make his debut in June.

“Glenn is on a different footing at the North West than he will be at the TT,” he said.

“He is the target man at the North West but our mindset is to try to work as a team. We have talked about it and we want to try and help each other. I have a bit more experience than him at the TT and he can help me out at the NW – it would be silly not to.

“Then it will be every man for himself. Once the flag drops we will both want to win and I would love to be battling at the front with Glenn.”

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Kyle White
21-01-2020, 02:18 PM
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