Glenn Irwin pragmatic over North West 200 postponement and TT cancellation
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Glenn Irwin pragmatic over North West 200 postponement and TT cancellation
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Glenn Irwin pragmatic over North West 200 postponement and Isle of Man TT cancellation

Four-time North West 200 Superbike race winner Glenn Irwin says the postponement of the race and cancellation of the Isle of Man TT pales into insignificance against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Carrickfergus man had hoped to challenge for a fifth straight Superbike success around the 8.9-mile Triangle course in May and was also set to make his eagerly anticipated Mountain Course debut after signing for the Honda Racing team to ride the all-new Fireblade CBR10000RR-R.

However, both events are off as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and Irwin says racing must take a back seat when it comes to safeguarding people’s health.

“People’s health is the priority right now and I’ll still be able to make my debut at the Isle of Man TT in 2021,” he said.

“We will all have people who will be affected by this and that is the big picture right now. It’s a difficult situation for everyone but the work I’ve put in to prepare for my debut at the TT hasn’t been for nothing and it will pay off next year.

“Over these past few days I’ve really noticed the impact that this is having on people’s lives and their livelihoods,” added the British Superbike contender.

“When we were coming back from testing in Spain, Alicante was a virtual ghost town and I saw a huge difference there over seven days. My thoughts are with those who have the illness and also those who are being hit by this financially.”

The major part of the 2020 road racing season has been wiped out with the Cookstown 100, Tandragee 100, North West and TT all scrapped from the calendar in April, May and June.

Saturday’s opening round of the Ulster Superbike Championship at Bishopscourt in Co Down has also been postponed along with the Enkalon Trophy meeting at the same venue over Easter.

On Tuesday, it was also confirmed that the official British Superbike test at Silverstone had been cancelled, while the first round of the series – scheduled for April 10-12 – has been postponed ‘until later in the year’.

Meanwhile, a statement from John McClure, chairman of the MCUI (Ulster Centre), said the sport’s governing body ‘expressed regret’ over the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 calendar.

It said: “Sporting events are being cancelled as PM advises against mass gatherings. The Ulster Centre wishes to express its regret that as a result of the worldwide Coronavirus Pandemic many and perhaps all of the MCUI (UC) scheduled events in the coming months have been cancelled but may be rescheduled later in the year.”

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Kyle White

19-03-2020, 02:24 PM
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