Graeme Irwin had his best GP weekend ever at the British GP after scoring a 15th and 18th place in the very competitive MX2 class.
The All Heads and Threads Suzuki rider was spectacular to watch doing new the downhill triple and fought as hard as he could in both races. After injuries wrecked his early GP opportunities Irwin has been based in the UK the last two years so getting to ride a GP is surprisingly a rare occurrence for the talented and determined Irishman.
Despite limited experience Irwin didn’t look out of place amongst the MX2 elite and wasn’t intimidated by the factory riders.
We spoke to Irwin about his performance and asked him about the possibility of getting a full time MX2 GP ride next year.
That was your highest ever GP moto finish in the first one with 15th!
Yeah it was really good. The guys were so close in front and if you start up there it makes it a lot easier. I held my ground pretty well I rode smart, they were a few massive jumps on the track which was pretty awesome and really fun.
Second moto a decent start, you got shuffled back a bit but came on strong at the end for 18th.
The second race was quite strange. I didn’t get a bad start and I was sitting in 17th or something and I knew the two guys in front were going to fade. My lap times were consistent then I just tucked the front and after that I just rode steady, passed Desprey who was struggling a bit and finished 18th. I’m happy with that, it’s the world championship, there are a lot of fast guys out there and a lot of fast bikes as well.
Were you expecting to do as well, what were your expectations coming in?
I thought if I could get top ten it would be unbelievable, if I was top fifteen I would be happy and top twenty would be ok. But I am definitely happy with what I did.
The riders are that close. You were behind EBB in the first race and he finished tenth and you got shuffled to the back of that group in the first few laps, but to get a top ten isn’t impossible, everyone is so close out there.
Oh for sure. We had a small electrical problem on the bike today but apart from that it was a positive for us. But now I am going to ride MX1 now for the rest of year.
Are you looking forward to getting on the 450?
Yeah it is something for a long time I have always ridden well. I have raced a couple of races on it this year and done well. The Suzuki 450 is really good, we don’t have to do much testing we just put the 250 suspension straight it and maybe make it just a slight bit harder but that’s it and it’s ready to go. I won at Hawkstone the last time I was there so fingers crossed I can do the same at the Red Bull next week.
What about next season? You just scored points not on a factory bike in MX2 (top Suzuki rider in race one) and maybe it has opened some people’s eyes as to what you can do?
I would love to ride GPs in MX2 because next year is my last year I think. But I have got to be realistic the chances of that happening isn’t very high. There are so many people bringing in so much money, it’s not that I am against it because the sport needs money but I would love to be in MX2 GPs. But if I can’t go there I will be doing MX1 in the British championship.
Regarding the MX2 GP everyone says it is weak and has no depth this year. But you have raced it what are your thoughts?
For somebody who thinks it’s not deep you should come watch a race and look at the lap times because you could be 22nd and running similar lap times. It’s a fast class you might not have big riders but it’s not like it was a couple of years ago where you have riders that pay in that are going slow, they aren’t there anymore. It is fast guys that are bringing money to the table. It is a deep field, In MX1 there are 20 really fast guys but after that it tails off I think MX2 depth might be stronger below the top 20.
Interview by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Elliot Spencer