Former Senior TT winner Steve Plater says British Superbike star Glenn Irwin is adopting the right approach to making his debut at the Isle of Man TT.
Irwin was set to compete for the first time at the world famous road race in 2020 but that plan has now been put on hold for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Northern Irishman will be one of the highest-profile newcomers at the two-week long festival since ex-British Supersport champion Plater himself made his bow in 2007.
“Glenn has the right mindset for the TT and a great team behind him in Honda Racing, who are not expecting anything from him or pushing him,” said Plater.
“It will be a steep learning curve but Glenn will not go there worried about breaking any records – he is focused on going and serving his apprenticeship.
“He is being very sensible about it and has been doing lap after lap of the course over the winter to familiarise himself with the circuit.”
The Carrickfergus rider has achieved much during his career to date – winning two British Superbike races and finishing third overall in the 2018 series, plus securing four consecutive Superbike victories at the North West 200 in recent years and taking a Macau Grand Prix success.
And while the TT has always held an allure for the 30-year-old Plater admits to being surprised when Irwin confirmed his desire to compete in the event over the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
“I’ve done some work with Glenn in an advisory role but was surprised when he said he was going to do the TT as he had previously indicated that he would probably concentrate on his BSB racing,” added eight-times North West 200 winner Plater.
Bitten by the TT bug
“But he was bitten by the bug and has spent a lot of time learning the place to keep himself safe. He is not wanting to just turn up and pocket the money – he is looking at it as a long-term project.
“He was fast straight away at the North West 200 and is one of the quickest men in British Superbikes but the TT is a completely different proposition.
“He has to go there for the first time and make sure he is at ease with it. It’s no use being big and bold – you just don’t know until you go and ride the Mountain Course whether you will be able to go fast on it.
“When I agreed to make my debut I was the same – I told the organisers I would come and give it a go and if I didn’t like it I would give them their money back.”
‘Everything is guesswork’
With the coronavirus crisis decimating the road racing calendar in 2020, former British Supersport champion Plater believes the sport faces something of an uncertain future but its survival instincts will kick in.
“Everything is guesswork as regards the future as nobody knows when a vaccine will be available or when this will burn itself out so it is going to be tough.
“If it hasn’t cleared up by next March or April the Isle of Man Government may decide there will be no TT next year either – they may not want to risk visitors coming to the Isle of Man to protect the residents and that is understandable.