Belfast Telegraph

Controversy as Andrew Irwin claims first British Supersport victory

 

by Roy Harris

A stunning Supersport race at Snetterton yesterday saw Andrew Irwin and Jack Kennedy locked in a duel for the race win over the last four laps with the Gearlink Kawasaki rider taking the chequered flag, six one hundredths of a second ahead of Dublin rider Jack Kennedy (MV Agusta) to win his first British Supersport championship race.

However the race ended in controversy with Kennedy adamant that Irwin had passed him on the final lap under a yellow flag and that he was the rightful winner of the race.

Officials said that the yellow flag was being withdrawn at the time and the result stood. However the result is provisional and is to be reviewed again at Brands Hatch in three weeks' time - for now Irwin is the winner.

A delighted Irwin said: "It's crazy. I came into BSB in 2014, so young. I have always wanted to win and at last I've done it, credit to Gearlink Kawasaki. It has been a long hard road and you know what, now I've won a race guess what I want - a championship."

A vexed Kennedy claimed: "I'm convinced the yellow flag was out when he passed me. He should have let me back in front and I believe I should have got the win. I was so convinced he would be dropped a position."

The first man to take the chequered flag in the race was Alastair Seeley, riding the Spirit Moto2 development machine that makes him ineligible for points.

Seeley said: "Job done. It was tough at the beginning of the race, as I had little grip. I bided my time and the grip came back and I just chipped away. We are making good progress with the front end of the machine and we'll take that progress forward into the rest of the season."

Keith Farmer, who had won Saturday's sprint race by three quarters of a second from Seeley, Joe Francis and Kennedy, was in the lead of the feature race yesterday dicing with Seeley, Irwin and Kennedy when he unceremoniously slid to earth and out of the race on lap 11 of 15, going for his fourth race win in a row.

In championship terms, Tarran Mackenzie, now out of the class racing in Moto2, still leads the way on 150 points five clear of Farmer and David Allingham, who left Snetterton with two sixth positions after getting nudged into the long grass at Turn 1 yesterday, fighting back from last position to finish sixth.

Carrick rider Irwin, who retired in the sprint race is well in contention on 140 point after his victory with Kennedy fifth on 120.

Shayne Byrne was a BSB double winner yesterday with Josh Brookes second in both races.

Michael Laverty, suffering continual front wheel chatter on the McAms Yamaha, finished 12th while Tyco BMW debutants Josh Elliott and Andy Reid were 15th and 17th in race one while in race two Laverty was inside the top 10 when he went grass-tracking, slipping back to finish 15th three places clear of Reid with Elliott forced to retire.

In the Superstock 1000cc race, Carl Phillips finished in 11th position, while in the Motostar race Richard Kerr was sixth while Scott Swann was ninth of the standard class runners and Sam Laffins best of the local runners in the KTM Junior Cup with fifth and sixth place finishes.

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