Irwin grabs glory after rival's late crash
In a dramatic day of racing during the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton yesterday, local riders Josh Elliott and Glenn Irwin snatched victories in the Superstock 1000 and Supersport races.
Ballinamallard rider Elliott and Tyco BMW's Alastair Seeley battled tooth and nail throughout the 14-lap race both taking turns at the front as they pulled well clear of the rest of the field.
On the last lap Seeley led, but the Morello Kawasaki of Elliott found enough of a gap to retake the lead and secure victory by 0.075sec ahead of Seeley to extend his championship lead to 12 points over yesterday's third place finisher Hudson Kennaugh with Seeley a further 10 points back in third.
Irwin meanwhile was gifted his first win of the season in a thrilling Supersport race when second placed Luke Stapelford took out race leader Kyle Ryde at the hairpin on the last lap and as they slid out of contention Irwin found himself in the race lead taking the chequered flag well clear of James Rispoli and Irwin's Gearlink Kawasaki team mate Luke Hedger.
Irwin moves into second place in the championship, five points behind series leader Ryde.
Newtownabbey rider Andy Reid, who finished a superb third in the sprint race, crashed out of contention yesterday on lap four of 15, while Marshall Neill also crashed out on the final lap in the Cup class, which he won in Saturday's race.
A stunned Irwin said: "What a crazy weekend. I saw that Luke was closing on Kyle three laps from the end and I thought, you never know something might happen and I could win this."
Irwin's younger brother Andrew finished a creditable fifth in the Superstock 600cc race.
Michael Laverty suffered a non-finish in the first BSB race when his Tyco BMW suffered a technical issue while team mate Tommy Bridewell finished in fourth position.
Laverty's luck changed in race two when he raced to an excellent fourth position with Bridewell fifth - both races comprehensively won by multi-champion Shayne Byrne. During race two Taylor Mackenzie's machine dramatically burst into flames and the young Scot was forced to leap off, fortunately without injury.
William Dunlop (CD/IC Yamaha) meanwhile romped to a Supersport victory during Kells Road Races yesterday, however when it came to the big bikes it was Alan Bonner who raced to his first Open and Grand Final double with split-second victories.
Ryan Farquhar scored two runner-up finishes yesterday during the Barry Sheene combined classic and modern machine meeting at Scarborough in which Dean Harrison and Ivan Lintin were amongst the winners.