Crashes fail to put a damper on Irwin’s British Superbike breakthrough
What an incredible weekend of racing at Silverstone in mixed weather conditions with Glenn Irwin winning his first ever British Superbike race, followed by two crashes yesterday, and Keith Farmer taking a double in Supersport making it four wins on the trot and his ninth of the season to consolidate his championship lead.
Michael Laverty took his first podium of a difficult season, while Tyco BMW suffered a nightmare as Christian Iddon crashed out of a showdown position in Superbike and Andy Reid crashed heavily in the second race of three and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken left femur.
Josh Elliott provided consolation as he took second position in a brilliant Superstock 1000cc race on the Moneymore outfit’s machine.
Irwin revelled in half wet, half dry conditions on Saturday, opting for wet tyres, taking the lead on lap seven and at the chequered flag his PBM Be Wiser Ducati was over three seconds clear of Josh Brookes.
Irwin said of his weekend: “I always believed I could win a BSB race this season, but to finally win one was a mega feeling. Sunday brought me back to earth, two crashes. I made a mistake in race one, then in race two it was a complete lottery. I was down before I knew it or had a chance to save it.”
Race two yesterday saw Brookes awarded the win after just eight laps following Reid’s nasty crash at Stowe and then, with the pace car controlling things, the red flag came out after a machine blew in a cloud of smoke. Earlier Irwin had slid off at the same bend uninjured.
The final Superbike race with Showdown places at stake was run in very wet conditions and saw only seven finishers with many crashes including Irwin, Iddon, Brookes, Byrne, Mossey, Hickman, Hopkins and O’Halloran before the race was stopped; the victory going to Dan Linfoot, his first BSB win, from a strong ride by Laverty and Jake Dixon.
The only riders who can now win the BSB title are Byrne, Haslam, Brookes, O’Halloran, Hickman and Jake Dixon.
Clogher’s Farmer was made to fight for his two Supersport wins, the first coming on Saturday when at one stage he and Andrew Irwin clashed fairings before he took the race win, saying afterwards: “That was totally my fault. Andrew came up the inside of me into a tight right and I went back under him into the next tight left. As I turned in, his bike was there and I had nowhere to go but into the side of him and luckily we both stayed on.”
In difficult greasy conditions yesterday, Ben Currie had what looked like an unassailable lead as Irwin, Farmer and Jack Kennedy scrapped for second.
Irwin dropped back in the closing stages, as Farmer and Kennedy closed dramatically on Currie, who crashed out going onto the final lap and then in the last half lap Kennedy forced past Farmer into the lead only to fall foul of the conditions and spin out, handing victory to the McAdam Appleyard Yamaha and a 103 point lead in the championship.
Farmer admitted he was lucky to bring it home in first saying: “When Jack came past on the last lap I said to myself to just let him go, but he was a bit early on the throttle and spun out gifting me a handsome lead in the championship.”
Eugene McManus and Richard Kerr finished fourth and fifth in the Motostar race yesterday while Dundrod’s Robert Kennedy finished just off the podium in fourth position in the Superstock 600 event.