Delighted Michael Laverty is looking up after Superbike triumph at Thruxton
Toomebridge's Michael Laverty moved back into the British Superbike Championship's top-six showdown after taking a win and a second place at Thruxton, the fastest circuit on the calendar.
And the local success continued as Carrickfergus ace Glenn Irwin scored his first ever podium position in the class with a scintillating ride to finish third in race two on the Be Wiser PBM Ducati and Andy Reid from Newtownabbey was a double Supersport winner.
In the opening stages of the 12-lap restart of BSB race one, Tyco BMW ace Laverty mixed it with Shane Byrne, who had dominated qualifying, before the Be Wiser Ducati nudged ahead and pulled clear of the Ulsterman, who finished three seconds behind the eventual winner.
Byrne also looked like dominating the 18-lap second race, but on lap three his gear change lever broke and he was forced to retire. That left Laverty out in front, but Jason O'Halloran and Leon Haslam were breathing down his neck.
Crucially, Laverty had conserved his tyres and clinched victory with a three-second gap over O'Halloran.
Irwin, meanwhile, had also managed his tyres well and picked off Haslam, Dan Linfoot, Peter Hickman, Luke Mossey and James Ellison to finish third.
A delighted Laverty said: "To get back inside the top six in the Championship is just what we needed. Tyre life was crucial and the team worked and worked all weekend to give me the chance of podiums. I held off in race two until the final stages before putting the hammer down to stand on the top step for the first time since the opening race of the season at Silverstone."
An emotional Irwin, who recently became a father for the first time, said: "The team did a great job. We made a change in qualifying, but went the wrong way and wobbled round in 11th in the first race. In race two we retrieved things by taking our time and upping the pace in the closing stages. It worked a treat and I have many people to thank for getting me to this podium."
Reid also had a brilliant weekend, taking victories in the Supersport sprint and feature races to bounce back into Championship contention just one point behind leader Tarren Mackenzie.
The 22-year-old Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider said: "My tyres were opened up like a Superbike and it is testament to the team for working so hard to get us here. It was four years ago today that my father went upstairs and I'm stoked to have got this double in his memory."
A breathtaking Superstock 1000cc race saw Keith Farmer (Quay Garage Honda) and Julian Elliott (Tyco BMW) finish second and third behind Mackenzie with TT winner Ian Hutchinson (Tyco BMW) fourth.
Lisburn rider Carl Phillips (Sandown Kawasaki) finished 11th in the Superstock 600cc race, but the Lisburn rider still holds a 28-point lead in the Championship over yesterday's race winner Jordan Weaving.
In the Motostar race, Donegal's Richard Kerr and Randalstown's Eugene McManus finished fifth and sixth respectively.