| 7.1°C Belfast

Glenn Irwin toasts 'perfect weekend' after extending British Superbike lead



Top man: Glenn Irwin celebrates his victory yesterday

Top man: Glenn Irwin celebrates his victory yesterday

Glenn Irwin leading the way

Glenn Irwin leading the way

Double Red

Top man: Glenn Irwin celebrates his victory yesterday

Carrick's Glenn Irwin extended his British Superbike championship lead after a superb weekend at Snetterton, topping his weekend off with victory in the third and final race, after a fourth and second, to take a 23-point lead over Tommy Bridewell into the third round at Silverstone.

Irwin's consistency on his Honda Racing Fireblade also saw him collect the prestigious Race of Aces trophy as top overall rider of the Superbike races and voted Eurosport viewers' Rider of the Day.

Irwin said: "It was a perfect weekend for me. To be honest I didn't think I would beat the Ducatis after their 1-2-3 in the first race on Saturday, but the new Fireblade is an amazing machine and the team chipped away all weekend and it was the perfect ending. Yes, we are leading the championship, but we won't get carried away just yet."

Christian Iddon claimed his maiden BSB win in the Saturday race with Irwin fourth,1.47seconds behind the Vision Track Ducati.

Glenn's brother Andrew Irwin, starting from the back row following his Donington penalty from the last round, never made it through the opening lap, crashing out after another rider came across him with his Honda cartwheeling and sustaining a lot of damage, although he was uninjured.

His weekend went from bad to worse in race two yesterday when, again coming from the back row to challenge Ryan Vickers for eighth position after a terrific ride, Andrew rode slightly across Vickers' line after a brilliant pass but both touched and crashed out.

The stewards handed Andrew a three-grid position penalty for the final race and he had two of his suspended points invoked onto his licence.

Glenn, however, rode a confident race tailing Josh Brookes for the ma-jority of the 16 laps but on the final lap a slight mistake at the Esses al-lowed Brookes to take a half second win from the Honda man.

The final 16 laps yesterday saw a hectic seven rider battle at the front before Glenn took the lead on lap 10 and calmly edged away from his rivals as they tripped over each other attempting to catch the Carrickfer-gus rider, who was taking his first BSB win since October 2018.

Andrew kept both wheels on the tarmac this time to take a steady eighth position.

Fermanagh's Lee Johnston had a terrific weekend with two third place finishes in the Supersport events despite suffering arm-pump in both races - he actually goes into hospital tomorrow for a relieving operation on his forearm.

In contention for the race win yesterday, Halifax based Johnston hit a false neutral on his Ashcourt Yamaha and had to take the slip road at the end of the back straight, ending his challenge to double race winner Rory Skinner.

Johnston said: "I was definitely up for a last lap challenge on Rory, but when I ran straight on with a lap to go that ended that. I'm happy with two thirds over the weekend - not bad for an old road racer!"

Another Carrick rider, Alastair Seeley, was top GP2 machine in race one, but was disqualified for a minor technical infringement (as was his team mate) and yesterday from the back row of the grid he finished fourth GP2 bike home.

Korie McGreevy from Ballynahinch finished a superb fourth in yester-day's Supersport race with Ross Patterson eighth. In race one McGreevy was seventh and Patterson ninth.

Simon Reid and Adam McLean finished sixth and seventh in the Super-stock 600cc class with Sam Laffins and Eugene McManus 11th and 12th respectively.

√Portugal's Miguel Oliveira took a shock maiden MotoGP victory on his KTM in a red-flagged Styrian Grand Prix in Austria after Jack Miller and Pol Espargaro ran wide at the final turn.

The red flag came on lap 17 after Maverick Vinales suffered a frightening crash at Turn 1.

Having seemed to be battling brake issues all race, Vinales was forced to jump off his Yamaha at 130mph when it wouldn't slow, with the bike bursting into flames as it hit the air fence.

"Suddenly the brake exploded, it's something I never had during all my MotoGP career," said Vitales.


Belfast Telegraph