Alastair Seeley finished a close second in Saturday’s opening Dickies British Supersport Sprint race at Silverstone.
The EHA Racing Yamaha rider was edged out by reigning champion Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) in a thrilling opener to the new season.
On a nip and tuck final lap, Seeley was forced to take to the grass after running out of room, losing vital momentum as he chased after the Dublin rider.
The former British Supersport champion was unable to bridge the gap and Kennedy won by only 0.194s at the finish, with Brad Jones (Integro Yamaha) completing the top three.
Lee Johnston was an eye-catching fourth on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha on his return to the championship.
Meanwhile, Josh Elliott was the leading Northern Ireland rider in qualifying for Sunday’s Bennetts British Superbike races.
Elliott was fourth fastest on the OMG Suzuki behind pole man Tarran Mackenzie and his McAMS Yamaha team-mate Jason O’Halloran, and Scott Redding (BM Be Wiser Ducati).
Carrick’s Andrew Irwin was 10th fastest on the Honda Racing Fireblade ahead of his brother Glenn in 15th (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki).
David Allingham qualified 17th on the EHA Racing Yamaha, while Clogher rider Keith Farmer will start from 26th on the Tyco BMW after being hit with a six-place grid penalty following a collision with Tommy Bridewell in free practice on Friday.