Jordanstown’s Andy Reid put an injury-blighted couple of seasons behind him as he bounced back with a debut victory in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race at Donington Park.
Cold and wet weather on Easter Monday caused racing to be delayed as the organisers announced a number of updates to the schedule, but the action finally received the green light as the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship continued.
Reid became the first winner of a British championship race for Aprilia in 23 years as he claimed a dominant triumph on the EHA Racing colours in difficult wet conditions.
The last winner for the Italian marque was ironically the team’s crew chief, Ian Newton, in the 250cc class in 1995.
Reid, who broke his femur during the second part of the season last year, made amends in terrific style after crashing out in Sunday’s Superstock 1000 race.
He took victory by 2.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Joe Collier, with Clogher’s Keith Farmer completing the top three on the Tyco BMW.
A delighted Reid said: “I felt I didn’t do a whole lot wrong yesterday when holding a very comfortable third place, so after slipping off I was determined today to make this count.
“I watched my boards and felt more than comfortable throughout and although I knew Joe was coming – and he did a great job – I was confident I could go on for the win for EHA Racing. It feels good to be back on a top step.
“Big thanks to the whole EHA Racing team and especially my side of the garage, as I’d two slip offs this weekend and gave them plenty of work to do,” he added.
“Brands can’t come quick enough now, but a big shout out to all the team sponsors and those who support me personally. I’ve a feeling this is going to be a good year for all involved.”
Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW), Billy McConnell (Buildbase Suzuki) and Josh Elliott (Morello Kawasaki) rounded out the top six.
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley finished in 13th place on the WD40/ STAUFF Quick Connect Academy Kawasaki.
In the headline Bennetts British Superbike class, young prospect Bradley Ray wrapped up a dream double with a sublime performance on the Buildbase Suzuki on a drying track.
Ray was in a class of his own as he followed up Sunday’s victory with another impressive win on the GSX-R1000, taking his second career BSB success by 3.4 seconds from JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam.
Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot was third ahead of Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) and reigning champion Shane Byrne on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati.
Northern Ireland’s Glenn Irwin, sixth in Sunday’s race, finished seventh in race two, only seven thousandths of a second behind Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon as they flashed over the line.
Michael Laverty was 10th on the second of the Tyco BMW machines.
Gearlink Kawasaki’s Ben Currie doubled up with another win in the Supersport class from Dubliner Jack Kennedy, with David Allingham fifth on the EHA Yamaha.
Eunan McGlinchey from Aghadowey was narrowly denied a double in the Junior Supersport category as he lost out by only 0.99 seconds to Kade Verwey.
Monday’s poor weather in Northern Ireland forced the cancellation of the Belfast & District Club’s traditional Easter Monday short circuit meeting at Kirkistown in Co Down.