Glenn Irwin claimed some coveted podium points as the Carrick rider produced a battling ride to finish a close second in the opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Silverstone on Saturday.
The PBM Be Wiser Ducati rider, who qualified third on the front row, was narrowly edged out on the final lap by championship leader Leon Haslam, who took the win on his JG Speedfit Kawasaki by just 0.171 seconds.
Young gun Tarran Mackenzie finished third ahead of his McAMS Yamaha team-mate Josh Brookes as only one second covered the top four in a thrilling race at the 1.6-mile National circuit.
Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) and Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) were the top six.
The lead changed hands at a furious pace on the final laps with Irwin holding sway on the penultimate lap after Haslam had made an attempted pass into Brooklands.
On the final lap, Haslam made his move stick into Brooklands and had enough in reserve on his Kawasaki to close out the victory from the Ulsterman, who remains in third place in the championship. Irwin has now secured his place in the six-rider Showdown.
Rookie Andrew Irwin finished 11th on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati, while Michael Laverty was 14th on the Tyco BMW ahead of team-mate Christian Iddon, who was struggling on the S1000RR after injuring himself in a crash during qualifying.
Silverstone is hosting a triple-header weekend prior to the onset of the Showdown, which commences next weekend at Oulton Park.
Earlier, Fermanagh’s Josh Elliott won the first part of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race on the OMG Suzuki from Alex Olsen, with Tyco BMW’s Keith Farmer in third. In the second race, Elliott finished as the runner-up behind Olsen, with Clogher man Farmer slipping to ninth.