Andrew Irwin’s hopes of securing his place in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown suffered a blow on Sunday after he crashed out of race two at Cadwell Park.
The 24-year-old from Carrickfergus tangled with PBM Be Wiser Ducati rider Scott Redding on the second lap, with both men sent sprawling onto the grass.
Former MotoGP star Redding reacted angrily following the incident, squaring up to the young Ulster rider before storming off.
After a review of the crash, Race Direction penalised Irwin with two penalty points as a result of ‘riding which results in avoidable or unfair contact’.
Combined with additional penalty points incurred by the Honda Racing rider, Irwin received an automatic penalty for amassing five in total, which means he will be forced to start from the rear of the grid at the final triple-header round at Oulton Park (September 6-8).
It was a disappointing end to the weekend for Irwin, who moved into the Showdown top six after sealing his first BSB victory and a runner-up finish in fine style in the previous round at Thruxton.
He still remains in sixth position, although Irwin is now only a single point ahead of Smiths Racing BMW rider Peter Hickman, with team-mate Xavi Fores only five points adrift in seventh.
Irwin later issued an apology to Redding and the PBM team on Twitter saying he was ‘so sorry’ for the incident.
He finished ninth in the opening race on Sunday at the Lincolnshire circuit behind older brother Glenn (Tyco BMW).
Danny Buchan won the first race on the FS-3 Kawasaki by one second from Josh Brookes (PBM Be Wiser Ducati), with the consistent Tommy Bridewell in third on the Oxford Racing Ducati.
Redding, Hickman and Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) completed the top six.
In race two, Brookes seized the initiative and came out on top in a battle with Bridewell by less than half-a-second, with race one winner Buchan wrapping up third.
Hickman, fresh from a clean sweep of seven victories at the Ulster Grand Prix and a new 136mph lap record, gained more crucial points for his Showdown aspirations in fifth.
Glenn Irwin continues to improve on the Tyco BMW and earned a solid sixth place for his best result of the 2019 season. The Carrick man parted ways with the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team and is beginning to recapture his confidence as he becomes acquainted with the S1000RR.
The current championship top three of Brookes, Redding and Bridewell are now confirmed for the Showdown.
The remaining three places will be up for grabs at the triple-header round at Oulton Park ahead of the first of three title-deciding Showdown rounds at Assen in The Netherlands (September 20-22).
Fermanagh’s Josh Elliott finished 20th and 16th on the OMG Suzuki at Cadwell. Elliott, who won the very first race of the season at Silverstone, received a 10 second time penalty for jumping the start in race two.
EHA Racing’s David Allingham was 23rd and 18th in the two races on his Yamaha R1.