Northern Ireland’s Glenn Irwin and Josh Elliot twere victorious on Sunday on a dramatic day at the fourth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk.
Gearlink Kawasaki rider Irwin took full advantage when Profile Triumph’s Luke Stapleford collided with Kyle Ryde as the pair disputed the lead on the final lap in the Motorpoint British Supersport feature race, picking up the pieces after both crashed out to clinch his first victory of the 2015 season.
The Carrick rider is now only five points behind Stapleford after moving into second position in the championship.
Irwin, who produced a battling performance to take fifth in the Sprint race on Saturday after being forced to start from the back of the grid, dedicated his win to Jamie Hamilton and Stephen Thompson, who were injured in crashes at the Isle of Man TT and North West 200 respectively.
“It’s been a crazy weekend and a crazy year,” Irwin said.
“We’ve nabbed a podium at every race and I think sometimes that people don’t realise the problems we’ve been having.
“I took a gamble and the bike was a lot better.
“Three laps from the end I felt that I was going to win the race – I just got a feeling and today was meant to be a win.
“I want to dedicate this win to the recovery of Jamie Hamilton and Stephen Thompson who had bad crashes at the TT and North West 200.”
Behind Irwin, James Rispoli took second place on the Team Traction Control Yamaha although his team-mate, Jordanstown’s Andy Reid, crashed out in the opening stages of the race while holding sixth.
It was a major disappointment for the 21-year-old, who rode superbly to clinch a fine third place in the Sprint race.
Portadown’s Marshall Neill was also a faller yesterday on the final lap after taking eighth in Saturday’s race, which was won by Stapleford from teenage prospect Ryde.
Meanwhile, Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott extended his lead in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race with a stunning triumph on the Morello Kawasaki.
Elliott and Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley went head to head throughout the 14-lap race but it was the championship leader who prevailed, making a pass at the final corner on the last lap to deny Seeley by 0.075 seconds in a thrilling scrap.
Elliott now has an advantage of 12 points over Hudson Kennaugh, who finished third yesterday, with Carrick man Seeley a further 10 points in arrears in the championship standings after five rounds.
In the MCE British Superbike class, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne dominated on the PBM Kawasaki to wrap up a double, with Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes twice finishing in the runner-up spot.
Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty retired from the first race with a technical issue while holding fifth but bounced back to take fourth in race two.
His team-mate, Tommy Bridewell, finished fourth in the opener and fifth in the second race.
In the National Superstock 600 class, Andrew Irwin claimed fourth with his MWR Kawasaki team-mate Carl Phillips in ninth.