Glenn Irwin is the new leader of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship following a magnificent weekend at Knockhill in Scotland.
The Gearlink Kawasaki rider produced a brilliant ride to win Saturday’s Sprint race before finishing on the rostrum again in third place on Sunday to lead the title chase by a single point from Kyle Ryde.
Irwin’s win on Saturday was his second consecutive victory after the 25-year-old earned his first triumph of the season at Snetterton in the previous round.
He held off a late challenge from Profile Triumph’s Luke Stapleford to clinch a deserved success on the ZX6-R after earlier seeing off Ryde.
The delighted Carrick rider said afterwards: “I thought after Snetterton we were back but I didn’t want to say too much.
“Chris Taylor from K-Tech was in the garage about 20 minutes before the race and we made a change to the bike and it worked perfect,” he added.
“We’ve got last year’s confidence back now and I always say that’s dangerous for the other lads, although I don’t want to sound cocky because there are four or five guys who can easily find that level here.”
Ryde finished in third place, while Portadown’s Marshall Neill was 11th on the Evo-spec In Competition Yamaha and fellow Northern Ireland man David Allingham 16th.
On Sunday, Irwin had shot into the lead but his advantage at the front was slashed when the Safety Car came out after his team-mate, Ben Wilson, crashed out for the second race in succession.
Ryde took full advantage to snatch the lead on the re-start and although Irwin and Jake Dixon challenged in the closing stages, Ryde held on for a narrow win as 0.7 seconds covered the top three.
Carrick man Irwin now leads the championship by a single point from Ryde, with Stapleford – who finished fourth in Sunday’s race – three points off the top in third.
Neill finished ninth and Allingham came home in 15th position.
There was disappointment for Andy Reid, who opted to sit out both races as he continues to recover from a fractured bone in his heel, which the 21-year-old Team Traction Control rider sustained after a crash at Snetterton.
Meanwhile, Josh Elliott extended his lead in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship to 37 points over Hudson Kennaugh after clinching a brilliant victory on the Morello Kawasaki.
Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley had been leading the race until he crashed out on lap four and Elliott never looked back after taking the lead, pulling away to win by six seconds.
Elliott dedicated his victory to Dr John Hinds, who was tragically killed following an accident at the Skerries 100 road races.
“Despite extending my lead in the championship, today is tinged with sadness,” said Elliott.
“And for that reason I would like to dedicate my win to Irish motorcycling’s ‘flying Doctor’, John Hinds, who tragically lost his life this weekend, providing medical cover at the Skerries Road Races. He will be sorely missed.”
In the National Superstock 600 class, Andrew Irwin took an excellent runner-up finish on the MWR Kawasaki behind Tarran Mackenzie, with Carl Phillips finishing 17th on the second of the MWR Kawasaki machines.