Gearlink Kawasaki’s Glenn Irwin claimed his first British Supersport victory since July with a hard-fought win in the feature race at Silverstone.
Irwin, who finished third in Saturday’s Sprint race behind new champion Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) and American rider James Rispoli on the Team Traction Control Yamaha, had to dig deep to get the better of Rispoli on the ZX-6R.
The Carrick man slotted into second place at the end of lap one behind Rispoli with early leader Stapleford demoted to third.
Drama struck as Stapleford was forced to pull out of the race with machine trouble on the second lap.
The Safety Car was sent out on lap two after two riders tangled and the group bunched up ahead of the restart, with Irwin squeezing head on the Kawasaki but only just from Rispoli as Jake Dixon came off the Smiths Triumph at Brooklands.
Rispoli took his turn at the front from Irwin with Sam Hornsey also in the mix ahead of Ben Wilson on the second Gearlink Kawasaki and Joe Francis, who has replaced the injured Andy Reid on the TTC Yamaha.
Irwin, though, refused to go down without a fight and although he was back in front again before the final lap, the lead changed hands again as Rispoli attempted to make decisive move.
However, Irwin hit back and held on to win by less than half a second with Hornsey finishing third on the Profile Triumph ahead of Wilson and Kyle Ryde.
Marshall Neill finished 11th and 10th in the two races with David Allingham 17th and 16th.
Meanwhile, Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty clinched a runner-up finish in the second MCE British Superbike race.
Laverty – sixth in race one – crossed the line 3.5 seconds behind Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes, who put one hand on the title as he bagged another double to continue his complete domination of the Showdown.
“I was the only one who chose the hard rear tyre but we had that strategy right from Friday,” said Laverty.
“We maybe don’t set the fastest lap times but it allowed us to be strong at the end of the race. The boys made some clever changes for race two and even with the hard tyre I hung in there and fought. It’s nice to get second place,” he added.
“We’ve had a strong weekend and got to put the Tyco BMW on the rostrum. I’m getting more and more comfortable on the S1000RR and now that I’m getting my teeth into it, we might just have a little bit more to show at Brands Hatch.”
Brookes won race one by 0.6 seconds from Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) with Peter Hickman third on the RAF Reserves BMW.
Behind Brookes and Laverty in race two, Honda’s Dan Linfoot finished third from Christian Iddon (Halsall Suzuki), with Byrne losing more ground in the title race in fifth.
In the Superstock 600 race, Andrew Irwin finished sixth.