Glenn Irwin bagged some solid championship points in the British Supersport class with a strong ride to second place in Sunday’s Sprint race at Oulton Park.
The Gearlink Kawasaki rider was shadowing Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) when the race was stopped on lap nine of ten due to oil on the track.
The Carrick rider, who will make his debut at the North West 200 next week after cutting his road racing teeth at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix, is currently third in the championship with 82 points, 29 behind Stapleford.
Kyle Ryde claimed the final rostrum place ahead of Jordanstown rider Andy Reid in fourth, who had qualified on pole on the Team Traction Control Yamaha.
Irwin, who will be joined at the North West by his Kawasaki team-mate Ben Wilson, said: “I probably didn’t realise how competitive we were but fair play to Gearlink Kawasaki because we’ve made so many changes and tried different parts in around the engine and the bike didn’t lack any speed there, which is the first time it’s been mega,” he added.
“I’d like to have a had a go at Luke [Stapleford] but there are a few places where I can pass him and I’ll try and surprise him tomorrow, but it was nice to pull away from the group in third and fourth and fight for the win. Luke rode a faultless race though.”
Portadown’s Marshall Neill finished 14th on the In Competition Yamaha and fifth in the Evo class.
In the MCE British Superbike Championship, Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes clinched pole for Monday’s opening race with a lap in 1m 34.946 to edge Tommy Bridewell, who was second fastest for Ulster team Tyco BMW (1m 34.960s).
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) and Buildbase BMW’s Ryuichi Kiyonari were the top four, with Michael Laverty making a significant improvement on the second of the Tyco BMWs to slot into eighth place after struggling in free practice on Saturday.
The two BSB races are scheduled to take place at 1.30pm and 4.30pm.
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley bagged pole for the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race on the Tyco BMW by 0.218s from Hudson Kennaugh (Trik Moto BMW), with David Johnson next on the Smiths BMW ahead of championship leader Josh Elliott (Morello Kawasaki).
Seeley is having his final British championship race before the 35-year-old switches his attention to the North West, where a treble would see the 12-time winner match the all-time record set by Robert Dunlop of 15 Triangle victories.
Nico Mawhinney (Seadrift Kawasaki) qualified 24th with David Haire 29th fastest on the Sliders UK Ducati, while Andrew Irwin was fifth fastest in the Superstock 600 class.
In the opening Ducati Tri-Options Cup race, Marty Nutt finished as the runner-up on the Ducati Coventry machine.