Solid weekend for Honda Racing rider Andrew Irwin in penultimate British Superbike round at Donington Park

Andrew Irwin on the Honda Racing Fireblade.
Andrew Irwin on the Honda Racing Fireblade.
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Andrew Irwin scored two solid top eight results for Honda Racing at the penultimate round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park on Sunday.

The Carrick rider finished fifth in the opening race and was seventh in race two on the CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Scott Redding won both races at Donington Park to increase his BSB title advantage.

Scott Redding won both races at Donington Park to increase his BSB title advantage.

Irwin, who narrowly missed out on making the Showdown in his first full season in BSB this year, said: “This weekend has been more positive than the past three rounds, we’re leaving Donington with a fifth and seventh and with the weather we’ve had I can’t be too disappointed with that.

“In the wet conditions we led the second free practice and also this morning’s warm up, so I have confidence in those conditions. We missed out on Q3 which was frustrating, but we showed in the races that we have race pace and can hold our own,” he added.

“Going into the last round I hope we can carry the momentum from this round and end the season on a high.”

Scott Redding tightened his grip on the BSB title with a fine double on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati.

Redding, who will step up to the World Superbike Championship in 2020 with the factory Ducati squad, won the first race from Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Ducati) and team-mate Josh Brookes, who was five seconds down at the finish.

Showdown rider Peter Hickman was fourth on the Smiths Racing BMW ahead of Irwin.

Christian Iddon was in contention for the podium in third until a broken foot peg saw him slip back to sixth at the flag on the Tyco BMW.

In race two at the Leicestershire circuit, Redding wrapped up a double, although Brookes kept his team-mate honest as he closed in during the final laps.

At the finish, Redding had 0.5 seconds in hand over Brookes, with Bridewell five seconds further back in third place.

Danny Buchan climbed the order to finish third on the FS-3 Kawasaki ahead of Iddon and Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki).

Irwin finished seventh in race two ahead of his Honda team-mate Xavi Fores.

With one round to go at Brands Hatch (October 18-20), Redding leads Brookes by 28 points, with Bridewell 37 points further in arrears.

David Allingham twice finished 23rd on the EHA Racing Yamaha, but fellow Northern Ireland rider Josh Elliott from Fermanagh was not in action after confirming he has lost his ride with the OMG Suzuki team.

Elliott, the 2015 Superstock 1000 champion, began the season on a high as he secured his maiden BSB victory at Silverstone, but he was unable to reproduce the same kind of form as the season progressed.