Farmer and Irwin claim victory apiece as Supersport title battle heats up

Keith Farmer (Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) leads Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) at Snetterton on Sunday.
Keith Farmer (Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) leads Andrew Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) at Snetterton on Sunday.
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Ulster riders Keith Farmer and Andrew Irwin shared the spoils as they celebrated a win apiece in the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Snetterton over the weekend.

Farmer won the Sprint race on Saturday for his third victory in a row on the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha after his double at Knockhill.

Andrew Irwin celebrates on the podium at Snetterton with runner-up Jack Kennedy (left) and Ross Twyman. The result of the race is under investigation.

Andrew Irwin celebrates on the podium at Snetterton with runner-up Jack Kennedy (left) and Ross Twyman. The result of the race is under investigation.

The Clogher Bullet held off Alastair Seeley to take the chequered flag, claiming all 25 points. Carrick rider Seeley does not count in the title race as the 37-year-old is ineligible for championship points on his Quattro Spirit Moto2 machine.

Irwin suffered disappointment as he was forced out with a clutch problem on his ZX-6R. He ventured back out and finished 19th, one lap behind.

Farmer, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, said: “I didn’t have to try too hard and I was just hitting my markers, so it was a nice, relaxed race really.

“It can’t get any better at the minute and the bike was going great. We’ll try and be smart and I’ve got the experience of two back to back titles behind me, so that should help us in the long run.”

However, Farmer’s luck changed for the worse when he crashed out while leading the Feature race on Sunday on the R6.

Irwin took over at the front but Seeley soon found a way past and began to pull a gap.

Behind him, Irwin and Dublin rider Jack Kennedy on the MV Agusta became embroiled in a battle.

Kennedy managed to nose ahead but Irwin retook the lead on the final lap in controversial circumstances by 0.06s, with Kennedy claiming he overtook under a waved yellow flag.

The result has been placed under investigation, with a decision expected by Brands Hatch at the next round (July 21-23).

Irwin said: “The weekend was definitely up and down, we made steps in every session. Unfortunately we had a small problem in race one and it’s something I’ll learn from in the future.

“I started from seventh in race two; I had a plan and stuck to it. The result is under investigation but it's definitely the best feeling ever to win my first Supersport race and I can't thank the Gearlink Kawasaki team and all my sponsors enough.”

Eglinton’s David Allingham, who was pushed off the track at the start of the race, recovered to finish seventh on the EHA Racing Yamaha.

Farmer and Allingham are tied on 145 points in the championship, five points behind Tarran Mackenzie, who left the series to compete in the Moto2 World Championship. Irwin is only five points further behind.

Meanwhile, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne did the double in the MCE British Superbike Championship on the PBM Ducati, with Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran finishing second and third on each occasion.

Tyco BMW riders Josh Elliott and Andy Reid were 15th and 17th in race one, with Reid claiming 18th in race two as Elliott failed to finish. Michael Laverty was 12th and 15th on the McAMS Yamaha.

Carl Phillips was 11th in the Superstock 1000 race while Sam Laffins finished fifth and sixth in the KTM RC Cup races.