BSB: Mixed fortunes for PBM Ducati riders Glenn and Andrew Irwin at Snetterton
Glenn and Andrew Irwin experienced mixed fortunes on Sunday as Snetterton hosted round four of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
Glenn secured a fantastic podium in race one on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati as he took second place after a battle with eventual winner Leon Haslam, who was celebrating his first win at Snetterton.
There was drama in the race on the opening lap when Irwin’s younger brother Andrew, making his BSB debut after being called into the PBM team as a replacement for the injured Shane Byrne, made a mistake on the brakes and crashed, wiping out fellow Northern Ireland rider Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) and Honda Racing duo Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran.
In race two, Carrick star Glenn was forced out of the race after Bradley Ray slid off, with his Bennetts Suzuki machine collecting the unfortunate Ulsterman.
Haslam doubled up in a thrilling finish, which saw him tangle with Aussie Josh Brookes (McAms Yamaha) on the run to the line, with Jake Dixon taking advantage of the collision to snatch second on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki.
Young gun Andrew Irwin made amends for his mistake in the first race by crossing the line in tenth place to earn his first BSB points.
Older brother Glenn, who is fifth in the championship after the first four rounds, said: “Most riders opted for the softer rear tyre in the first race, but Bradley was setting a fast pace, so I felt that I had to go with him although he crashed out, it meant I didn’t quite have as much grip left at the end of the race compared to Leon.
“I tried to respond when he came by but although the Ducati’s good on the tyres, I need to learn how to manage them towards the end of the race although second place was a good way to start the day.
“I learned a lot in the race and in the second race, I felt really comfortable and could see everyone was using more of the tyre than I was. I felt sure our first race win of 2018 would be coming our way but, unfortunately, Bradley made a mistake and we both ended up crashing out,” he added.
“It’s extremely frustrating to be taken out by someone else’s mistake but we’ve proved we were competitive today and the team have done a great job.”
Andrew, who has been competing in the World Supersport Championship this year for the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda team, admitted he had experienced highs and lows on his BSB bow.
“It’s been a contrasting day and what had been a really good weekend got interrupted by the first race crash, which was my mistake and something I immediately apologised for,” he said.
“Tenth place in the second race made up for it and although it was maybe a lucky top ten, you must finish races to score points. I’m really looking forward to Knockhill now and feel that I’m ready to make the next step.”
Michael Laverty finished ninth in race two behind team-mate Christian Iddon.
In the British Supersport class, Dublin’s Jack Kennedy dominated with a double to extend his lead in the championship to 19 points.
Aghadowey’s Eunan McGlinchey won the opening Junior Supersport race and lead the championship by 13 points, while Keith Farmer (Tyco BMW) finished fourth in the Superstock 100 race Alastair Seeley in sixth on the WD40 Kawasaki.
Josh Elliott, who is riding for OMG Suzuki after parting company from Morello Kawasaki, crashed out, as did EHA Aprilia rider Andy Reid.
Knockhill in Scotland hosts the next round from July 6-8.