BSB: Rookie Andrew Irwin impresses in wet at Oulton Park
Bennetts British Superbike rookie Andrew Irwin claimed his best result to date with an excellent ride to fourth place in tricky conditions in race one at Oulton Park on Sunday.
The 23-year-old, who was brought into the team alongside his older brother Glenn after Shane Byrne was ruled out for the season through injury, fended off Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty in the wet as he finished just outside the rostrum places, 1.8 seconds back on Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) in third.
Jake Dixon – who did the double on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki – was 6.1 seconds ahead of Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati).
Showdown contender Glenn faced an uphill struggle after he was forced to start from the back of the grid after he encountered a problem with his PBM Ducati seconds before the start, forcing a delay. The 28-year-old fought his way through to finish 12th.
Series rookie Andrew, who was ninth in race two, said: “Race one was really good and although I had a few moments, they came when I was a little bit eager and trying to make up the ground a little bit too soon.
“Had it not been for that it could well have been a podium although I was still more than happy with fourth at this stage of my BSB career. “Unfortunately, I made a bad start in race two and rode tense for the first dozen laps but after that things started to flow again and ninth ensured I’d finished both races inside the top ten, which is always my aim.”
Glenn, who started race two from 14th place, rallied to claim sixth at the finish as he remains third in the championship standings with two rounds to go.
He said: “Unfortunately, the bike stalled at the beginning of race one and I had to start at the back of the grid.
“Although I’m normally good in the damp conditions, I didn’t carry the confidence I’d gained in practice into the race, so it was a long 16 laps.
“It was a bit of a blip but in race two I fought as hard as I could and once I got going, my pace was similar to the leaders. Coming from 14th on the grid to sixth place was good and the bike felt strong and the team have worked really hard all weekend, like always, so a big thanks to them.”
Dixon won again by 1.1 seconds from Haslam, with Bridewell third ahead of Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha), who edged out Irwin for fourth. Michael Laverty was a faller on the Tyco BMW.
Meanwhile, Clogher’s Keith Farmer opened a gap of 10.5 points over Billy McConnell in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship as he won Sunday's race on the Tyco BMW.
Farmer took second place in Saturday’s race behind McConnell as he continues his push for a fourth British crown.
Fermanagh’s Josh Elliott was fifth on Saturday but had a DNF in race two on the OMG Suzuki.
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley won the Dickies British Supersport Sprint race on the EHA Racing Yamaha after a battle with Jack Kennedy (Integro Yamaha) on Saturday.
Seeley finished on the podium again in third place in the damp behind Feature race winner Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki), with Kennedy filling the runner-up spot. David Allingham was eighth and 10th (EHA Racing Yamaha).
In the Junior Supersport class, young prospect Eunan McGlinchey put one hand on the title after winning the first race and finishing third in race two on the Team 109 Kawasaki.
Scott Swann did the double in the British Motostar standard class on the Swann Racing Honda NSF, twice finishing ninth overall.