Although late race tyre issues put pay to successive series victories, a fourth place finish still paved the way for Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin to increase his British Superbike Championship to 30 points, over Oxford Product Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell.
Prior to tyre problems, four times North West 200 winner Irwin had set a strong pace out front for much of today’s opening Superbike encounter.
Despite dropping back to fourth, the five times International Road Race victor was pretty philosophical post race, content with his increased Championship lead.
For Global Robots BMW’s Peter Hickman, BSB race 1 at Silverstone would yield a solid 14th place finish whilst fellow S1000RR BMW mounted racer, ON1 Racing’s Brian McCormack secured a respectable top 20 finish.
16 times TT winner Ian Hutchinson, is as shown by today’s performance in the 24 lap Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race, steadily starting to hit good form with the Edwards 1902 BMW.
Taking 7th on the results sheet, the always hugely determined Hutchinson outpaced various esteemed opponents including new Bathams Racing signing Dan Linfoot, Rich Energy OMG Racing’s Billy McConnell and reigning IRRC Superbike Champion Davey Todd.
Honda Racing’s Todd despite dropping back at one point to 23rd place, showed true grit, great resolve to battle his way back to 11th.
Craig Neve placed 22nd whilst fellow Mountain Course regulars Rob Hodson, Stephen Smith banked respectable 27th, 28th place finishes.
Lee Johnston’s recent run of fine form continued within this afternoon’s opening British Supersport race.
Down to 6th on lap 1, current Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup Champion Johnston lap by lap was getting closer to the front and by mid race distance he was again in rostrum finishing contention.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Powering past the chequered flag at the end of the 18th and final lap, Johnston had made it three podiums on the bounce, finishing in second behind runaway Championship leader Rory Skinner.
Fellow persistent North West 200 front runner Alastair Seeley, surged to British GP2 class honours plus placed overall a creditable eighth.
York’s Joe Thompson, still gradually getting back to full fitness following a spill at Snetterton, finished overall 17th which in turn made him sixth best GP2 runner.
National Superstock 600 Championship qualifying saw Binch Racing’s Adam McLean, qualify 16th quickest.
McLean who’s racing CV includes Ulster GP, Post TT, Cookstown 100 victories top lap time from qualifying today stood at 58.242 seconds, just over 1.2 seconds down on pole sitter Rhys Irwin’s best timed lap.
Ducati TriOptions Cup:
The first of two Ducati TriOptions Cup races provided engrossing viewing for pure roads aficionados, as Craig Neve and 23 times TT winner John McGuinness battled it out for fifth.
Ultimately after 15 laps it was Immingham’s Neve on his own outfit’s Ducati, that just got the better of TT great McGuinness by only 0.137 of a second.
Neve, McGuinness currently hold positions five and seven within the TriOptions Cup Championship standings, scoring between them thus far a combined total of 97 points.
Words by Stevie Rial