British Supersport: Irwin leads series after Knockhill

Carrick rider, and former Larne Grammar pupil, Glenn Irwin leads the British Supersport Championship after Knockhill. INLT 28-919-CON
Carrick rider, and former Larne Grammar pupil, Glenn Irwin leads the British Supersport Championship after Knockhill. INLT 28-919-CON
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Gearlink Kawasaki’s Glenn Irwin leads the way in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship after he won the sprint race at Knockhill on Saturday and followed it up with third in Sunday’s feature race.

The Carrick rider tops the championship series by a point from Kyle Ryde.

“We had been quick in free practice and I knew where we were losing a bit of time,” said the former Larne Grammar pupil after winning the sprint race. “We made a change for the race and then the bike was just perfect and now I have got last year’s confidence back.”

In the feature race Irwin had set the initial pace, holding off the Profile Triumph of Luke Stapleford with Kyle Ryde and Jake Dixon in close contention, but the turning point came with the intervention of the Safety Car after Ben Wilson crashed out of contention.

Ryde was ready as the Safety Car pulled in upped the pace when it mattered most to take Irwin by surprise and charge his PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha into the lead.

Irwin tried to stay with him but, in the end, couldn’t match the winner’s pace. Ryde took his second victory of the campaign to move within a single point of Motorpoint British Supersport Championship leader Irwin who dropped back to third in the feature race under late pressure from Jake Dixon.

Added Irwin: “We are only five rounds into the title race so I’m not thinking about the championship yet. I’m riding good at the minute and since we changed the forks in the Gearlink Kawasaki it is like day and night.

“I thought I was going to win that one today but a couple of mistakes cost me on the closing lap. But fair play to the other guys it was a great race.”

Round six of the championship takes place at Brands Hatch from July 18-19.

Championship positions (after five rounds): 1 Glenn Irwin 172 pts; 2 Kyle Ryde 171; 3 Luke Stapleford 169; 4 Jake Dixon 130; 5 Joe Collier 83; 6 Danny Webb 74; 7 James Rispoli 74; 8 Andrew Reid 67.