Glenn Irwin became the seventh different race winner in the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, scoring victory in a dramatic BikeSocial race at Silverstone, as the McAMS Yamaha teammates crashed out of the two leading positions.
The race began with Tarran Mackenzie hitting the front of the pack after a rapid start from the front row. However as the pack streamed across the line for the first time, Tommy Bridewell had claimed the advantage on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
On the second lap the drama began; Peter Hickman had a high-speed crash at Becketts, but the FHO Racing BMW rider had his Title Fighter position confirmed in the Showdown, having a 70-point advantage over ninth place in the standings ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
The battle for the Title Fighter positions continued to rage throughout the pack. On the same lap, Danny Buchan went for a move on the inside of Ryan Vickers at Woodcote and they collided sending them both crashing out of the action. There was heartbreak for Lee Jackson too as a technical issues forced him to retire his FS-3 Racing Kawasaki; the three riders remain in a position to secure one of the final three places tomorrow.
As Keith Farmer and Takumi Takahashi crashed out, the BMW Safety Car was deployed on lap four. The pack formed up with Bridewell leading Jason O’Halloran, Gino Rea, Glenn Irwin and Andrew Irwin plus Christian Iddon. Mackenzie meanwhile had dropped to seventh ahead of Josh Brookes after the opening laps.
When the race resumed on lap seven, O’Halloran was instantly attacking; making a move at Copse to snatch the lead from Bridewell. The Oxford Products Racing Ducati rider responded instantly to regain the position at the front of the field, as Glenn Irwin moved into third.
Mackenzie was making up ground though, he was up to second by lap 21 and the McAMS Yamaha rider was pushing for a repeat of his Snetterton victories.
However on the penultimate lap, Mackenzie had taken the lead and was defending hard from his teammate when he high-sided at Brooklands, collecting O’Halloran and bringing out the red flag.
Mackenzie sustained a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand and will not take part in the races tomorrow, whilst O’Halloran will be reviewed by the BSB Medical Team ahead of warm up tomorrow.
That awarded the win to Glenn Irwin, who had been holding third ahead of Iddon before the incident, as the VisionTrack Ducati rider returned to the podium for the first time since Thruxton. Bridewell completed the podium, adding to his Podium Points.
A fourth place for Brookes means he now holds ninth in the standings, just six points adrift of Bradley Ray who now holds the last place in the top eight ahead of tomorrow’s two races following his fifth place finish.
Gino Rea claimed sixth place, but both him and Andrew Irwin are now out of the running for the final Title Fighter positions. Rory Skinner, Kyle Ryde, Xavi Forés and Luke Stapleford completed the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, BikeSocial Race 1 result:
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing)
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.229s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 1.038s
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.272s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +1.810s
- Gino Rea (Buildbase Suzuki) +2.906s
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +4.699s
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +5.481s
- Xavi Forés (FHO Racing BMW) +5.742s
- Luke Stapleford (Buildbase Suzuki) +8.501s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Silverstone BikeSocial Race 1:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 399
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 293
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 277
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 259
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 224
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 186
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 174
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) 160
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 154
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 154
- Rory Skinner (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 136
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) 136
Glenn Irwin – Honda Racing
Silverstone BikeSocial Race 1 winner
“It was a chaotic race, but I wanted to be one of those not making lunges at the beginning. I had to play it quite safe as I know the place in the Showdown is what we need this weekend.
“I saw with about eight laps to go Jason was starting to push and I did feel okay. But we also have a bad sector, which is sector three – Brooklands. I lose a little bit of traction front and rear and I start to understeer a lot, so we’ll sit down and look and see if that’s something we can improve for tomorrow.
“But a win – what a way to kick-start this Showdown decider weekend. There is pressure; we put ourselves under the maximum, but I like that because I think that’s when I perform and I’m really happy with today.
“When the bike’s good like it is this weekend, I’m up to fight for the wins and podiums. I’ll be trying my best again tomorrow, I think now we can go really get stuck in. To lose a 32 point buffer in two races would be silly, so let’s go get stuck in!”
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