Irwin wins emotional opening race at Oulton Park

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Glenn Irwin won an emotional opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship BikeSocial Sprint race at Oulton Park, withstanding race-long pressure from his teammate and title rival Tommy Bridewell, who made a costly mistake on the final lap which dropped him to fourth place.

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The BeerMonster Ducati teammates arrived at Oulton Park for the Showdown determined to continue the legacy of PBM Team Owner Paul Bird, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

The pair continued their bid for a ninth title for the team by snatching the leading two positions on the opening lap of the BikeSocial Sprint Race ahead of Kyle Ryde, Storm Stacey, Leon Haslam and Lee Jackson.

Stacey crashed out on the opening lap unhurt at Lodge, but Haslam and Jackson had soon moved ahead of Ryde as he shadowed the BeerMonster Ducatis, led by Irwin.

Irwin held the lead until the final lap when Bridewell grabbed the lead at Cascades with the pair side-by-side and nothing between them. Irwin and Jackson were in close contention, with Irwin regaining the lead at Island Bend.

Bridewell remained determined and he was within striking distance of Irwin, but he made a costly mistake into Hislops Chicane for the final time, outbraking himself to run on and he was forced to rejoin in fourth place.

Irwin took the chequered flag to claim an emotional victory for the team, with Jackson just 0.390s adrift and Haslam returning to the podium in Cheshire.

Bridewell’s fourth place means the advantage at the top of the standings was halved, with now just 7.5 points between the teammates. Josh Brookes was fifth as he was able to move ahead of Ryde and Christian Iddon.

Jason O’Halloran was eighth on the McAMS Yamaha with Peter Hickman and Charlie Nesbitt completing the top ten.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, BikeSocial Sprint Race

  1. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
  2. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +0.390s
  3. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +1.085s
  4. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +2.148s
  5. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +5.975s
  6. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +6.215s
  7. Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati) +6.746s
  8. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +10.169s
  9. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +20.237s
  10. Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +20.277s

Race 2 and Race 3

The BeerMonster Ducati team celebrated an emotionally charged treble victory at Oulton Park at an intense opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown meaning that just 0.5 point separates Glenn Irwin and Tommy Bridewell ahead of the penultimate round at Donington Park.

Irwin had kicked off the weekend with a victory in yesterday’s BikeSocial Sprint Race, dedicating the win to Team Owner Paul Bird who sadly passed away earlier this month, as the BeerMonster Ducati teammates fight to secure PBM’s ninth title at Brands Hatch in October.

In a dramatic second race of the weekend, Irwin was awarded the victory after his BeerMonster Ducati teammate was penalised for unsafe conduct under the Safety Car, dropping him to sixth place.

The pair had been duelling during the race, with the pair trading places for the lead. Bridewell held the advantage until Storm Stacey crashed out and the BMW Safety Car was deployed.

On the restart, Bridewell concertinaed the pack, forcing several riders to take evasive action to avoid crashing and he was issued a long lap penalty for unsafe conduct under the Safety Car.

Bridewell crossed the line just ahead of Irwin, but his time penalty dropped him to sixth place in the final result. The penalty promoted Lee Jackson into second place as he claimed his second podium finish of the weekend just ahead of Kyle Ryde on the LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha.

In race three, Bridewell fought to claim the final race win of the weekend, holding off Irwin who claimed second place ahead of Jackson. Irwin’s strong performance has seen him surge ahead in the standings, having overhauled Bridewell’s 14.5-point advantage before the Showdown with six races now remaining to decide the 2023 champion.

The Oulton Park weekend featured five different riders on the podium representing four different manufacturers, with Irwin and Bridewell sharing the podium with Jackson, Ryde and Leon Haslam across the three races.

As the Championship reaches the penultimate round, the top nine riders in the standings remain in mathematical contention, with a maximum of 180 points available from the final two rounds. However, the top six currently remain within the 105 point target which is required if they are to remain in title contention for the final round of the season at Brands Hatch next month.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race 2 result:

  1. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati)
  2. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +1.823s
  3. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +2.056s
  4. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +2.518s
  5. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +2.584s
  6. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +2.954s
  7. Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati) +3.788s
  8. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +4.104s
  9. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +5.020s
  10. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +6.858s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race 3 result:

  1. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati)
  2. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) +1.147s
  3. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +2.107s
  4. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +5.375s
  5. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) +7.655s
  6. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +8.182s
  7. Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati) +11.099s
  8. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +11.110s
  9. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +14.214s
  10. Storm Stacey (Starline Racing Kawasaki) +18.447s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:

  1. Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 360.5
  2. Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) 360
  3. Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 300
  4. Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) 283
  5. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) 280.5
  6. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 276.5
  7. Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad) 250
  8. Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Ducati) 222
  9. Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 207
  10. Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) 122.5

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