Just one day after his brother, Ducati racer Glenn Irwin won the international North-West 200 Superbike road race, Graeme Irwin gave the family another reason to celebrate as he took a double win in the British championship at Hawkstone Park to take the red plate in the MX1 class.
Irwin didn’t get a great start in the opener, initially led by Elliott Banks-Browne until red plate holder Steven Lenoir took to the front. But Honda man Irwin got by with a handful of laps remaining to take the win. Second time out Irwin had a great start and quickly established a safe lead as he took the flag and with it, the championship lead by four points. Kawasaki man Lenoir also took second place in the second moto. His pair of second places meant he lost six points to Irwin, enough to lose the series lead.
Hard man Harri Kullas, riding both MX2 and MX1 classes for the MVR-D Husky team, took third overall, with third then fourth place finishes. And it was a stunning day for a couple of up-and-coming Brits, as Robert Davidson took a career-best fourth overall from Jake Shipton.
It wasn’t a great day for Gert Krestinov, who started the day firmly in the championship hunt after wining the last round at Canada Heights. In the first one he was chasing Banks-Browne but clipped his bike and went down, twisting the front end. He pitted to get the bike straight and got going again but finished 13th. He took third in the second moto, the same place he now holds in the series.
Former British MX2 champ Elliott Banks-Browne had a good opening moto, leading and eventually taking fourth. But his tyre came off the rim in moto two and he didn’t score. It was good enough for 13th overall, one place behind ex champ Brad Anderson who had crashes in both races. Ando is fourth in the series, one place in front of Banks-Browne.
In the MX2 class, it was another one-two punch from the Hitachi KTM team as Ben Watson took the overall win from his team-mate Josiah Natzke. Who took his first MX2 moto win in the second moto.
Natzke led the first race but eventually dropped back to fifth as Watson carved through the pack to take the win from Martin Barr and Todd Kellett, who was having a fantastic day, and Mel Pocock. Championship hopeful Kullas went out with an engine failure.
In the second moto, Natzke led from the first lap with Kellett on his tail. The pair pulled away with Kellett making several lunges to pass. The Kiwi KTM man eventually held on for win as Kellett fell and dropped back to a fine fifth place. He took fourth overall.
Watson came through to second place with Kullas third and Barr fourth. Honda man Barr, left limping after he clashed with Kullas in a aggressive racing move, took third overall and is third in the series. Fast-starting Brad Todd had two disappointing races despite fast starts, as racing clashes damaged his bike.
The two-strokes were hugely popular once again, and just like at the opening round nobody had an answer for EMX300 champ, GL12’s KTM ace Mike Kras. He wasted little time in getting to the front in both motos to remain unbeaten in the series.
Honda-mounted Lewis Trickett took a pair of second places for second overall, with Matt Moffat edging out Nev Bradshaw for third. They both had third and fourth place finishes, with Moffat getting the nod thanks to his better second race. Veteran Bradshaw also rode in the MX2 class for Suzuki where he finished 14th overall.
James Dunn, making his debut for the GL12 team, took fifth overall after leading the second race.