The Carrickfergus man, who finished as the runner-up in Saturday’s opening race behind McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran, fell heavily at McLean’s after he was struck by BSB rookie Rory Skinner.
Tarran Mackenzie won a dramatic race by six hundredths of a second at the National circuit from Bradley Ray (Rich Energy BMW), who snatched second place from O’Halloran on the brakes at the chicane on the final lap. Ray almost grabbed victory on the drag to the line, but it was Scotsman Mackenzie who got the narrowest of verdicts.
No Mackenzie had been leading the race by three seconds until the Safety Car came out on lap 22 after Danny Buchan crashed on the SYNETIQ BMW at the Old Hairpin. The race distance was increased to 28 laps and the pack closed up for a three-lap final shootout.
O’Halloran and Mackenzie trading places for the lead on a pulsating last lap, with Ray grasping the chance to force his way into contention in a thrilling climax to the race.
Irwin’s younger brother Andrew also had an eventful race after the SYNETIQ BMW rider received a two-second penalty following contact with VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon, who crashed at Redgate as a result of the incident on lap seven.
An angry Iddon described Irwin’s move as ‘ridiculous’ and said criticised the penalty the Ulster rider received.
“It was absolutely ridiculous,” said Iddon. “A two-second penalty – that needs reviewed at the end of the race because he’s getting to race and I’m not.
“I don’t mind hard racing but you can’t hit someone at maximum lean, you just can’t do it because you know the outcome.
“He came around the corner and I passed him on the way in and was absolutely bang on line, and he just continued to accelerate on the inside of me. There’s only one outcome from that,” he added.
“There was no space at all, no space. If there was space he wouldn’t have had to run clean into the side of me. It stems from earlier things – it’s ridiculous.”
Peter Hickman took a close fourth on the FHO Racing BMW as the leading quartet were separated by only 0.6s seconds at the finish, with Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Ducati) and Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy BMW) the top six.
Ryan Vickers (RAF & Reserves Kawasaki) was fourth across the line but dropped to seventh after he also received a two-second penalty. Vickers had earlier been forced to start the race from the back on the grid after he developed a technical issue, which prevented him from taking up his third position on the front row.
Andrew Irwin completed the race in ninth following his penalty, one place ahead of struggling champion Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) in 10th.
Championship standings after Race 2
1. Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 273
2. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 214
3. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 203
4. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 165
5. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) 132
6. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 128
7. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) 112
8. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 101