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Assen BSB: Haslam edges Dixon to race one win

Series leader Leon Haslam took another step closer to the Bennetts British Superbike title as he held off Jake Dixon in today’s first race to take victory by less than 0.1s.

JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s title hopeful beat early race leader Taz Mackenzie and fended off his closest points rival in the final moments to hold on to 25 points by a mere 0.086s.

RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki’s Dixon got the best start from pole position, but it took Mackenzie just a couple of corners to grab the lead as he hit the front at Strubben while Haslam tucked into third.


Just behind the series leader, Smith’s Racing’s Peter Hickman and Tyco BMW rider Christian Iddon moved into fourth and fifth, and it didn’t take the Isle of Man TT star much more than a lap to lay a pass on Haslam for third.

As Mackenzie continued a scorching pace out front, dropping Josh Brookes’ race lap record from last year to a 1’36.695, Hickman had a go at Dixon for the runner-up spot, but couldn’t make a move stick and soon fell into the clutches of Haslam, who made a pass on the road race ace at the Timmer Chicane to snatch third back.

Back in 11th, OMG Racing Suzuki’s Gino Rea went off into the gravel at De Bult, putting an end to his strong form from practice.

In the battle for second, Haslam finally got the better of Dixon and took over second as Hickman closed on them from behind, clocking a new lap record – 1’36.435 – en route.

As the fight for victory settled into a four-way scrap, Haslam finally made a move at Haarbocht with thre laps to go to hit the front, but Mackenzie struck straight back a couple of corners later and squeezed the championship leader back to second.

Heading onto the penultimate lap, Haslam moved ahead of Mackenzie just before Hickman made a move on Dixon to take over third, but the Lincolnshireman suffered a suspected mechanical issue which dropped him back to fourth and out of podium contention.

Dixon finally made a move on Mackenzie at the Chicane heading onto the final lap and began an 11th-hour charge to hunt down Haslam, but it came too late and he wasn’t able to have a go and Haslam took the win by 0.086s

Mackenzie grabbed third, less than 0.4s clear of Hickman, while Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin was the next closest challenger in fifth, four seconds clear of the podium battle.

Moto Rapido Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell bagged sixth another 1.8s adrift of the Northern Irishman, with Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran just over 0.6s further back


Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon, Josh Brookes and Anvil Hire TAG Racing’s James Ellison completed the top 10.

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