Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne bagged his seventh win of the season, and secured his place in the Showdown, after he charged down JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam to take the MCE British Superbike race one victory at Cadwell Park.
But it was Haslam who set a new lap record, after going one tenth quicker than his 2007 time with a 1’26.590. But he had to settle for second, with a narrow 0.2s separating the duelling title challengers as they crossed the finishing line.
Locally based, Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran finished 2.5s behind but held on to take third for his Louth team. Initially it was Byrne who got the hole-shot, only for pole-setter Haslam to hit back to go into the front on the opening lap. Meanwhile Haslam went wide and lost two places at Park to Byrne and O’Halloran on lap five.
Then Byrne pulled away with Haslam starting to close down on the Fireblade of Aussie, O’Halloran, then the Derby based rider made a move at Park corner to retake second. Meanwhile the battle for fourth was heating up between Bridewell and Cooper, but the Devizes swearbox made a mistake at Barn allowing Linfoot to go through into fifth. But a lap later the Honda man crashed on the approach to the chicane, but walked away from the incident.
Haslam continued to hunt down Byrne and at Park corner he went through on the inside of the Panigale and went back into the lead, and setting a new lap record in the process. But then Byrne ran wide at Barn Corner on lap eleven and O’Halloran took full advantage and pushed his way into second.
Many opted for the soft SC0 rear and the softer SC1 front tyre compounds. Mossey made a late change on the grid to go for the harder SC1 rear. Haslam decided to run with the harder SC2 front, as did both his team-mates and Buildbase BMW’s Richard Cooper.
With three laps remaining O’Halloran had a little wobble going over the mountain and Byrne decided to make another move and at Park Corner found some extra pace to challenge for an overtake - and it worked. Now the multiple champ had Haslam as his next target and was lapping faster than the former World Superbike star.
A real battle out on track ensued and Byrne was not letting Haslam get away and at Chris Curve made a move that stuck and held on to take maximum points at the flag.
Elsewhere Bennetts Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell and Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin completed the top five, with James Ellison, his JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate, Peter Hickman, Cooper, Dixon and Laverty rounded up the top ten.
There were a few fallers out on track, which included Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon who crashed on the approach to the mountain whilst inside the top ten on the penultimate lap. Local hero, Buildbase BMW’s Lee Jackson had a big crash at Charlies whilst sixth overall, but he did manage to walk away from the circuit. Buchan, Mossey, McConnell, Hopkins and Seeley were the last of the points finishers.