Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne clinched his debut MCE British Superbike win of the season at Oulton Park, as he crossed the finishing line with a 5.2 second advantage over team-mate Glenn Irwin and Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran.
But there was drama out on track, as JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam crashed in an incident involving McAMS Yamaha’s James Ellison. The ZX-10RR racer had a high-speed fall and his bike smashed into a thousand pieces at Bailey Bridge, whilst in third. Second place Ellison came to a stop at Lodge Hall and the crash is now under investigation.
It appeared that Ellison may have had a technical issue and slowed down and Haslam clipped the back of his R1, after trying to make a pass. Haslam then went to the medical centre as a precaution.
Initially it was Haslam who got the holeshot from O’Halloran and Ellison. But on lap two, Haslam slipped back three places to fourth at Old Hall, and Ellison took the lead at Hizzy’s.
But Byrne was on the charge a rotation later and was up to second, and then with 13 laps to go Byrne powered past Ellison at Island to take the lead. Haslam began to fight back and at Old Hall on lap nine gained pace and made a move on O’Halloran and then Mossey to make up two places. Now he had the leading duo of Byrne and Ellison as his next target.
Once again, Byrne opted for the softer front and rear tyre compounds, and Haslam with the usual harder options. Ellison went with the SC1 front, and the harder rear Pirelli. The Fireblade of O’Halloran had the hard SC2 front and the SC0 rear tyre. With seven laps remaining, the top trio had a 3.4 second advantage over those battling for fourth place - and what a fight it turned out to be. Mossey, O’Halloran, Iddon, Brookes and Irwin were all dicing for the best points, and the places changed between them out on the Cheshire track.
Then the crash involving Haslam and Ellison happened and now it turned into an tense fight for second, but at the flag Irwin edged ahead of O’Halloran to make it a Ducati and Honda podium. Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon ended the final race of the day in fourth, followed by race-one podium finisher Mossey, with Anvil Hire TAG Racing’s Josh Brookes, Hickman, Bridewell, Hopkins and McConnell completing the top ten.
It was not a good race weekend for Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray as he comes away from the third round with no points, after two DNF’s. He crashed in race one and retired with a technical issue in the final event. Meanwhile Jake Dixon fell whilst in 11th and crashed unhurt on lap three at Old Hall.
McAMS Yamaha’s Michael Laverty had a weekend to forget. It was a case of déjà vu for the Northern Irishman as once again he found himself back in the garage, before the chequered flag appeared, and had to retire with a technical issue. His team had to rebuild his R1 yesterday after a huge crash during qualifying and were in a race against time to get it back to working order again.
Elsewhere former World Superbike champ, Sylvain Guintoli, Smrz, Jackson, Jessopp and Mackenzie were the last of the points finishers. Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot finished just outside the points once again in 16th.