JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam took the victory in a wet opening MCE British Superbike race at Oulton Park, and now has a narrow lead in the title chase with a 12 point advantage.
With four laps remaining it did look like Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot would take his second BSB win of his career and had nearly a 10 second advantage over Haslam and Moto Rapido Ducati’s John Hopkins.
But his engine went bang and it paved the way for Haslam to make it on to the top step and the red flags came out with Hopkins and showdown rider, Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s Josh Brookes completing the rostrum.
Initially it was Linfoot who got the hole-shot but there was drama for the RAF Reserves Kawasaki team as Jake Dixon’s crew were in a race against time to get his bike ready after a warm up crash.
But they managed to do it with a few minutes to spare, but the pole-sitter did not make it on to the starting grid in time and then found himself starting from pit lane. Before the race there was a heavy rain shower,
but as it got underway the blue skies appeared, but all the riders opted for the full wet tyres.
Meanwhile on lap four the battle for second was between six riders, with Hickman heading the pack followed by Iddon, Hickman, Hopkins, Brookes, Byrne, and Haslam. Elsewhere JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey retired to the garage. He is still nursing a bad back after his high-side at the last round at Silverstone and did not want to risk anything in the wet conditions.
With all the action further down the field it paved the way for Linfoot to plough on ahead and on lap seven of 18 had a 10 second advantage, as the fight for second and third continued to change. After a disastrous
start Jake Dixon was up to 12th after overtaking fellow showdown rider, Honda’s Jason O’Halloran on lap eight.
Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon was up in second when he crashed at Hizzys with eight laps remaining, and was in strong contention for a podium finish. But he did walk away from the incident.
With the Stockport lad out of the mix Dixon was pressing ever closer to the front pack and he approached his former mentor, Byrne to make a move on not just the Be Wiser man but on Ellison and showdown
challenger, Hickman on the 13th rotation.
When the race past two thirds distance it was Haslam who was upping the pace and overtook Hopkins to go up to second. Dixon was another rider on the move and at Knickerbrook passed Laverty to go up to fifth, with Brookes in fourth on lap 15.
But on the same lap Linfoot’s engine went bang whilst he had a nine second lead and came to a stop at Island, which was a cruel end to the race for the likeable Northerner and the red flags soon came out and the race was ended with four laps to go.
When the first race was stopped it was Haslam, Hopkins and Brookes who were the podium finishers with an impressive Dixon ending in fourth with Ellison winning the battle of the McAMS Yamaha’s in fifth followed by Laverty and Ray.
Title fighters Peter Hickman, Shane Byrne and Jason O’Halloran all finished race one inside the top ten with eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. Irwin, Jackson, Smrz, Westmoreland and Winfield were the last of the point’s finishers.
There were a few fallers during the opening race, and the first was Bennetts Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli. The Frenchman crashed at Shell with 14 laps to go, but he walked away from the crash. Team WD-40’s Tommy Bridewell was racing up the sharp end with Byrne and Ellison but got spat out of his bike on lap nine, but was declared OK at the track side.