Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran won the battle of the Fireblade’s at Snetterton and he was able to snatch his first ever victory in the MCE British Superbike championship, from his team-mate Dan Linfoot.
Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne completed the rostrum in third, and will start race one from pole position as he set a new lap record, going one tenth faster than reigning BSB champ, Josh Brookes’ record, that he set back in 2014.
There was drama at the very start of the race, as on the opening lap on the second corner at Montreal, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Ellison, Buildbase BMW’s Richard Cooper and ePayMe Yamaha’s substitute rider, Broc Parkes all crashed out, but were all declared OK at the trackside.
A corner later Byrne ran wide after trying to make a move on Haslam and after a grassy exertion rejoined the pack in fourteenth. Meanwhile it was O’Halloran who got the hole-shot.
Coming out of Montreal on lap four Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty looked like he got caught up in the back wheel on Glenn Irwin’s Ducati, and JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Peter Hickman also fell with the ZX-10R racer being taken to the medical centre to be assessed, and was given the all clear. Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin then retired with a technical problem, as did Kiyonari.
Further up the grid Byrne was making up for lost time and was up to seventh on lap seen of sixteen and set a new lap record in the process, with a 1’47.714. In the warm and muggy conditions all the riders opted for the SC0 rear tyre compound, with most the riders on the softer front, except the JG Speedfit Kawasaki trio and Parkes, who went for the harder tyre option.
Elsewhere it was turning out to be a fight of the Fireblade’s with both O’Halloran and Linfoot dicing for the win, with Haslam in tow. On lap ten it was the Australian who was leading the way and had a small 0.2 second advantage over Linfoot.
But soon Byrne had Haslam as he next target and with six laps remaining made a move that stuck on the pocket rocket to go into third at Nelson. But on lap sixteen Linfoot gained some pace and made a move going into Nelson to go into the lead.
While Byrne was continuing to progress in third, Haslam slipped even further back and Billy McConnell was able to go past, in what was a solid race for the likable Aussie. But the final lap turned into a fight between the Honda’s and it looked like Linfoot was going to take the spoils but he had a big moment going out of the final hairpin and managed to stay on but finished second behind O’Halloran.
Haslam finished inside the top five, just behind McConnell who bagged some solid points for his team. Jake Dixon had a good ride to finish in sixth with Mossey, Bridewell, Easton and Jackson completing the top ten. Smrz, Buchan, Rispoli, Seeley and Backlund were the last of the points finishers.