RS Racing’s Charlie Nesbitt claimed overall victory in Sunday’s Quattro Group British Supersport/GP2 Feature race as he got the better of fellow GP2 runner Mason Law (Spirit Motocorsa) but it was Bradley Perie, in third overall, who took the maximum 25 points in the Supersport category on the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha.
Championship leader Ben Currie (Gearlink Kawasaki) led the field at the end of the opening lap from Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing Yamaha) and the three GP2 machines of Law, Nesbitt and Dan Jones (iForce Lloyd & Jones Spirit) but next time around, Saturday’s race winner Johnston took over proceedings with Nesbitt moving up to third a lap later.
Lap five and the running order was Johnston, Nesbitt, Currie, Law, Jones and Perie with the injured Jack Kennedy (HEL Performance/Bournemouth Kawasaki) running in eighth but Nesbitt overhauled Johnston on the following lap to hit the front for the first time.
Johnston dropped another place on lap seven as Currie regained second, the Australian looking to increase his points advantage over Perie and Kennedy who had now moved up to fifth and sixth respectively.
Just 1.5s covered the top nine after eight laps and although Nesbitt still led on his GP2 machine, he now had three Supersport machines behind him – Johnston, Currie and Perie – and this was almost four after Law had a bobble and nearly lost the front through Luffield.
Kennedy also had a moment on the following lap and that dropped him down the order to eighth overall and the fifth highest placed 600cc machine, the former double champion on the verge of losing more ground in the championship race to Currie but also, potentially, seeing Perie and Johnston close in as well.
At half race distance in the 25-lap race, there was still only 1.8s separating the top eight which now read Nesbitt, Johnston, Perie, Currie, Law, Jones, Rhys Irwin on the second Appleyard machine and Kennedy.
As the race entered its final third, the pack were beginning to stretch out a bit and be split into two groups of four, Nesbitt, Johnston, Perie and Law now in the lead group, the latter having pushed Currie back to fifth.
With five laps to go, Nesbitt had opened up a 0.7s lead over Johnston, Law and Perie but further back, Currie was now only one place ahead of Kennedy with both Irwin and Jones having found a way by.
A lap later, Law moved into second on the road as well as in the GP2 category and immediately reduced the gap to Nesbitt whilst Perie got by Johnston to further shuffle the pack in the Supersport class. Kennedy had also moved ahead of Currie.
Going into the final lap, Nesbitt led Law by 0.193s and he duly held on for the win with Jones, in a season’s best overall, completing the GP2 podium.
It was Perie who came out on top in the Supersport class though where he was joined on the podium by Johnston and Irwin but with Kennedy finishing ahead of Currie, the latter’s lead in the title race was cut to just four points, 240 to 236, with Perie and Johnston both closing in on 235 and 224 respectively.