Richard Kerr took victory in a thrilling Pirelli National Superstock Championship race at Donington Park, the AMD Motorsport Honda rider just edging out Dan Linfoot (Optimum Bikes Honda) after a battle which ran the entire 15 laps.
Alastair Seeley (Synetiq BMW) completed the podium in third but Linfoot’s runner-up position was enough for him to claim the championship lead after Franco Bourne failed to score.
It was Linfoot who grabbed the lead off the line from Kerr and Seeley but the next few laps saw regular changes of positions with Joe Talbot (JR Performance Racing Honda), Billy McConnell (C&L Fairburn Properties/Jackson Racing Honda), Bourne (Marvel HCL Motorsport Honda) and Lewis Rollo (IN Competition Aprilia) in the leading places.
Indeed, the top seven were covered by less than two seconds after five laps with Seeley leading the way from Kerr and Talbot but a lap later, championship leader Bourne made a mistake on the entry to Redgate and ran into the gravel, dropping all the way back to 20th.
Rollo was also beginning to lose ground and by lap eight, it was a five-rider battle for the lead between new race leader Kerr, Linfoot, Seeley, Talbot and McConnell. Meanwhile, Alex Olsen (Cumins by Team IWR Honda), who had to start from the back of the grid, had climbed all the way up to ninth.
Kerr was coming under considerable pressure from Linfoot and Seeley as McConnell and Talbot fought to stay in touch. However, with four laps to go, there was still only 0.8s covering the front four riders as Olsen climbed further up the leaderboard to seventh.
Linfoot took over at the front on lap 12 only for Seeley to move ahead at Redgate at the start of lap 13 but it now looked to be a three-horse race between Linfoot, Seeley and Kerr. McConnell had other ideas though and grabbed third after diving up the inside of Seeley at Schwantz Curve. Disaster struck the Australian though on the penultimate lap as a technical issue forced him out.
That meant it was a straight fight between Linfoot and Kerr and, indeed, the duo swapped places on three occasions on the final lap but it was Kerr who was in the lead when it mattered most and he took the win by 0.393s with Seeley rounding out the podium in third.
Talbot moved up to fourth after McConnell’s demise with Rollo a lonely fifth and Olsen claiming an excellent sixth ahead of Linfoot’s team-mate Brent Harran, David Allingham (Milenco by Padgetts Honda), Brayden Elliott (DAO Racing Kawasaki) and Scott Swann (Swann Racing Yamaha).