Thomas Strudwick took the first win of Dorna’s brand new British Talent Cup in commanding style after an early-race battle with Brian Hart and Max Cook.
But drama escalated before the lights even went out when Fenton Seabright failed to start his bike, forcing him to start from pit lane.
Moments later, series favourite Rory Skinner crashed out at the Foggy Esses on the sighting lap, but managed to rejoin, meaning he would start from the back of the grid for the Cup’s first ever race.
Reigning Motostar Standard champ Cook grabbed the early lead as it soon looked like the scrap could turn into a three-horse race between he, Hart and Strudwick.
Strudwick took over on lap two and led the remainder of the race, while Cook crashed at the Melbourne hairpin fighting his way back to the front.
And despite a charge from Josh Whatley, Strudwick powered away to take the series’ first ever race win by 5.550s ahead of Watley and a heroic Seabright, who battled from his pit-lane-start handicap to nab third.