Leon Haslam celebrated victory in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the day at Oulton Park, holding off a hard-charging Jake Dixon to score his second victory of the season for JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
It was a hectic race one and as the pack streamed into Old Hall for the first time, Dixon had fired himself into the lead off the front row of the grid ahead of Haslam and Glenn Irwin with Jason O’Halloran and Bradley Ray giving chase.
Dixon was holding the advantage at the front of the pack, but there was disaster for Peter Hickman when he crashed out on the fourth lap at Cascades, ending his chance of a top ten finish for the Smiths Racing BMW team.
Kyle Ryde was another rider to crash out of contention on the same lap at Druids, ending his strong run for the CF Motorsport Yamaha team.
Irwin had been pushing in third, but he was another rider to end the race with a zero point score as he slid out at Island on lap five, giving Dixon and Haslam the advantage at the front of the field. Haslam was left to fly the flag for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team after his team-mate Luke Mossey crashed out at Druids whilst holding sixth place.
Haslam made his move on the seventh lap at Lodge to hit the front of the pack and despite Dixon trying to fight back, the ‘Pocket Rocket’ had the edge, despite the pressure from his Kawasaki rival.
Championship leader Ray had made a move on O’Halloran and the Buildbase Suzuki rider led the chasing trio with Byrne also pushing to climb the order. The defending champion made a move on O’Halloran on lap 12 at Hizzys to move ahead and then he dispensed with Ray a lap later at Lodge.
Byrne held off Ray and O’Halloran over the final five laps, as Josh Brookes moved up the order to claim sixth place for McAMS Yamaha to stay ahead of Danny Buchan and Tommy Bridewell, who bounced back from a warm up crash.
Tarran Mackenzie and Richard Cooper completed the top ten ahead of James Ellison and the returning triple champion Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race 1 result:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +1.624s
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +6.224s
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +10.170s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +14.699s
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +15.786s
Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +18.745s
Tommy Bridewell (Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki) +21.043s
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +21.290s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +21.568s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park race one:
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 92
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 90
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 85
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 48
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 43
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 39
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