Leon Haslam ended his Snetterton winning drought by celebrating the victory in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race of the day at Snetterton as the JG Speedfit Kawasaki snatched the lead from Glenn Irwin with two laps to go.
On the opening lap Bradley Ray had launched off the pole position and into the lead ahead of Irwin but as the pack reached Wilson for the first time there was a collision into the corner and Andrew Irwin, Michael Laverty and the Honda Racing pairing of Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran crashed out of the race.
The BMW Safety Car was deployed following the incident and as the pack formed up ready for the race to resume, Ray lead Irwin, Jake Dixon and Danny Buchan with Haslam holding sixth place.
On the fourth lap the race continued and it was an intense battle for positions throughout the field; James Ellison and Christian Iddon had taken evasive action after the opening lap incident and that put them firmly at the back of the field and needing to claw their way back up the order.
Haslam was on the move and he passed Buchan on the sixth lap and was then on a charge to the front, but it didn’t come easily for the championship leader.
However it was a disaster for his JG Speedfit Kawasaki team-mate when Luke Mossey crashed out at high-speed at the end of the Bentley Straight, he will subsequently sit out the second race.
Haslam was pushing to move ahead of Brookes and he dived ahead at Brundles on the ninth lap to move up the order. At the front Irwin was closing on Ray but the Buildbase Suzuki made a mistake and slid out of the lead at Agostini.
Irwin then had the advantage from Haslam but Dixon and Brookes were battling for the final podium position which went down to the wire on the final lap; first Dixon made a move on his Australian rival on the brakes into Brundle, but he fought back to regain the advantage at Murrays. The pair were side-by-side on the drag race to the line but it was Dixon who held it.
Danny Buchan was fifth as he held off Tarran Mackenzie, who claimed his best result of the season for McAMS Yamaha with Peter Hickman carving his way up the order to seventh place ahead of Ellison and Iddon. Richard Cooper completed the top ten on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, Race 1 result:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.407s
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +1.727s
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +1.878s
Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.220s
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +10.264s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +10.458s
James Ellison (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +12.296s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +20.503s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +25.097s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Snetterton race one:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 140
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 101
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 98
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 79
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 71
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 63
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