Leon Haslam won the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Cadwell Park as the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider held off the challenge from Bradley Ray to cross the finish line ahead by just 0.117s with Jake Dixon snatching a podium finish on the final lap.
Haslam had grabbed the initial lead at the start of the race from Ray and Dixon with Glenn Irwin and Danny Buchan tucked in behind and it wasn’t until the third lap that the Buildbase Suzuki rider could make a move to hit the front of the pack.
Ray was then leading Haslam and Buchan was bidding to make a move, but the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider made a costly mistake at the bottom of the Mountain on the third lap to crash out of contention unhurt.
Ray was still leading the pack when the BMW Safety Car was deployed when Chrissy Rouse crashed through Hall Bends and when the race resumed he headed the pack from Haslam, Glenn Irwin, Tommy Bridewell, Dixon and Christian Iddon.
Dixon was on a charge and he made a move on Bridewell to move into fourth with Iddon also following in his wheel tracks as the Moto Rapido Ducati rider edged wide. Ray held the advantage at the front until lap 14 when Haslam gunned the JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead at Park, but he went wide and Ray reclaimed the position.
Two laps later and Haslam repeated the move and made it stick and then was defending hard until the finish to continue his winning form at the Lincolnshire circuit with Ray returning to the podium for the first time since Brands Hatch.
Dixon though was desperate to make a podium and after some moments where he ran wide and saved it, he was stalking Glenn Irwin throughout the final lap and made a decisive move into Barn on the final lap to snatch the final podium position.
Glenn Irwin was forced to settle for fourth place ahead of Bridewell who improved on his best result with the Moto Rapido Ducati team in fifth ahead of Iddon and Peter Hickman. Tarran Mackenzie led the McAMS Yamaha team in eighth ahead of James Ellison and Josh Brookes.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, Race one result:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.117s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +0.890s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.013s
- Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +1.247s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.985s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +6.168s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +6.715s
- James Ellison (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.934s
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +7.567s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Cadwell Park Race 1:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 305
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 214
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 176
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 174
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 139
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 113