After winning the Championship yesterday, Leon Haslam held off Tommy Bridewell and Jason O’Halloran this afternoon at Brands Hatch to take the win, after an incredible race-long fight – with the lead changing over 20 times.
At the start of the race Andrew Irwin launched into the lead ahead of O’Halloran and Haslam, as Danny Buchan crashed out unhurt on the opening lap. The Honda Racing contender had fired into the lead at Stirlings and despite Haslam getting alongside he couldn’t make it stick. As the pack streamed across the line for the first time Haslam went for a move into Paddock Hill Bend on Andrew Irwin, pushing the Be Wiser Ducati back into second, but as they reached Druids for the first time he was back ahead.
On the third lap Andrew Irwin slid out of contention at Graham Hill Bend and at the front O’Halloran was coming under pressure from Haslam, who grabbed the lead into Paddock Hill Bend on lap five. Meanwhile Bridewell and O’Halloran then traded blows for second, switching positions three times within as many corners.
By the sixth lap Bridewell was at the front; forcing his way ahead of Haslam with O’Halloran in third and Jake Dixon and a still injured Christian Iddon giving chase. Haslam made several attempts to make a move back ahead of the Moto Rapido Ducati, but he couldn’t make it stick until he made a slick move at Dingle Dell on lap eight.
Haslam was then trying to make a break but Bridewell and O’Halloran were desperately trying to get back to the front; the Australian moved into second with a move on the ninth lap before grabbing the lead at Druids. A lap later and it was Haslam back out in the lead of the race and on lap 11 the pair diced with the lead changing three times.
O’Halloran was then holding the advantage as James Ellison had joined the leading pack, but he later crashed the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend. Meanwhile Dixon had gone for a big pass to take the lead but the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider crashed a lap later with a high-speed off at Clearways.
That put O’Halloran back in the lead, but on lap 16 Haslam made another move into Paddock Hill Bend to take the advantage, but as the pair hit Stirlings the Honda rider was back ahead. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki contender waited for another lap before he was back in charge, before he managed to edge a minor advantage to the chequered flag over the final three laps.
The battle was then between O’Halloran and Bridewell for the final podium places and the pair scrapped until the finish line with the Moto Rapido Ducati rider eventually getting the better of his Australian rival to score his best finish of the season.
Richard Cooper claimed his strongest result of the season in fourth as he overhauled Iddon with three laps to go with Peter Hickman completing the top six. Glenn Irwin, Bradley Ray and Josh Brookes held on to finish inside the top ten with Josh Elliot rewarding OMG Suzuki with tenth place in only his second round with the team in the Superbike class.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race two RESULT
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +2.027s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +3.287s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +8.784s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +11.976s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +22.473s
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +32.279s
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +43.454s
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +44.435s
Josh Elliot (OMG Suzuki) +45.322s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Brands Hatch, Race 2:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 689
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 613
Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 588
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 573
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 570
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 546