Leon Haslam has clinched his second victory of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike championship to close in on leader Bradley Ray with a scorching performance in the opening race at Oulton Park.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider followed early leader Jake Dixon for the opening laps before making his move up the inside at Lodge corner at the end of lap seven.
Initially the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider kept pace with Haslam before fading late on to make it comfortable for the former World Superbike title challenger. Haslam’s victory puts him just two points behind BSB rider’s championship leader Ray who had to settle for fourth place for Buildbase Suzuki with Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne taking third place in the Oulton Park opener.
Jason O’Halloran was forced to take fifth place on the Honda after losing touch with the front-runners having being pushed wide at Hizzy’s chicane by Byrne, an incident which was put under investigation with no action taken on either rider, with Josh Brookes down in sixth place for McAMS Yamaha.
Danny Buchan continued his solid start returning to BSB with FS-3 Racing Kawasaki in seventh place ahead of Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell.
Top rookie Tarran Mackenzie equalled his best result of the campaign in ninth place for McAMS Yamaha as Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) rounded out the top ten.
James Ellison recovered from an opening lap off-track moment to power to 11th place for Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha in front of three-time BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari who is standing in for the injured Dan Linfoot.
Gino Rea (OMG Racing Suzuki), Jakub Smrz (Lloyd & Jones PR Racing BMW) and Mason Law (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) completed the points finishers with a high rate of attrition in the hot conditions at Oulton Park.
Luke Mossey, Taylor Mackenzie, Glenn Irwin, Peter Hickman and Michael Laverty were the high-profile crashers along with rookies Carl Phillips and Kyle Ryde who also tumbled out.