Tommy Hill extended his British Superbike Championship lead further in Monday's first race at Cadwell Park with the Swan Yamaha rider putting in a faultless performance on a cloudy but dry day. Second on the opening lap, the reigning champion took the lead from Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) with a pass at Coppice and although he was under extreme pressure from pole man Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) for the first two thirds of the race, he was able to gradually pull away in the final third to eventually take the win by 2.7s. With closest rival Shane Byrne missing the race due to injury, it gave Hill three more vital podium credits prior to the final three-round Showdown.
Lowes converted his strong qualifying performance into a debut BSB podium and he was comfortably clear of Laverty who slipped back to a lonely third although it was enough to confirm his place in the Showdown, the fourth rider to do so. Further back, the huge Bank Holiday crowd were entertained by the four-man battle for fourth which went the entire 18-lap distance. Jon Kirkham on the second Samsung Honda held fourth right up until the penultimate lap when BSB debutante Danny Buchan found a way through at the end of the back straight and that's how they crossed the line.
Josh Brookes, third in the Championship, came through from 12th on the grid to take 6th as he overtook a resurgent Karl Harris on the final lap but with no podium credits he slipped further behind Hill in the title chase. James Westmoreland, Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman rounded out the top ten.
1 Tommy Hill (Yamaha)
2 Alex Lowes (Honda) +2.753s
3 Michael Laverty (Honda) +3.628s
4 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki) +5.529s
5 Jon Kirkham (Honda) +6.570s
6 Josh Brookes (Suzuki) +6.703s
7 Karl Harris (Kawasaki) +7.794s
8 James Westmoreland (Honda) +15.051s
9 Tommy Bridewell (BMW) +15.110s
10 Peter Hickman (BMW) +17.055s