Tommy Hill successfully converted his pole position into a race win when he dominated Saturday's British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park. The Swan Yamaha rider led from start to finish and although his cause was aided by a crash for Michael Laverty which delayed the group of riders behind him, his pace was consistently a few tenths of a second quicker than his rivals.
Hill was leading from Laverty, Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes when the second placed rider lost the front end at the Britten's chicane on lap four and crashed out. Byrne had to take to the grass to avoid the fallen Ulsterman and touched Brookes in the process whilst Ian Lowry also went down. By the time the pack regrouped, Hill was over three seconds clear.
The reigning champion continued to extend his lead, which was as high as 5.5s at one stage and all eyes focused on the battle for second between Byrne and Brookes. Byrne, who experienced trye issues in the second half of the race, held the advantage right up until the last corner when Brookes dived up the inside to successfully claim the runner-up spot and two vital podium credits.
Further back, Noriyuki Haga took fourth, the Japanese rider losing the tow when Laverty crashed out, with James Westmoreland and Tommy Bridewell, who qualified in 17th place, coming through for fifth and sixth respectively.
Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha)
2 Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +4.508s
3 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +4.595s
4 Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha) +10.339s
5 James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +15.746s
6 Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +16.256s
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