Stuart Easton has taken a win in the opening Motorpoint British Supersport race at Assen, controlling from the front as his championship rivals suffered, allowing him to start consolidating his thin lead.
Easton lost two of his main rivals on the opening laps, with Glen Richards tumbling out unharmed while his teammate Billy McConnell was forced to retire to the pits on the second Smiths Triumph.
Easton quickly disposed of Richard Cooper to take the lead, but was unable to shake off the Oxford TAG Triumph racer for most of the race. Cooper looked likely to challenge Easton in the closing stages of the race after trailing him all race, but a very fast last lap of the race allowed the Scot to pull out enough of a lead.
Luke Mossey was originally third, having managed to make the break with Easton and Cooper, but was soon dropped by the leading chargers. A late-surging Jason O'Halloran was able to bridge the gap from the battle for fifth to eventually catch and pass Mossey for the final podium spot.
After an early battle with teammate Ben Wilson, Alastair Seeley was forced to settle for fifth. Wilson had pushed hard early in the race, but mechanical problems on lap seven dropped him out of contention, leaving Seeley to hold off local rider Kervin Bos for the spot.
Easton now holds a 22 point lead over Seeley in the championship, with five races left.
Easton said afterwards: “The game plan was certainly to get to the front and control the race and I think we did that quite well. The Mar-Train Yamaha also worked really well in today’s race, although I could hear Richard’s Triumph burbling away behind me at the end. I just concentrated on getting through the fast stuff as fast as I could, and made sure not to make any silly mistakes on the other bits."