Leon Haslam extended his advantage in the MCE British Superbike championship standings with a strong win in the opening race at Assen.
It didn’t come easy for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki star, with a four-way fight for the lead throughout the 18-lap race.
James Ellison took the holeshot from Haslam and Christian Iddon, and the McAMS Yamaha would control the early stages of the race until the Bennetts Suzuki of Sylvain Guintoli set off on a charge.
Guintoli took the lead from the mid-way point as Ellison slipped back to third, but reigning champion Shane Byrne was soon on the pack after starting 16th on the grid after two crashes yesterday.
Moving to the front in the closing stages, Haslam would slightly edge away as the trio behind fought for the runner-up spot while Josh Brookes and Bradley Ray closed on the pack.
The series leader had stretched a 1.9 second lead by the time they crossed the line, with Byrne stealing second from Ellison on the final lap. The McAMS Yamaha then had to fend off an attack from Guintoli, who missed out by just 0.054.
Brookes crossed the line fifth ahead of Bradley Ray, while Peter Hickman completed the top six.
Jake Dixon struggled on the harder option rear tyre to cross the line eighth ahead of John Hopkins while Jason O’Halloran finished tenth to beat team-mate Dan Linfoot.
Christian Iddon and Danny Buchan crashed out while Michael Laverty retired in the early stages with a technical issue.
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