Glenn Irwin took his debut MCE British Superbike victory as tough conditions mixed up the field in the opening race at Silverstone.
The track was soaked after a biblical thunderstorm two hours before the race, but with the sun shining for the hour leading up to the start the circuit started to dry.
However, the back part of the circuit from Chapel to Abbey, was very wet. This led to some riders requesting a delay to the start of the race on the grid, but with not enough requests race director Stuart Higgs proceeded.
A mix of tyre choices from full slicks to full rain tyres made for a spread out race, with those on wets having made the right choice as they pulled away from the start.
Jake Dixon took an early lead but a moment saw him drop back in the first few laps, leaving Anvil Hire Yamaha’s Josh Brookes at the front.
However, a hard charging Glenn Irwin stormed to the front on the Be Wiser Ducati to take a commanding win ahead of the Aussie with John Hopkins completing the podium in fourth.
Jake Dixon got the better of Showdown rival Luke Mossey to finish fourth, closing the points gap between the sixth and seventh placed men to just three points ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
Series leaders Shane Byrne and Leon Haslam, who were the most vocal about delaying the race on the grid, fell from the race. Haslam fell in the wet from sixth at mid-distance while Byrne, who had made progress on his intermediate tyres towards the end to set the fastest lap of the race, crashed out at Farm on the final lap.
Christian Iddon rode a remarkable race on slick tyres to take seventh ahead of Bennetts Suzuki’s Taylor Mackenzie and Jakub Smrz.
Peter Hickman, who started from pit-lane after wheeling his bike off the grid to change to a wet set-up, finished ninth with Bradley Ray completing the top ten.
The dramatic race further ignited the battle for the top six with Josh Brookes moving into a more secure position in fourth at the expense of Jason O’Halloran, who started on pole but finished 11th. Just 20 points now cover Brookes in fourth to Dixon in seventh.
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