Brands Hatch BSB: Kirkham wins wet first race
Samsung Honda rider John Kirkham has won the opening race of the 2012 BSB championship in wet conditions at Brands Hatch.
The safety car was called out onto track twice during the 30 lap race, first on the second lap and for the second time during the middle of the race.
Kirkham's team-mate Michael Laverty crashed during the second lap - bringing out the safety car - and was unable to finish the race. Rapid Solicitor Kawasaki rider Shane Byrne was leading the race when the safety car came out, but was unable to stop Kirkham getting passed once the safety car pulled in.
Kirkham pulled away from Byrne, taking Alastair Seeley and Michael Rutter with him, setting up a close second half to the race.
Seeley led the race going into the final lap, but ran slightly wide on the final corner, enabling Kirkham to take the lead and drive to the line.
BSB newcomer Noriyuki Haga struggled in the wet conditions, almost high-siding his Swan Yamaha off the line. Team-mate Tommy Hill was in 16th position when he crashed out on the penultimate lap.
Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda)
Alastair Seeley (Tyco Suzuki) +0.136s
Michael Rutter (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +0.750s
Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +3.023s
Gary Mason (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +5.191s
Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) +6.155s
Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +6.284s
James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +8.813s
Freddy Foray (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) +9.145s
Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +9.411s