Leon Haslam returned to the top step for the first time since Oulton Park with a close-fought victory in the opening race at Cadwell Park ahead of Jake Dixon and Shane Byrne.
It was a close fought affair, with the leading trio joined by a train of riders behind including local stars Peter Hickman and Lee Jackson, the Honda of Jason O’Halloran and and McAMS Yamaha of Michael Laverty.
Drama struck early in the race with Shane Byrne, who was on a charge after a tough start from pole position saw him battling in fourth place but it nearly got much worse for the five-time champ as he lost the front at Mansfield. In a Marc Marquez-esque save, he was able to recover without losing much ground but it cost Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman who was sat up and moved back to ninth.
Dixon and Haslam traded the lead at the front, but defensive riding from Haslam held Dixon off for JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s first win since Oulton Park.
Hickman recovered to finish fourth ahead of O’Halloran with the second Smiths BMW rider of Lee Jackson enjoying a strong home round to take sixth and his first ever BSB pole position with the fastest lap of the race.
Michael Laverty showed an improvement in form to take seventh ahead of Christian Iddon, Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison.
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