Leon Haslam took victory in a dramatic opening MCE British Superbike race at Oulton Park after disaster struck for Dan Linfoot as his Honda let go while the Yorkshireman enjoyed a ten second lead.
The drama started before the race even got underway after a crash for Jake Dixon in warm-up left the RAF Kawasaki team with just over an hour to fix his bike. Missing pit-lane opening, Dixon was forced to start from pit-lane instead of his pole position.
A strong move from Linfoot at the first corner saw him take the lead from the off, lapping significantly quicker than anyone else on the grid to build a ten second lead on his rivals. Easing off as the race went on, all he had to do was bring it home but that wouldn’t be possible as the Fireblade’s engine blew with three laps to go.
That left the battle for the win between title fighter Leon Haslam and MotoRapido Ducati’s John Hopkins, with Haslam taking the victory as the red flag was drawn with the track contaminated after Linfoot’s issue.
Josh Brookes completed the podium despite struggling with a lack of grip, just ahead of Dixon, who enjoyed a barnstorming ride from pit lane to nearly finish on the box.
James Ellison took fifth ahead of team-mate Michael Laverty and the Buildbase Suzuki of Bradley Ray. Peter Hickman finished eighth, also struggling with a lack of rear grip.
A furious Shane Byrne crossed the line ninth after struggling with visibility issues with his Shoei helmet, with fellow title fighter Jason O’Halloran rounding out the top ten.
Christian Iddon crashed out of a strong second place for Tyco BMW while Luke Mossey opted to pull in after a couple of laps as he didn’t want to risk crashing and further aggravating the injury he sustained at Thruxton.
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