BSB: Haslam clinches victory in frantic wet race
Leon Haslam took victory in a gripping second Bennetts British Superbike race at Brands Hatch after getting the better of Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin with a final lap pass.
The afternoon’s second race initially got underway in dry conditions until a rain shower brought out red flags. The restarted action got underway in wet conditions and with the rain coming down more as the race went on, it made for an unpredictable barnstormer as a six way battle ensued for the lead.
Richard Cooper took an early race lead ahead of Haslam, but the Buildbase Suzuki man would fall back through the pack after a mistake before then falling at Clearways.
Finding his feet in the wet conditions, Michael Laverty was the next to take to the front but it was Leon Haslam and Glenn Irwin who were on a charge. The duo took to the front towards the end of the race and began to tentatively battle it out in the slippery conditions.
Haslam took the lead on the penultimate lap, but would lose out as Irwin barged his way back past. However, it wouldn’t last – a pass at Surtees on the final lap was enough to secure Haslam his first win of the year.
Laverty completed the podium for Tyco BMW ahead of race one winner Shane Byrne while Josh Brookes was able to salvage a fifth place from a difficult weekend with the McAMS Yamaha team. Christian Iddon rounded out the top six.
Series leader Bradley Ray opted to play it safe and settle for points in seventh ahead of Movuno.com Halsall Racing’s Tommy Bridewell.
Rookie Tarran Mackenzie took an impressive ninth place finish despite still riding with that broken wrist ahead of an equally impressive performance from Gearlink Kawasaki’s Carl Phillips, who crossed the line ninth.
Jake Dixon crashed out of the podium scrap towards the end of the race, while Honda’s Jason O’Halloran’s race also ended in disaster after a brave gamble on an intermediate rear tyre failed to pay off.