Leon Haslam took his first ever Snetterton victory in a chaotic opening Bennetts British Superbike race.
Spots of rain threatened the race as riders were on the grid, but fortunately it would fail to materialise into anything more than drizzle meaning the race would get underway in dry conditions.
However, it wouldn’t be long before drama ensued as rookie Andrew Irwin was too late onto the brakes into turn two, ploughing into a number of other riders at the tight hairpin. Michael Laverty, Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran all went down with Irwin, with all riders to reported to be OK with the exception of O’Halloran who was taken to the medical centre for assessments on his already injured ankle.
The turn two melee led to a safety car intervention with polesitter Bradley Ray leading the way from Glenn Irwin and Josh Brookes.
Running the harder rear tyre, Ray looked comfortable at the front until he dramatically crashed out of the lead at Agostini’s on lap nine.
After that, Irwin looked set to take his first dry BSB win until it seemed his tyre began to drop off towards the end with Haslam on a charge.
Taking almost a second out of Irwin on lap 12, it became when not if Haslam would get past the Ducati with the move coming just two laps later.
In what turned out to be a race of attrition, Luke Mossey was another faller with what looked like a brake issue at the end of the Bentley straight.
Having been on top of one another throughout the race, McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes and RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon began scrapping for the final rostrum spot in the final two laps. A mistake from Dixon on the penultimate lap saw him run on at the end of the Bentley straight, but a phenomenal final lap saw him sneak past the Yamaha at Coram to bag the silverware.
Danny Buchan crossed the line in an impressive fifth for FS3 Kawasaki ahead of rookie Tarran Mackenzie who took his best result of the season in sixth.
Peter Hickman finished seventh ahead of TAG Racing’s James Ellison while Christian Iddon and Richard Cooper rounded out the top ten.