BSB: Haslam holds off O'Halloran for Oulton double
Leon Haslam took control of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship with a commanding double victory in the third round at Oulton Park.
After cruising to a comfortable race one win, Haslam had to hold off a hard charging Jason O’Halloran in Monday’s second outing to become the first rider to do the double at the May Bank Holiday Oulton Park round since Leon Camier in 2009.
It was Jake Dixon who took an early lead on the RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki, but it would soon become clear that it was O’Halloran and Haslam with the pace as they charged to the front.
Things were looking promising for the Honda of O’Halloran as he took the lead on lap five but it wouldn’t be long until Haslam made his way past at Lodge.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki star tried to up the pace to build a gap at the front but a relentless O’Halloran refused to give up, remaining on his tail until the end of the race with the duo crossing the line separated by just 0.086 seconds.
Dixon held off a late race charge from champion Shane Byrne to take his second rostrum of the day.
Glenn Irwin finished fifth after his race one crash ahead of McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes, who made progress towards the end of the race to pick off Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray, who was suffering with a lack of feeling in the front.
Danny Buchan was seventh for FS-3 Kawasaki ahead of former Superstock 1000 rival Richard Cooper while Movuno Halsall Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell rounded out the top ten.
Haslam’s double victory sees him take the lead in the championship standings by 14 points over Bradley Ray with Byrne a further three points behind.