Leon Haslam put one hand on the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike trophy as he doubled up in a chaotic second race in Assen.
Polesitter Peter Hickman took the holeshot followed by Jake Dixon and Josh Brookes, but the rhythm of the race would be interrupted by a horrific crash at the final turn on the end of the opening lap.
As a number of riders were forced to slow to avoid a moment for Josh Brookes, Dan Linfoot rammed into the back of Leon Haslam’s JG Speedfit Kawasaki. On the floor in the middle of a closeknit pack, Linfoot was then run over by Glenn Irwin with Tommy Bridewell hitting Linfoot’s stricken Fireblade, which burst into flames. With Linfoot and his bike off the track, race direction opted for a safety car intervention as opposed to a red flag.
The race resumed after four laps behind the BMW M2, but the drama wasn’t over there as Tarran Mackenzie highsided out at the final chicane and miraculously avoided a repeat of the Linfoot situation thanks to lightning quick reactions from Dean Harrison who missed him by milliseconds.
After the strong start, Hickman led Dixon and Brookes but there’d be even more drama with heartbreak for championship contender Jake Dixon who retired with an engine problem on lap nine.
Having lost time following a quick safety car restart, Haslam was the man on the mission as he set a new lap record chasing down the leading pair, with Brookes making his way past Hickman to lead until the 15th lap when Haslam made his move.
Cruising to the win, Haslam now sits a whopping 61 points ahead of Dixon in the title fight with three races remaining at Brands.
Brookes didn’t give up on chasing the series leader, crossing the line just 0.138 seconds behind Haslam with Peter Hickman completing the podium in third.
Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin was fourth ahead of Richard Cooper while Andrew Irwin completed the top six.
Bradley Ray recovered from a tough first race to take seventh while James Ellison, Danny Buchan and Christian Iddon rounded out the top ten.
The series concludes in two weeks’ time at Brands Hatch, where Haslam looks set to clinch his first ever BSB crown.