Jake Dixon powered to his third Bennetts British Superbike win and his first victory of 2018 in this afternoon’s opening race at Knockhill.
The RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki rider picked up where he left off 12 months ago with a 1.7s win over Danny Buchan and Leon Haslam to make an all-Kawasaki podium.
Dixon grabbed the holeshot off the line and led all the way to the hairpin, but Haslam squeezed through as the front two, Glenn Irwin, Buchan and Bradley Ray began to stretch a gap over the ensuing pack.
Buchan clocked a new lap record on just the fourth lap of 24, but Haslam went underneath it a few laps later while team-mates Michael Laverty and Christian Iddon began to slowly close the gap on the top five.
It was clear the lap record would continue tumbling on the resurfaced Scottish track as Laverty set the new mark while cutting Buildbase Suzuki man Ray’s gap to fifth.
As Haslam chalked up a 0.5s lead at half-distance, Buchan cut his way past Irwin with a move at the Hairpin to put himself into a podium place.
Back in the battle for a top ten, Andrew Irwin passed Anvil Hire TAG Racing’s James Ellison, before Peter Hickman pushed the Cumbrian back even.
Even further adrift, both Hondas retired as Dan Linfoot and a still-recovering Jason O’Halloran headed into the pits with issues.
At the front, Buchan was closing on Dixon and by lap 24, he tried to squeeze up the inside at the Hairpin, only for Dixon to shut the door and deny him.
Dixon shot forward to Haslam moments later to have a go at the Hairpin, and with Haslam running wide, he snatched the lead and put his head down to extend a gap.
With two laps to go, Dixon had already pulled a 1.5s gap, leaving Buchan and Haslam to tussle for the runner-up spot.
Despite a few attempts to break the Essex ace, Buchan wasn’t to be shaken and held on to second at the chequered flag, 0.208s clear of Haslam.
Glenn Irwin bagged fourth after losing touch with Haslam on the Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team machine.
Ray nabbed fifth nearly 2.5s clear of Tyco BMW riders Laverty and Iddon.
McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes followed them across the line in eighth ahead of Richard Cooper and Smith’s Racing’s Hickman, who rounded out the top ten.