Oulton BSB: Haslam beats Dixon to opening race win

Picture: Impact Images

Leon Haslam scorched to the first Bennetts British Superbike Championship race win of the day in the blistering heat of Oulton Park.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider took the lead on the seventh lap, and built up enough of a gap to take the first win of the day without any serious pressure from behind.

It was RAF Regulars and Reserves Kawasaki rider Jake Dixon who got the best start from second on the grid and grabbed the holeshot, as Haslam moved into second and Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin slotted into third.

Polesitter Shane Byrne didn’t get away well, and dropped back to fifth behind Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray.

Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty’s bad weekend continued as he crashed out at Lodge on the opening lap, and he became the first of many crashers.

Peter Hickman, who had been running seventh, tipped off at Cascades on the fourth lap after losing the rear, and then a lap later, Irwin’s Be Wiser Ducati suffered a similar sort of fate at Island Bend.

By now, Dixon and Haslam had edged out a gap up front, and after a few attempts, Haslam squeezed down the inside of Dixon at Lodge on lap seven to hit the front.

Haslam’s team-mate, Luke Mossey, crashed out at Druids moments later and was taken to the medical centre, and a lap later Taylor Mackenzie, aboard the Moto Rapido Ducati, crashed out a Lodge.

By lap 10, Haslam and Dixon had stabilised their pace at the front, but Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran was closing in on Bradley Ray who was running third, with Byrne close behind.

Byrne squeezed his Be Wiser Ducati past O’Halloran for fourth on the 12th lap and a lap later passed Ray at Lodge to move up to third, while up front, Dixon was carefully stalking Haslam.

But Haslam pulled the pin, and stretched himself a bit of a gap, building the lead to 1.624 second as he took the chequered flag at the end of 18 laps.

Dixon took a solid second, some 4.600s ahead of Byrne, while Ray had to make do with fourth.

O’Halloran took fifth, ahead of the first McAMS Yamaha machine of Josh Brookes, as Danny Buchan finished seventh on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki

Tommy Bridewell brought the Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki home eighth, as the second McAMS bike of Taz Mackenzie was ninth and Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper rounded out the top 10.

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