Brands BSB finale: Haslam finally crowned champion as Irwin wins

Picture: Impact Images

Leon Haslam finally broke his Bennetts British Superbike championship duck to take his very first title today, while Glenn Irwin bagged his first win of the season.

While the Be Wiser Ducati man led from lights-to-flag, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Haslam cruised home to a solid sixth-place finish while his title rival Jake Dixon was left just two points shy of a continued battle for the crown tomorrow after finishing second.

Irwin grabbed the early holeshot as he slipped ahead of Dixon and Taz Mackenzie and as the pack strung out heading into Graham Hill bend with Haslam back in seventh, Fraser Rogers binned the Gearlink Kawasaki as he slid off into the grass.

But McAMS Yamaha’s Mackenzie had a big moment coming out of Sheene curve, which caused him to drop to fifth as Smith’s Racing man Peter Hickman and Andrew Irwin slotted into third and fourth.

Disaster then struck just a lap later for Richard Cooper and Tommy Bridewell, however, as they both binned their machines at Druids in separate incidents, promoting Haslam to fifth.

And after crashing out in qualifying earlier today, Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran dropped his day from bad to worse as he crashed out of 10th just moments after passing Buildbase Suzuki’s Bradley Ray. Moments later, Martin Jessopp added to the casualty list as he dropped his BMW at Druids.

The top five received a shake-up as Andrew Irwin passed Dixon for second to slot in just behind his brother, while Mackenzie took advantage of a door left open by Hickman to take over fourth.

RAF Regular and Reserves’ Dixon closed the gap to the Irwins as the race crossed its half-way point and by lap 12, he had the two Be Wiser Ducatis within spitting distance.

The championship runner-up made haste with four laps to go and slipped underneath Andrew Irwin, setting about furiously on Glenn as he fought to make up the nearly two-second gap with just three laps remaining.

But it proved not to be enough for Dixon and as he stuck his bike on the rostrum, Glenn bagged his first win of the season, while Mackenzie knocked his brother off the podium.

And while Haslam settled for sixth behind Hickman, 10 points with Dixon’s runner-up finish was enough to bag his maiden Bennetts British Superbike title.

Josh Brookes and Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s James Ellison completed the top eight while FS-3 Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan and Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty completed the top 10.

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