Lee Jackson and Richard Cooper shared the spoils in this afternoon’s thrilling Pirelli National Superstock 1000 battle as over a quarter of the field crashed out.
Buildbase Suzuki’s championship leader crossed the line first before the pit stop window to bag half points, but FS-3 Kawasaki rider Jackson pipped him by just 0.073s in the second part of the race to take his first win of the year.
Cooper was quickest out of the gates as he led the field into Paddock Hill with Jackson, Taylor Mackenzie and Lewis Rollo right behind.
But just a couple of laps in, Jackson found a way through on Cooper at Hawthorns and by then, the leading four had pulled at least a second over the pursuing pack - headed up by Alex Olsen.
Olsen soon bridged the gap, however, and before long he made it a four-way fight for victory, dropping IN Competition Aprilia’s Rollo just as Cooper sneaked back ahead of Jackson.
But five laps from the half-way pit stops, Jackson found a way back through at Westfield while Cooper got shuffled back into the clutches of Mackenzie in third.
The Bathams BMW rider levered Cooper aside to take over second with less than three laps to go, but Cooper got back ahead and as the front four ran into traffic on the final lap, Cooper took advantage and scythed his way through to the lead.
And with no time to make a move, Jackson had to settle for second behind Cooper as Mackenzie followed them home for third.
As the second half got underway, Mackenzie squeezed by Cooper before the drop down Paddock Hill just as Team WD40 man Emeli Lahti’s huge moment caused him to drop from third back to seventh.
It was the usual suspects back at the front as Mackenzie led Cooper and Jackson, who started to stretch a gap over Ben Godfrey while Lahti crashed out of 10th at Stirlings.
Godfrey was shoved back to seventh as Luke Hedger, Olsen and Rollo slotted into the top six, but they were still almost four seconds adrift of the leading trio.
While Hedger and Olsen crashed out at Surtees with six laps to go followed by Tom Neave and Joe Collier moments later on the Cooper Straight, the fight at the front was heating up as the clock wound down.
Looking for a way through on Mackenzie, Cooper was forced to sit up on the way through Graham Hill Bend as Jackson stole second before following through with a move on Mackenzie at Surtees the very next lap.
Coopes got back ahead of Mackenzie and made hay as he set about in pursuit of Jackson and despite Cooper snagging the lead on the outside of Clearways, Jackson powered back past across the line to take his first win of the season while Mackenzie bagged another podium in third.
Joining the DNF tally, Tim Neave and Leon Jeacock added their bikes to the scrap heap as they both hit the dirt at Clearways on the final lap.