Josh Brookes stormed through from 13th on the grid to take his first victory of the season in damp conditions at Brands Hatch. Tyre choice was crucial and many of the championship contenders came unstuck after making the wrong decision, necessitating a pit stop.
Brookes took the lead early on from wildcard Joan Lascorz who was another man to hit trouble and enjoyed a relatively trouble free ride at the front. John Hopkins held second but fell back into the clutches of Michael Rutter and Gary Mason who knocked him off the podium late in the race.
Chris Walker claimed his best result in over a year with fifth while James Westmoreland finished a strong sixth. Graeme Gowland also impressed to take seventh, and with it, the victory in the mirror.co.uk EVO class.
Polesitter Tommy Hill and series leader Shane Byrne were among those to come unstuck, with both finishing outside the points, but a late change to slicks enabled them to post lap times quick enough to secure a place on the front row of the grid for race two.
With Brookes unable to do so as he battled for victory, the Australian will start Sunday's opening race from the same place he started on Saturday, putting a slight dampener on his first win for Relentless Suzuki.
“The bike was perfect for the conditions and despite many other riders also on intermediate tyres; I didn’t have any problems at all; even on the first four or five laps when water was still visible. I was confident to push and I had to because I was starting from row four. It proves how good a team we have to work through these conditions, but I’m disappointed at having to start from the fourth row again tomorrow.”
The second of this weekend's three races will get underway at 13:15 on Sunday afternoon with Hill on pole from Lascorz, Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari, who also failed to score in race one.
Race One Result (15 Laps):
|1||Josh Brookes||AUS||Suzuki||Relentless Suzuki by TAS||22:53.718|
|2||Michael Rutter||GBR||Ducati||Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati||+2.072|
|3||Gary Mason||GBR||Kawasaki||MSS Colchester Kawasaki||+2.322|
|4||John Hopkins||USA||Suzuki||Samsung Crescent Racing||+6.022|
|5||Chris Walker||GBR||Kawasaki||Pr1mo Racing||+8.111|
|6||James Westmoreland||GBR||Yamaha||Motorpoint Yamaha||+10.783|
|7||Graeme Gowland (E)||GBR||Honda||Team WFR||+11.626|
|8||Michael Laverty||GBR||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||+18.849|
|9||Jon Kirkham||GBR||Suzuki||Samsung Crescent Racing||+22.729|
|10||Glen Richards (E)||AUS||Honda||Team WFR||+50.648|
|11||Ian Lowry||GBR||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||+50.872|
|12||Patric Muff (E)||SWI||Honda||Tyco Honda||+51.114|
|13||Dan Kneen (E)||GBR||Kawasaki||Marks Bloom Racing||+53.014|
|14||Jake Zemke (E)||USA||Honda||Team WFR||+58.176|
|15||Barry Burrell (E)||GBR||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||+1 Lap|
|16||Shane Byrne||GBR||Honda||HM Plant Honda||+1 Lap|
|17||Ryuichi Kiyonari||JAP||Honda||HM Plant Honda||+1 Lap|
|18||Broc Parkes (WC)||AUS||Kawasaki||Kawasaki World Superbike Team||+1 Lap|
|19||Tommy Hill||GBR||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||+1 Lap|
|20||Aaron Zanotti (E)||GBR||BMW||Quattro Plant Spike Racing||+1 Lap|
|21||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki||MSS Colchester Kawasaki||+2 Laps|
|22||Glenn Allerton (E)||AUS||BMW||Doodson Motorsport||+2 Laps|
|23||Martin Jessopp||GBR||Ducati||Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati||+2 Laps|
|24||James Ellison||GBR||Honda||Team Sorrymate.com||+2 Laps|
|25||Peter Hickman||GBR||Honda||Tyco Honda||+2 Laps|
|26||Scott Smart (E)||GBR||Ducati||Moto Rapido Ducati||+2 Laps|
|Joan Lascorz (WC)||SPA||Kawasaki||Kawasaki World Superbike Team||+3 Laps|
|Hudson Kennaugh (E)||RSA||Aprilia||Splitlath Motorsport||+9 Laps|
|Karl Harris||GBR||Aprilia||Splitlath Motorsport||+13 Laps|
|Matteo Mossa (E)||ITA||Suzuki||777RR Motorsport||+13 Laps|