Tommy Hill kept Alex Lowes waiting for his first British Superbike victory after a champion’s ride in race one at Cadwell Park. The polesitter kept up with Hill for most of the race but a sudden burst of pace from the Swan Yamaha left him to settle for second. Michael Laverty kept up his consistent form with third and secured his place in the championship showdown as a result.
Hill bolted from the middle of the front row to grab the lead at Coppice but Laverty was soon on his case after a tremendous start from the second row. The Samsung Honda didn’t stay in second for long as Laverty outbraked Hill at the end of the straight into Park. Lowes was still in touch in third while Jon Kirkham had slipped to fourth ahead of Danny Buchan and Karl Harris.
After shadowing Laverty for a couple of laps, Hill dived through into the lead at Coppice but he still couldn’t shake off the attentions of Lowes who followed through at Mansfield. The 21 year old was clearly capable of worrying the reigning champion and kept himself within half a second for lap after lap while Laverty faded into the distance behind.
Lowes’ brave challenge continued into the final six laps but it was here than Hill turned the screw with consecutive fastest laps, a 1:28.002 followed by a 1:27.986 to put three seconds between himself and the WFR Honda. The blistering pace would also prove enough to claim pole position for race two with nobody able to answer Hill’s speed. Lowes was safe from any attack from Laverty and cruised home for his maiden BSB podium while Laverty removed any pressure from his shoulders with a showdown-securing third.
The fight for fourth went all the way to the finish though with Jon Kirkham coming under huge pressure from Danny Buchan, proving his qualifying performance was no flash in the pan. The teenager seemed to get stronger as the race unfolded and sneaked up the inside of Kirkham into Charlies. Kirkham couldn’t fight back and was even forced to hold off a charging Josh Brookes on the last lap after the Australian had demoted Karl Harris. From twelfth on the grid, sixth was decent damage limitation for the Tyco Suzuki rider while seventh was still an excellent result for Harris on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki.
James Westmoreland completed a superb race for Team WFR with eighth while Tommy Bridewell strengthened his showdown spot with ninth. Ian Lowry had passed him two laps from the finish but an error soon afterwards at Charlies dropped him back to twelfth, costing him valuable points.