Shane Byrne claimed his third consecutive British Superbike victory after seeing off Leon Haslam in a last lap battle in race one at Cadwell Park. The two title favourites traded places throughout the race but ultimately it came down to the final two miles, with Byrne snatching victory halfway around the final lap.
Haslam had started from pole position after a record-breaking qualifying lap but Byrne soon edged ahead on the first lap, only to see the JG Speedfit Kawasaki outbrake him into Park. A mistake at Mansfield on lap four allowed the no.67 back ahead but despite the place-swapping, Byrne, Haslam and Jason O’Halloran’s Honda had distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
As the race reached half-distance, Haslam repeated his opening lap manoeuvre on Byrne but with both focusing on preserving their tyres in the hot conditions, O’Halloran and Bennetts Suzuki’s Tommy Bridewell were now right in contention.
The pace quickened again in the closing stages as the title challengers resumed their battle but Haslam appeared to have fended off the Ducati after defending his line into Park on the last lap. Byrne had other ideas though and dived up the inside of Chris curve, securing a seventh win of 2016. Haslam’s only consolation was a lap record which earned him pole for race two.
O’Halloran held off a fast-finishing Bridewell for third while Glenn Irwin produced a sensational recovery ride to take fifth despite falling outside the top ten early on. James Ellison and Peter Hickman boosted their Showdown prospects with sixth and seventh for JG Speedfit Kawasaki while Richard Cooper faded to eighth despite a front row start, narrowly holding off Jake Dixon and Michael Laverty.