History was made this afternoon as Leon Haslam, James Ellison and Peter Hickman climbed the rostrum in the opening race at Oulton Park – to claim the first-ever MCE British Superbike Championship podium lockout.
It was Haslam who took victory, his fifth of the season, after getting the better of title rival Shane Byrne seven laps into the race.
A delighted Haslam said: “A 1-2-3 for the team is just incredible and to take another win and the fastest lap in the process just doesn’t get any better! We’ve made big steps with the bike and are beginning to understand it more and getting the true potential out of the ZX-10R.
“There’s still a lot more we can unlock but right now it’s doing the job, and we know we can win, so that’s our main focus. To see that my team-mates are second and third is brilliant. The team has put in so much effort over the last few months so to get the first ever BSB podium lockout is perfect way to repay them!”
Ellison was next up in second place as he looks to secure a spot in the end of season Showdown. Ellison made a great start to the race and was leading as they came across the line first-time round.
Although he was unable to keep Haslam behind him, Ellison was still delighted to make a return to the podium and is now looking ahead to Sunday’s races.
He said: “We’ve been doing a lot of work on the bike and the team has made some big steps. We had a test at Cadwell earlier this week and found a really good setting with the bike which has paid off here. The boys have done a fantastic job to give me I bike that I can race and fight for a win with which is mega.
“It’s not been an easy few rounds recently but we’ve shown we can fight for wins and our title challenge is back on track. I want to say a massive thanks to the whole JG Speedfit Kawasaki team and my sponsors, I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings!”
Completing the historic podium was Hickman, who also made a positive getaway from seventh on the grid and was comfortable in fourth for the majority of the race.
A mistake from Byrne towards the end of the race allowed the 29-year-old to move-up into the podium places and he stayed put for the remaining laps – capping off a brilliant day for the team.
Hickman added: “What an incredible race and it’s an amazing feeling to be part of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki 1-2-3, the first in BSB history! It has been a brilliant weekend so far, the bike has been working fantastic and I knew our race pace was strong – particularly towards the end of the race.
“I know I needed to keep my head, particularly when Jason was putting the pressure on but knowing the podium lockout was possible I really wanted to do it! I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s races and hopefully we can get our space in the Showdown.”
Tomorrow’s races at Oulton Park are scheduled to take place at 13:35 and 16:35.