Leon Haslam showed yet again why he is the king of Donington Park after completing the double in the opening round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship.
The 33-year-old took the time to conserve his tyres once again in the early stages, before making his move on second-place finisher Josh Brookes with just five laps to go.
The pair were joined on the podium by Glenn Irwin, who came fought back through the field and made his presence felt in the last couple of laps – getting the better of Christian Iddon (fourth), Luke Mossey (fifth) and James Ellison (sixth).
Sylvain Guintoli was next-up in seventh place, making amends for his crash in race one. Peter Hickman (eighth) and Davide Giugliano (ninth) finished a few seconds further back, with Jason O’Halloran once again rounding out the top-1o finishers on the Honda.
Brookes and Ellison both got off the line well, with a wheelie preventing Haslam from going down the inside of the Australian at turn one. Mossey initially moved-up into third place but Laverty went down the inside to regain the position at the Foggy Esses.
Ellison went down the inside of Mossey at Turn One for fourth on lap two, however Mossey wasn’t having any of it and went back through at the Old Hairpin. Iddon tried to take advantage of the situation by putting a move on Ellison, however Ellison was able to fight back and regained the place at the Foggy Esses.
The third lap was a hectic one, with Laverty pulling out of the race with a mechanical issue before Billy Mcconnell fell once again at Goddards.
Back at the front, Ellison had made his way back through to third place and was chasing down Haslam and Brookes. Over the next few laps Goddards would claim two more victims, with Jake Dixon and Taylor Mackenzie both losing the front end in similar incidents.
Ellison put a move on Haslam at the end of the start/finish straight for second place, taking advantage of a bizarre situation which saw the “Pocket Rocket” looking over his shoulder.
Haslam soon found his way back through however and began to pull away from the Yamaha – just like he did in race one earlier in the day.
With the rest of the field now a long way back, Haslam began to put the pressure on Brookes for the lead of the race. The race one winner finally made his move on lap 15, going down the inside at the Foggy Esses.
Moments later Mossey went down he inside of Ellison for third place at the Melbourne Loop. Ellison would bounce back immediately at Redgate, only to lose out was again at the Melbourne Loop the following lap- with Iddon also forcing his way through.
In the final few laps of the race Irwin would begin to mount his podium challenge. He started by taking fifth place away from Ellison, just as Iddon got the better of Mossey at the Foggy Esses.
Irwin was soon on the back of the duo and wasted little time, going down the inside of Mossey at Redgate for fourth place. The Be Wiser Ducati rider made the exact same move at the start of the final lap, although Iddon managed to fight back and go down the inside.
Irwin wasn’t having any of it though and put in a brave move down the inside of the Old Hairpin. The 27-year-old managed to hold-off his rivals in the final few corners to bring and provide his team with a positive result after a difficult day.
Meanwhile at the front, Haslam had already crossed the line to make it two wins from two races in 2017. Last season’s runner-up leaves Donington Park with a 19-point lead over Mossey in the championship standings.