Leon Haslam has one hand on the 2018 British Superbike Championship after winning the second race of the weekend at Assen. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider edged out Josh Brookes to claim his fourteenth win of the season while a mechanical problem effectively put paid to Jake Dixon’s chances of the title, the 21-year-old falling 61 points behind Haslam with just three races remaining.
The second race was littered with incidents, starting at the end of lap one as Tarran Mackenzie had a moment exiting the Geert Timmer chicane, slowing up Haslam. The hesitation in front caught out Dan Linfoot who clipped the back of the no.91 Kawasaki before tumbling to the ground, leaving Glenn Irwin powerless to avoid him. The Honda rider was stretchered away and thankfully appeared to be conscious, although he has been taken to hospital with pelvic injuries.
With Tommy Bridewell also brought down in the mayhem, the safety car was scrambled while the debris was cleared and the race had barely restarted when trouble struck again. Exiting the same Timmer chicane, Mackenzie high-sided his Yamaha and was miraculously avoided by the pursuing riders, Dean Harrison missing him by a matter of inches.
Once the race finally settled down, a leading group of four was established with polesitter Peter Hickman leading from Dixon, Brookes and Haslam but mechanical misfortune saw Dixon slow to a crawl on lap ten, taking him out of the race and effectively the championship. With his chief rival out of play, Haslam made quick work of Hickman, easing past into second moments after Brookes had grabbed the lead, and the race victory would ultimately go Leon’s way after a late-braking manoeuvre into turn one on lap 16.
Hickman followed home in a close third while Be Wiser’s Glenn Irwin matched his earlier result in fourth ahead of Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper. Their respective team-mates were next up with Andrew Irwin and Bradley Ray sixth and seventh while James Ellison, Danny Buchan and Christian Iddon rounded out the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship – Riders’ Standings (3 Races to Go)
|−||1||91. Leon Haslam||Kawasaki||JG Speedfit Kawasaki||654|
|−||2||27. Jake Dixon||Kawasaki||RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki||593|
|▲||3||25. Josh Brookes||Yamaha||McAMS Yamaha||557|
|▼||4||2. Glenn Irwin||Ducati||Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team||554|
|−||5||60. Peter Hickman||BMW||Smiths Racing BMW||549|
|−||6||28. Bradley Ray||Suzuki||Buildbase Suzuki||533|