Glenn Irwin took his first British Superbike victory of the season in race one at Brands Hatch while Leon Haslam finished sixth to secure his first ever BSB title. Irwin led from start to finish, seeing off Jake Dixon whose gallant chase of Haslam finally came to an end with the JG Speedfit rider carrying an unassailable 51-point lead into the final two races.
Dixon had taken his third consecutive pole position earlier in the afternoon, completing a clean sweep of poles in the Showdown phase of the season. His lead would only last a matter of metres though with Irwin making the faster getaway off the start line and beating the Kawasaki into Paddock Hill bend. With Dixon second, Haslam only required seventh and that was where he lied after gaining a place on the opening lap.
So often the victim of bad luck at Brands Hatch, Haslam was the recipient of some good fortune on lap five as Richard Cooper and Tommy Bridewell, running either side of him in sixth and eighth, crashed simultaneously at Druids. The 35-year-old avoided any trouble to take sixth and with Dixon relegated to third by the second Be Wiser Ducati of Andrew Irwin soon afterwards, Leon’s title bid received another boost.
After regrouping, Dixon came on strong in the closing stages to regain second from the younger Irwin sibling who appeared to be encountering tyre trouble. However, Glenn had opened up a 1.5s advantage in the meantime and had enough of a cushion to ease home for a long-overdue victory. Dixon followed close behind in second while Tarran Mackenzie recovered from a near-highside at Sheene’s curve to complete the rostrum.
Andrew Irwin held onto fourth ahead of Peter Hickman while the newly crowned champion cruised home in sixth. Josh Brookes was seventh after seeing off the Anvil Hire Yamaha of James Ellison while Danny Buchan and Michael Laverty completed the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship – Riders’ Standings (2 Races to Go)
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