The opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown produced high drama at Oulton Park as championship leader Jason O’Halloran crashed out after hitting the front of the pack as his teammate Tarran Mackenzie claimed the victory with a last lap move on Josh Brookes. Now just five points separate the McAMS Yamahas at the top of the standings.
At the start of the race, O’Halloran had taken the lead into Old Hall for the first time as the Showdown kicked off in Cheshire, but Brookes was instantly attacking and moved ahead before the pack streamed into Shell on the opening lap.
Championship leader O’Halloran was soon back ahead as the Australians duelled for the leading position with the McAMS Yamaha rider holding the edge on the third lap, before Brookes regained the advantage at Hizzys.
A resurgent Brookes was defending hard on the VisionTrack Ducati from O’Halloran at the front of the field, as the reigning champion bids for a late championship comeback. On the tenth lap, his McAMS Yamaha rival made a decisive move at Knickerbrook as O’Halloran regained command of the race.
However, whilst pushing to break away from Brookes, O’Halloran dramatically crashed out at Knickerbrook on lap 12, handing the lead back to his Title Fighter rival who was holding off Mackenzie, Christian Iddon and Lee Jackson.
Brookes was then defending from Mackenzie, but the McAMS Yamaha rider made his move on the brakes into Hizzys on the final lap, before claiming his sixth win of the season to move within five points of O’Halloran in the standings, slashing his advantage.
Iddon had a dash to the line to hold off Jackson to make it a double podium finish for the VisionTrack Ducati team, whilst Peter Hickman completed the top five for FHO Racing BMW.
Tommy Bridewell stormed up the order from 15th on the grid to finish sixth ahead of Danny Buchan, as the SYNETIQ BMW rider had to work his way through the pack after taking evasive action when Ryan Vickers crashed out ahead of him on the opening lap.
Glenn Irwin, Bradley Ray and Storm Stacey completed the top ten ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, BikeSocial Race 1:
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.087s
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.372s
- Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.396s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +5.925s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +7.181s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +11.476s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +12.087s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +15.058s
- Storm Stacey (Team LKQ Euro Car Parts Kawasaki) +17.796s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park Race 1:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1071
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 1066
- Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 1042
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 1034
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 1026
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 1023
- Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 1022
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 1020
Tarran Mackenzie – McAMS Yamaha
BikeSocial Race 1 winner
“It feels great to have won that race. I said on the grid that anything can happen, and what I meant was that I could still win even though I’m injured, but I did not expect Jason to do something like that!
“He made that mistake and I felt quite comfortable at the time. Myself and Christian were passing each other and I could see that he was right behind me, so when I got past him I decided I’d try and just chase after Josh.
“I made that mistake in the first chicane and then I just thought ‘if I back off here Christian’s going to pass me, then Lee could pass me or I can just keep going’.
“I was on the limit, but I felt comfortable doing it. Josh just had a slight moment at that first chicane on the last lap, but what I lose out of the first chicane with that moment of his, just allowed me to stay with him.
“I got the drive on him over the hill to make that pass and I had run wide a couple of times there in the race, so I just made sure I got it stopped. I then defended in the last couple of corners and came across the line to win which is amazing.
“I’ve won here in the other classes and it’s been really annoying that I haven’t been able to win here in Superbike – I haven’t even had a podium! I’m really happy with that and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
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