Leon Haslam was crowned the Monster Energy King of the Mountain at Cadwell Park this afternoon after he celebrated a double race win at the Lincolnshire circuit despite the attack from Jake Dixon and a resurgent Bradley Ray in the two races. The performances have seen both Haslam and Dixon become the first riders to have their places confirmed in the Showdown ahead of the top six decider at Silverstone.
In the opening race of the day at the challenging Lincolnshire circuit, Haslam held off the challenge from Ray to cross the finish line ahead by just 0.117s with Dixon snatching a podium finish on the final lap.
At the start of the race Haslam had grabbed the initial lead at the start of the race from Ray and Dixon with Glenn Irwin and Danny Buchan tucked in behind and it wasn’t until the third lap that the Buildbase Suzuki rider could make a move to hit the front of the pack.
Ray was then leading Haslam and Buchan who was bidding to make a move, but the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki rider made a costly mistake at the bottom of the Mountain on the third lap to crash out of contention unhurt and drop him outside of the top six in the standings.
Ray was still leading the pack when the BMW Safety Car was deployed when Chrissy Rouse crashed through Hall Bends and when the race resumed he headed the pack from Haslam, Glenn Irwin, Tommy Bridewell, Dixon and Christian Iddon.
Dixon was on a charge and he made a move on Bridewell to move into fourth with Iddon also following in his wheel tracks as the Moto Rapido Ducati rider edged wide. Ray held the advantage at the front until lap 14 when Haslam gunned the JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead at Park, but he went wide and Ray reclaimed the position.
Two laps later and Haslam repeated the move and made it stick and then was defending hard until the finish to continue his winning form at the Lincolnshire circuit with Ray returning to the podium for the first time since Brands Hatch.
Dixon though was desperate to make a podium and after some moments where he ran wide and saved it, he was stalking Glenn Irwin throughout the final lap and made a decisive move into Barn on the final lap to snatch the final podium position.
Glenn Irwin was forced to settle for fourth place ahead of Bridewell who improved on his best result with the Moto Rapido Ducati team in fifth ahead of Iddon and Peter Hickman. Tarran Mackenzie led the McAMS Yamaha team in eighth ahead of James Ellison and Josh Brookes.
However in race two the rivalry continued between the leading trio with the fight for the podium places going down to the wire on the final lap.
Ray had got the holeshot off the line from Haslam, Dixon and Glenn Irwin on the opening lap with Hickman and Brookes giving chase, but Bridewell was making moves to fight through the pack and he was soon up to fifth.
Bridewell then made a move on Glenn Irwin on the brakes at Park and that put him into fourth but the Moto Rapido Ducati had his progression curtailed when he crashed out unhurt at Barn on lap six. Tarran Mackenzie was another rider to end his race prematurely when he slid out at Charlies four laps later.
At the front Ray was holding off Haslam as the pair were too close to call, but the championship leader was hunting and he moved into the lead on lap 12 with a move down the inside on the brakes at Park. At the same time Dixon was able to take advantage too which pushed Ray back into third as the leading trio had edged ahead.
A lap later and Dixon grabbed the lead from Haslam, but on the penultimate lap the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider went for the counter attack and he regained the lead at Park. Dixon was then piling on the pressure and he went for a similar move on the final lap but it cost him as he dramatically ran off track and onto the grass before rejoining allowing Ray to grab second.
Haslam crossed the line with a 5.091s lead after Dixon’s error with Ray claiming second and Dixon third with Hickman maintaining his position in the top six in the standings with a strong fourth place on the Smiths Racing BMW, holding off Glenn Irwin.
Iddon and Laverty held sixth and seventh place respectively for the Tyco BMW team with Buchan keeping his Showdown hopes alive with an eighth place ahead of Richard Cooper and Luke Mossey, pushing Jason O’Halloran just outside the top ten.
Brookes had been running inside the top six on the leading McAMS Yamaha but the 20215 champion was forced to retire with a technical problem.
The Championship now looks ahead to Silverstone, where the six Title Fighters will be decided ahead of the final three-round Showdown to fight for the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship title.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, Race one result:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.117s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +0.890s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.013s
- Tommy Bridewell (Moto Rapido Ducati) +1.247s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.985s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +6.168s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +6.715s
- James Ellison (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.934s
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) +7.567s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, Race two result:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +5.091s
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +7.197s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +8.383s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +8.878s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.681s
- Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +11.750s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +11.900s
- Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) +19.582s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +19.766s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Cadwell Park:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 330
- Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 230
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 187
- Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha) 174
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) 159
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 126
For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com
(JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Cadwell Park double race winner
“I wouldn’t say today has been easy! Honestly we was really struggling to make the pass on Brad in the first race. I felt I had thepace and I could drop back and catch him comfortably on each lap, but to make the pass was another story. I had an engine blip on me again like I had at Oulton and it was giving me that thing that I was going to hit him or I had to lunge through, so I had to lunge through – a little bit last minute but I felt super-happy.
“I knew the attack was coming in the second race, it was one of them! I felt really comfortable when I was behind Jake but when I was in front it was hard to push.
“When you’re in front you set yourself up for a manoeuvre that way and I kind-of thought I’d timed it right and I got a really bad run on that last lap going onto the straight and I knew he was going to have a go. I tried to squeeze him and go as late as I could and luckily it worked out in my favour. It was a really good battle and I’m over the moon so thanks to the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team.”