Leon Haslam had the perfect start to his 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season, claiming a double race win for JG Speedfit Kawasaki at his home circuit of Donington Park, but he was pushed all the way by Josh Brookes on his return to the series.
Brookes fired off the pole position into the lead on the opening lap and as the pack streamed down Craner Curves for the first time the Australian was fighting off Haslam, Luke Mossey and Michael Laverty on the leading McAMS Yamaha.
Laverty was attacking Mossey, moving to third on the second lap ahead of Mossey and a closing James Ellison, but the race ended prematurely for the leading McAMS Yamaha when he suffered a technical problem and was forced to retire.
At the front Ellison had moved into third behind the battling Brookes and Haslam but on the eighth lap the local hero took a look over his shoulder as he crossed the start line, giving Ellison the chance to make a pass into Redgate.
A lap later though and Haslam was on the counterattack; jamming his way ahead of his former team-mate as the leading pair of Brookes and Haslam began to edge an advantage.
Haslam was shadowing Brookes and with five laps to go he made his move at the Esses and was able to hold off his Australian rival to the finish. However behind the battle for third had intensified with Glenn Irwin storming his way through the pack to close in on the trio of Mossey, Iddon and Ellison.
Irwin saved his best for last, making his moves count over the final two laps and despite a huge last lap duel with race one podium finisher Iddon, he was able to claim his first podium finish of the season to the jubilation of the Be Wiser Ducati team.
Iddon was forced to settle for fourth ahead of Mossey and Ellison as Sylvain Guintoli bounced back from his race one crash to finish seventh after getting the better of Peter Hickman. Davide Giugliano and Jason O’Halloran completed the top ten.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, race two result:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +2.716s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +9.535s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.849s
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.193s
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +12.287s
- Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +16.339s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +18.093s
- Davide Giugliano (Tyco BMW) +20.627s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +21.291s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Donington Park:
- Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 50
- Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 31
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 29
- Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 29
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 26
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 21
- James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) 21
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 12
- Davide Giugliano (Tyco BMW) 10
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 9