Leon Haslam has edged clear of a frantic battle for victory in the Assen opener to extend his MCE British Superbike championship lead with Shane Byrne in second .
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider followed James Ellison for the opening half of race one at the iconic Dutch circuit as the pack began to bunch with Byrne closing up to Sylvain Guintoli in third place after the defending champion started from 17th on the grid.
At mid-race distance a four-way battle began between Ellison, Haslam Guintoli and Byrne and as they diced for position it allowed Josh Brookes and Bradley Ray to catch the leading group to set-up a frantic finale.
Haslam bolted into the lead with two laps to go and quickly built a slim advantage over his rivals who continued to hold up each other and in the final lap maintained his one-second lead to take an important victory.
Byrne made it damage limitation by holding on to second place ahead of McAMS Yamaha’s Ellison who stole the final podium place from Guintoli for Bennetts Suzuki in the sprint to the chequered flag.
Brookes also narrowly missed out on the Anvil Hire Yamaha to finish fifth in front of Ray on the Buildbase Suzuki. Further back Peter Hickman claimed seventh for Smiths Racing BMW ahead of fellow BSB Showdown contender Jake Dixon on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki.
John Hopkins endured a late race fade for Moto Rapido Ducati to finish ninth with final top six title contender Jason O’Halloran in 10th for Honda Racing – just ahead of team-mate Dan Linfoot.
BSB race one results from Assen:
1. Leon Haslam GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10RR 18 laps, 29m 25.265s
2. Shane Byrne GBR Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R +1.992s
3. James Ellison GBR McAMS Yamaha YZF-R1 +2.591s
4. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 +2.655s
5. Josh Brookes AUS Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha YZF-R1 +2.717s
6. Bradley Ray GBR Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000 +2.814s
7. Peter Hickman GBR Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR +7.865s
8. Jake Dixon GBR RAF Reserves Kawasaki ZX-10RR +8.210s
9. John Hopkins USA Moto Rapido Ducati Panigale R +11.000s
10. Jason O’Halloran AUS Honda Racing CBR1000RR +15.666s
11. Dan Linfoot GBR Honda Racing CBR1000RR +25.719s
12. Luke Mossey GBR JG Speedfit Kawasaki ZX-10RR +25.439s
13. Richard Cooper GBR Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 +25.966s
14. Glenn Irwin GBR Be Wiser Ducati Panigale R +26.048s
15. Tommy Bridewell GBR Team WD-40 Kawasaki ZX-10RR +26.451s
16. Lee Jackson GBR Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR +26.605s
17. Martin Jessopp GBR Ridersmotorcycles BMW S1000RR +33.857s
18. Jakub Smrz CZE Lloyd & Jones/PR Racing BMW S1000RR +33.939s
19. Josh Elliott GBR Tyco BMW S1000RR +34.950s
20. James Westmoreland GBR Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-10RR +55.046s
21. Aaron Zanotti GBR Platform Hire Yamaha YZF-R1 +1m 09.376s
22. Shaun Winfield GBR Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha YZF-R1 +1 lap
23. Dean Harrison GBR Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki ZX-10RR +2 laps
Did not finish
Christian Iddon GBR Tyco BMW S1000RR
Danny Buchan GBR Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki ZX-10RR
Michael Laverty GBR McAMS Yamaha YZF-R1
Did not start
Taylor Mackenzie GBR Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000