Sylvain Guintoli celebrated his first victory of the in a race two thriller at Assen as Bennetts Suzuki team claimed its first victory with Josh Brookes and Leon Haslam returning to the podium ahead of the Brands Hatch title decider.
Haslam claimed the Race One victory at the Dutch track after an epic six-way scrap for supremacy with Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne scything his way through the order.
On the opening lap James Ellison lead from Haslam, Christian Iddon and Dan Linfoot, but Guintoli was soon in the mix as he moved into third on the Bennetts Suzuki at the end of the third lap.
Byrne had started 16th on the grid, but he was forcing his way through the pack and by the sixth lap was up to fifth as the leading pack of Ellison, Haslam, Guintoli and Byrne started to trade blows at the front of the field.
Guintoli hit the lead on the tenth lap as he dived ahead of Ellison with Haslam and Byrne in close contention, but the McAMS Yamaha rider wasn’t second for long as he repaid the move to reclaim the position at the front of the field.
Byrne had moved up to third as Guintoli moved back ahead of Ellison, but Haslam was determined and he moved into second before taking the lead on lap 14 to put the JG Speedfit Kawasaki back ahead. As Haslam took the lead the pack shuffled with Ellison up to second ahead of Guintoli with Byrne in fourth as Josh Brookes and Bradley Ray closed in.Haslam was edging an advantage but the fight wasn’t over until the line as Byrne made a decisive last lap move to put himself ahead of Ellison, but in turn the McAMS Yamaha rider had come under attack from Guintoli.
As Byrne held second, Ellison went for a last corner move on Guintoli to hold onto the final podium spot with the Bennetts Suzuki rider relegated to fourth ahead of Brookes and Ray.Peter Hickman held off Showdown rival Jake Dixon for seventh place with John Hopkins and Jason O’Halloran completing the top ten ahead of Linfoot, Mossey and Richard Cooper after Christian Iddon crashed out unhurt.
Race Two was just as dramatic as Byrne hit the front of the pack from Haslam and Ellison on the opening lap, with Guintoli, Brookes and Iddon in close contention. However instantly the riders were jostling for positions and by the third lap the Bennetts Suzuki of Guintoli was at the front and ahead of Haslam.
Haslam instantly fought back though to try and recapture the lead but as the pack streamed across the line for the fourth time Byrne led Ellison with Haslam and Guintoli next up with Brookes ready to make his attack.
By lap seven Ellison had edged into the lead on the McAMS Yamaha at the final chicane, but Byrne was pushing hard and two laps later he regained the position with Guintoli holding third ahead of Haslam and Brookes.
The five riders were trading blows for the positions and Haslam then moved ahead of Ellison to claim third as Guintoli then took the lead. On lap 16 the leading pack were all side by side as they entered turn one; Byrne and Haslam came off worst as they drifted wide and allowed Guintoli, Ellison and Brookes to emerge ahead.
Guintoli then held the advantage but Ellison was under attack and Haslam made a move on the penultimate lap to move second, but Brookes wasn’t done yet. The Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha rider waited until the final lap to make a pass; the Australian lunging ahead into second place to maintain second place in the overall standings.
Ellison held off Byrne who finished fifth for the Be Wiser Ducati team with Hickman edging ahead of Dixon to claim sixth place ahead of Iddon, Linfoot and Ray.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Assen, race one result:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.992s
James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +2.591s
Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki) +2.655s
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +2.717s
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +2.814s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +7.865s
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +8.210s
John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +11.000s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +15.666s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Assen, race two result:
Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki)
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +0.589s
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +0.873s
James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +1.315s
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.410s
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +7.605s
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) +9.221s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.450s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +9.502s
Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +15.012s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 612
Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 580
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 579
Jake Dixon (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki) 558
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 549
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 526