Leon Haslam has extended his championship lead after a brilliant 4-way fight for the victory.
From pole position, Jake Dixon took the lead as they headed towards the tight turn 1 but Mackenzie dived under Dixon through turn 3 to put the McAms Yamaha out front.
A strong start from Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman saw him dive under Leon Haslam into the Ramshoek and focused on catching Dixon and Mackenzie.
On Lap 4 Hickman had an attempt to pass Dixon but ran wide on the exit allowing an under the weather Dixon back through.
Just behind the leading 4, Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon was fighting with Showdown star Glenn Irwin changing positions on more than one occasion.
Haslam lined up Hickman for a pass into the Gert-Timmer Chicane but had to complete the pass at turn 1 after the BMW got magnificent drive onto the straight.
After a strong start to the weekend, Gino Rea stepped off his OMG Suzuki at turn 9.
A new lap record came in from Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin who started dropping Iddon and started to close down Hickman.
That lap record was short lived for Irwin as the Hard rear tyre on the back on Haslam’s JG Speedfit Kawasaki came into play as he started to close down Dixon’s small advantage.
Haslam made the move on Dixon into turn 1 as they started the 10th lap but the pair nearly came to grief at the Strubben Hairpin as Jake stuck his front wheel under Haslam, only to have the door closed by the Green Kawasaki.
Back at the front, Tarran Mackenzie looked comfy on the soft rear tyre setting constant 36.9’s compared to Haslam’s 37.1s. Haslam responded on the 12th lap 0.4s faster than the leading Yamaha.
Haslam pulled the pin closing right to the back wheel of Mackenzie’s Yamaha whilst Jake Dixon and Peter Hickman followed the ‘Pocket Rocket’ as they prepared for a last 4 lap scrap.
Haslam made the pass into turn 1 but a brilliant bit of riding from the number 95 Yamaha gave Mackenzie the advantage once again into the hairpin.
Haslam lined up the pass into the Gert Timmer chicane eventually getting passed Mackenzie whilst Hickman dived under Dixon into turn 1 but missed a gear into Strubben saw the BMW rider drop down to 4th and out of a podium contention.
After watching Haslam make the move it was Dixon’s time passing Mackenzie on the penultimate lap and pushed to see if he can close Haslam’s lead.
Despite throwing everything at it Dixon couldn’t get the better of Haslam meaning it was another win for the Championship leader meaning the championship lead is now 36 points.
Mackenzie rounded off the podium whilst Hickman set the new lap record on the final lap of the race.
Hickman moves up ahead of Bradley Ray in the championship whilst O’Halloran and Mackenzie is joint in Seventh as they fight it out for the riders cup.
Can Haslam extend his lead even further in race 2?
Find out at NowMoto
Featured image credit: Impact Images