Alastair Seeley has taken his first MCE British Superbike race victory after prevailing in an exciting ten lap sprint in treacherous conditions at Brands Hatch.
The Ulsterman was in masterful form on the second restart, prompted when rain eight laps into the first start forced a red flag and a shortened race, to hold off the unfortunate Michael Rutter and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Rutter had looked on course for a second win of the season from pole position after stretching out a good advantage over Josh Brookes and Kiyonari, but a rain deluge at the mid-way stage left officials no choice but to stop proceedings and call a wet race.
With the race shortened to ten laps and the grid decided by positions at the end of lap eight, the field tiptoed around the first corner at the quick restart, with Rutter leading into Paddock Hill Bend, ahead of Kiyonari.
However, it was Seeley who displayed the most confident over the opening bends to scythe his way up from sixth, taking the lead from Rutter at Graham Hill Bend and proceeding to pull away.
Although Rutter and Kiyonari gave chase as they settled into the conditions, they ran out of time to close down Seeley, whose maiden BSB
win remains only the second-ever for the Relentless by TAS Suzuki team. His success also moves him up into the top six overall.
Despite being quickest in dry conditions, Rutter had to settle for second place, with Kiyonari rounding out the podium, Josh Brookes in fourth and Tom Sykes in a quiet fifth place, the World Superbike regular unable to maintain pace with the leaders after initially suggesting he'd be a threat for the win.
Having started ahead of team-mate Seeley, Michael Laverty recovered from a poor getaway to finish in sixth, ahead of James Ellison, Yukio Kagayama, John Laverty and Ian Lowry.
There was disappointment for Tommy Hill, however, who was forced to begin the restart from the back of the grid after failing to get out on track in time. He could only recover to 15th place, losing the lead of the standings to Brookes in the process.
Stuart Easton did his chances of qualifying for the title showdown few favours with fall, although it was only he and Simon Andrews to falter in the poor conditions, both tumbling at Paddock Hill Bend.
In the Evo category, Steve Brogan and Gary Johnson were in contention for a top ten finish overall before tangling at Graham Hill Bend, Brogan crashing his BMW. Johnson recovered to third in class, but it was Chris Burns who would win on the Splitlath Aprilia.