James Ellison has won his second ViSK.com British Superbike race of the season in extraordinary circumstances after a shocking accident eight laps from the chequered flag eliminated the top six riders.
A thrilling four-way battle for the lead between Simon Andrews, Tommy Hill, Chris Walker and Josh Brookes came to a sudden conclusion when fourth place Brookes, whilst attempting to pass Walker at the hairpin, appeared to lose control of his bike and harpoon leader Andrews.
Kicking off a chain of events that would see Hill and Walker fall too, the following Karl Harris and John Laverty would also hit the deck as the red flag was shown.
As per regulations, those not moving will not be classified in the results, meaning Ellison, who was running seventh, was able to stay upright to inherit the win. Leon Camier, delayed in a first corner accident, came through to make it an Airwaves Yamaha 1-2, while Graeme Gowland was third to finish on the podium for the first time in his short BSB career.
Prior to those series of events, the race was shaping up to be arguably the most competitive of the season, aided by the fact that Camier – winner of the last six races – found himself down in 23rd position at the end of the opening lap when he was caught up in an accident with headline-grabbing Cup rider Richard Cooper.
Having made a good start from the front row, unlike Camier, Cooper entered the first chicane in third place, but was caught up in the melee as riders attempted to go other side of him. Caught up in contact with Harris, the impact damaged his bike and forced him to come down in front of the chasing pack. With Camier immediately following, the championship leader had to wait for the majority of the field to pass before he could navigate his way around.
Instead, Chris Walker led as they came round to the start-finish straight, the Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha having produced one of his trademark good starts to lead from the opening bend. He led Hill, Andrews, Harris, Stuart Easton and Laverty.
With rain threatening in the murky skies above, occasional droplets appeared to spook some of the riders as they began to spread out, including Walker, who, having established a gap initially, found himself down to second when Andrews – who had passed Hill at the hairpin on lap three – swept through on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki.
The first time Andrews has ever led a BSB race, he wasted no time in asserting his authority on the competition as he attempted to scamper away, leaving Walker to deal with the attentions of Hill. Although Hill did get past almost straight away at Edwina's, Walker struck back again to hold second for most of the coming laps.