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Eddi La Marra has given his FIM Superstock 1000 Championship title hopes a major boost by claiming a timely first victory at Silverstone to consolidate his comfortable advantage in the overall standings.
Having finished no lower than fourth in any race this season, La Marra came into the seventh race of ten with a sizeable 19 point advantage over Sylvain Barrier, despite having not yet tasted the winners' champagne in 23 career starts.
Nonetheless, the Italian made his intentions known early on as he sprinted out of the blocks from third on the grid, the Barni Ducati rider nosing into an early lead from fellow front row sitter Jeremy Guarnoni, while pole position man Barrier's poor getaway consigned him to sixth.
Even with the perfect start, La Marra was made to work very hard for his victory as he became locked in a race long duel with Guarnoni, another rider seeking his first win at SSTK 1000 level.
Indeed, the Frenchman, who has won two podiums since switching to the MRS Kawasaki team three rounds ago, was quick to stamp his mark on the race by taking the lead on lap one and then again more decisively on lap three after La Marra fought back on lap two.
However, while Guarnoni was able to stretch his advantage initially, La Marra would reel him in again by lap six of ten, getting through into the lead at Maggotts. What followed was an entertaining back-and-forth between the pair as they swapped the lead a further three times before La Marra made a pass stick on lap seven.
It would prove the defining moment of the race as La Marra was able to defend Guarnoni over the remaining three laps to cross the line as a SSTK 1000 race winner for the first time in his burgeoning career.
Crucially, it means La Marra has opened up a fairly comprehensive lead in the standings and now commands a 31 point lead over Barrier with only three races and a maximum of 75 points remaining.