Sunday’s Superbike showdown at Silverstone proved to be a battle between Noriyuki Haga and Chris Vermeulen as they duelled to share the spoils in two hotly-contested races.

Sunday’s Superbike showdown at Silverstone proved to be a battle between Noriyuki Haga and Chris Vermeulen as they duelled to share the spoils in two hotly-contested races.

After losing out to Haga in the final turn of race one, rookie Vermeulen got his just reward in the even-closer second race. In doing so, the Honda rider claimed the 400th World Superbike race ever held and ended Ducati’s domination in the contest.

Almost a carbon-copy of race one, Haga and Vermeulen led from the start as they, along with Regis Laconi, pulled away from pre-race favourite Briton James Toselend.

Adding to his fall in race one, Toseland’s assault was dealt another blow in the second race when Frankie Chili, who was challenging him for fourth position, fell, forcing Toseland onto the grass where he rejoined in sixth place behind Leon Haslam and wild-card James Ellison.

Laconi remained in strong contention for the victory until just three laps to go his Ducati started showing signs of fatigue.

Meanwhile, Vermeulen was wary of Haga’s advances and halted any plans the Japanese rider had of showing him up on one of Haga’s favourite circuits. Closing the door on Haga at several sections of the track, Vermeulen was able to ride home for his first Superbike Championship victory.

Six seconds later, Laconi claimed third followed by Haslam and Toseland. His third place finish pushed Laconi into the championship lead, three points ahead of his team mate, Toseland.

Wild-card Ellison finished an excellent seventh while Garry McCoy, who had been lightning in race one, took eighth for NCR Ducati. A furious Troy Corser was forced to start from the pitlane after problems on the grid with his Foggy Petronas FP1. He secured ninth place.

Original article from Car