Not long post the gripping Supersport opener, the first of today’s IRRC Superbike races commenced at a sun-drenched Horice.
Fastest starter was runaway IRRC Superbike Championship leader Lukas Maurer.
At lap one’s end, Maurer headed prime title rival Didier Grams by just 0.261 of a second.
Grams fellow countryman, Horice lap record holder David Datzer held third, only 0.284 in arrears.
As lap three dawned, all that covered the first five was 1.342 seconds!
The close, exciting action continued across lap four with Maurer now under stern pressure from MTP Racing’s Datzer.
Early stages of lap five saw ‘Datzii’ grab the initiative and he quickly expanded his new race-lead, moving 2.376 seconds clear at the lap’s conclusion.
From here, Germany’s quickest TT Races competitor didn’t look back, pulling a second there, a second here over the chasing pack, going onto clinch opening SBK race spoils by almost seven seconds.
Whilst Datzer enjoyed a pretty serene run to race glory, the battle for second was anything but between Maurer, Grams, Patrick Hoff and Erno Kostamo.
On lap seven, Macau Grand Prix winner Kostamo had jumped up to fourth and then looked good for third until contact with Grams ended his participation.
As the tenth, final lap dawned, Neumann Racing’s Hoff was now into second with Maurer, Grams third, fourth.
Quickly on lap ten, Maurer astride his own squad’s Kawasaki had regained second from Hoff who was also soon surpassed by Grams.
Ultimately the IRRC legend had to settle for third with Maurer in second, taking another crucial step towards this year’s Superbike title.
Performance Racing Achterhoek’s Virgil Amber Bloemhard placed fifth behind potential future Mountain Course exponent Hoff.
Johannes Schwimmbeck placed sixth as Luca Gottardi, Markus Karlsson, Nico Muller, Cornwall’s Forest Dunn finalised the first ten finishers.
Dunn’s Never Be Clever Racing team-mate Rhys Hardisty placed 19th whilst overall 28 racers completed the ten-lap Superbike encounter.
IRRC Horice – Superbike Race 1 Result:
1st – David Datzer
2nd – Lukas Maurer
3rd – Didier Grams
4th – Patrick Hoff
5th – Virgil Amber Bloemhard
6th – Johannes Schwimmbeck
7th – Luca Gottardi
8th – Markus Karlsson
9th – Nico Muller
10th – Forest Dunn
11th – Florian Astner
12th – Jiri Petrla
13th – Rene Grundei
14th – Christian Steinhauser
15th – Emil Krchnavy
16th – Olivier Lupberger
17th – Pontus Roestlinger
18th – Marek Stibor
19th – Rhys Hardisty
20th – Wally Jacobs
21st – Steven Bellavoine
22nd – Martin Horky
23rd – Christoph Kreller
24th – Lasse Karki
25th – Lukas Vaclavovic
26th – Martin Hajek
27th – Rob Van Eijs
28th – Mike Ceuppens
Photo credit: Robby Repsol
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou