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Lavilla takes first blood at Brands Hatch
9 April 2007
Superbike Rookie, Leon Camier made an amazing debut on the Bike Animal Honda with a front row start that he translated into a second place finish. Taking up the final place on the podium was pole sitter Johnny Rea on the HM Plant Honda.
Off the line it was the distinctive yellow Honda of Camier that took the hole shot and dashed smartly into the lead. On his tail was the bright blue Rizla Suzuki of Chris Walker, with Leon Haslam and Lavilla chasing hard.
Lavilla pushed by his team-mate and took third at Sheene corner, while Camier continued to pull away from Walker. Two laps later Walker had a very determined Spaniard all over the back of him and Lavilla made his move at Graham Hill bend, securing second place. By this time Camier had a gap of 1.349secs over the second place man, so Lavilla got his head down and started chasing the former Supersport Champion.
In his haste to get into the lead Lavilla made heavy contact with Camier at the Druids hairpin, bashing fairings and unsettling both bikes. It wasn't until lap seven that Lavilla got his way, forcing Camier into a small mistake at Surtees and slipping passed him.
With the top two positions now decided, the race was on for third place as Haslam looked to be having tyre problems which Rea was hoping to capitalise on. Rea stole into third on lap fourteen as Haslam continued to run wide due to front end concerns.
Shane Byrne on the Stobart Honda also got in on the act pushing Haslam back another place. With Walker still holding third place, Rea decided that he wanted that position and passed him at Druids just two laps from home. Walker was to be finally relegated to fifth place by Byrne who get by him at Hawthorns on the final lap.
BSB race (1) results – Brands Hatch:
1. Gregorio Lavilla
2. Leon Camier
3. Johnny Rea
4. Shane Byrne
5. Chris Walker
6. Leon Haslam
7. Tom Sykes
8. Ryuichi Kiyonari
9. Tommy Hill
10. Michael Rutter
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