Champions provide Silverstone showdown
17 April 2001
Former BSB champions John Reynolds and Steve Hislop provided two power-thrillers for an 18,200 Easter Monday crowd as they each claimed a hard fought victory in the second round of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone.
Hislop, riding the MonsterMob Ducati, had set the pace for much of the weekend, heading qualifying to take the Dunlop Superpole having twice bettered his own lap record, but the 39-year-old Scot was beaten off the line in the opening 20-lapper by Steve Plater.
The Kawasaki rider then crashed-out on the opening lap, causing the race to be stopped, and, after trackside treatment, was transferred to Northampton hospital where he was detained overnight for observation after suffering concussion.
On the re-start, Sean Emmett made the early running, but Hislop was soon ahead, with the determined Reynolds never more than a third of a second down. At two-thirds distance, Hislop was inches off line at the Abbey Hairpin and Reynolds took advantage, taking his third consecutive victory by 0.658 seconds. John Crawford took third place on the Clarion Suzuki, just ahead of James Haydon, riding bravely after taking a battering in a heavy crash in qualifying.
The second 20-lapper was an action replay. Hislop ahead, but with the Red Bull Ducati of Reynolds close behind, before moving ahead on the eleventh lap. Into the final half mile, Hislop moved ahead at Abbey but ran wide, allowing Reynolds to bite back but, as they reached Woodcote for the final time, Hislop nosed his way by again at around 150mph, winning by just 0.047seconds. On this occasion, the rest were nowhere in sight, although Haydon later appeared in third, having shaken off the race-long attentions of Emmett.
It was Hislop's first victory in the series since winning at Brands Hatch in 1998, and it keeps him within 17 points of Reynolds in the title chase. Crawford, fifth in race two after a poor start, is third in the rankings on 59 points, two ahead of Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha rider Haydon.
Shane Byrne hit double top for the second time as he dominated the Privateers Cup. He held off Gordon Blackley and Lee Jackson in race one while, in the second, Dean Ellison beat off Jackson in the dice for second place.
Australian Paul Young took a second successive victory in the British Superstock Championship, heading off the challenge of Glen Richards, to open up a healthy 20 points advantage over Gary Mason, sixth in the race. Ulsterman Adrian Coates turned the tables on South African rival Shane Norval, winning the second round of the British 250cc Championship - the two riders now level pegging on 45 points. Casey Stoner took a second successive victory in the 125cc series, as did fellow Aussie Kirk McCarthy in the British Supersport Championship, this time finishing ahead of Castrol Honda team-mate John McGuinness. Richard Cooper took the Junior Superstock victory.