Reynolds makes it look easy at Brands
12 April 2004
Rizla Suzuki's John Reynolds lead right from the off at the first race from the second round of BSB at Brands Hatch, and showed his talent by leaving the rest of the field from the first lap finishing nearly two seconds ahead of second place man Michael Rutter on the HM Honda. Third place went to Reynolds team-mate Yukio Kagayama.
After the start the Rizla Suzuki riders, Yukio Kagayama and Reynolds, led the field into the first corner with Gary Mason on his Virgin Yamaha in third, from tenth on the grid.
On the second lap, coming out of the tricky Paddock Hill bend, fourth placed Sean Emmett seemed to lose drive up Hailwood Hill towards Druids. Hawk Kawasaki's Glen Richards, who was right behind Emmett trying to slipstream, could do nothing to avoid Emmett's rear tyre. Thankfully both riders got straight up from what looked like a very high-speed accident. The accident, which left pieces of bike all over the track, meant that the safety car had to be deployed whilst the debris was cleared.
After four laps with the safety car, Reynolds backed up the field on the final corner and as the safety car pulled in he managed to get on the gas momentarily sooner than the rest of the field, enabling him to get back some breathing space over second placed team mate Kagayama. Hawk Kawasaki's second rider, Scott Smart, also managed to get a good drag and this allowed him to over take third placed Mason. Dean Thomas on the Sendo Ducati was right behind in fifth place with the HM Honda rider Michael Rutter in sixth.
By lap eight Reynolds had set the fastest lap of the race as he pulled out more than half a second lead over Kagayama.
By this time Smart seemed to be lining Kagayama up for an overtaking manoeuvre as Kagayama showed his inexperience of racing at this track and left space for smart to challenge.
By lap fourteen, Rutter, who had a bad start, started taking back places. Mason was the first to fall, closely followed by Smart on lap twenty-one, who was in third place. He then closed the gap on second placed Kagayama and had the position handed to him on lap twenty-three as Kagayama got held up by a back marker.
“It was alright but just disappointed with the start we ended up in about eighth or ninth on the first lap,” said Rutter of his race. “Round here you haven't got a chance to try and pull it back so you have to wait for people to come off or for them to knock each other off wide and overtake them like that. Eventually I got into second but it was a long way off John (Reynolds).”
Though Reynolds was too far off, Rutter did take Kagayama's second place. “To be fair to Kagayama he's hurting, he's had a big crash,” said Rutter. “He did a fantastic job out there, I think its just wear and tear on his body.”
Dean Thomas, on the Sendo Ducati, crashed out of a hard earned fifth place on lap twenty six as he exited the off camber last corner. He was unhurt and quickly got up to run to safety.
The second HM Honda rider, Ryuichi Kiyonari, also had a bad start and found himself way out of the top ten for much of the race. In the dying stages of the race he found a second wind of speed, and managed to finish the race in sixth.
Superbike Cup contenders Sam Corke and Jon Kirkham finished seventh and eighth on the track ahead of Tommy Hill of Virgin Yamaha and Kieran Clarke of Appleyard Yamaha.
1. John Reynolds Rizla Suzuki
2. Michael Rutter HM Honda
3. Yukio Kagayama Rizla Suzuki
4. Scott Smart Hawk Kawasaki
5. Gary Mason Virgin Yamaha
6. Ryuichi Kiyonari HM Honda
7. *Sam Corke Sovereign Engineering Suzuki
8. *Jon Kirkham Jon Kirkham Racing Suzuki
9. Tommy Hill Virgin Yamaha
10. Kieran Clarke Team Colin Appleyard Yamaha
(*) denotes Superbike Cup Contender