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Kiyonari holds off fastest ever Lavilla

21 August 2005

He may have only just made the restarted race following oil slick induced red flags, but a rapid clutch fit for Gregorio Lavilla did nothing to slow the Spaniard as he pushed race winner Ryuichi Kiyonari all the way to the chequered flag in the Bennetts British Superbike championship at Silverstone.

Gregorio on the Airwaves Ducati was simply flawless as he completed the first lap in third place, battled with team-mate Leon Haslam for second place then hounded down Kiyonari. There was only one flaw in an otherwise cunning plan which would have seen Lavilla do the double under glorious blue skies at Silverstone and that was the equally flawless performance of Ryuichi Kiyonari at the head of the field.

Kiyonari, never looking back, resisted all the pressure that Lavilla could exert for lap after lap as the pair crossed the start-finish line with a mere two tenths of a second behind them. Such was the pace of the lead paring that Leon Haslam was dropped at a remarkable rate; at the end of lap six the 'pocket rocket' was 1.2 seconds behind Lavilla, two laps later the gap was 2.6 seconds.

Gregorio placed the fastest lap, a new lap record as well, on the sixth tour with a 1min 26.681secs, and his pressure was maintained on the Japanese HM Plant Honda rider until the very last lap where the Spaniard, in relative terms, coasted in with a lap over 1min 28secs whilst Kiyonari did a 27 dead.

Behind the lead duo, Haslam fell into the clutches of Michael Rutter thanks to the odd neutral found during the race, but Haslam was able to keep his head down and ensure Rutter's Honda stayed in fourth.

Elsewhere there was little passing in the race. Glen Richards took fourth, Dean Thomas sixth, Gary Mason seventh, James Haydon eighth with Karl Harris and Tommy Hill rounding off the top ten.

The second race of the day was to prove short for reigning champion John Reynolds with the Rizla Suzuki man suffering an off at Priory on the second lap. The applause from the crowds recognising the champ was scarce recompense for this fiercely competitive rider.


Top ten
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari
2. Gregorio Lavilla
3. Leon Haslam
4. Michael Rutter
5. Glen Richards
6. Dean Thomas
7. Gary Mason
8. James Haydon
9. Karl Harris
10. Tommy Hill


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