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Lavilla wins at Cadwell
28 August 2006
A torrential down pour just before the start of the eleventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park saw the race turn into a tyre lottery that Gregorio Lavilla on his Airwaves Ducati won.
The race was declared wet so Lavilla and team-mate Leon Haslam both opted to run intermediate tyres front and rear, but as the track dried out they were able to move through the pack. Third place went to HM Plant Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari who had gambled on full wets.
Off the line it was young Tommy Hill on the Virgin Mobile Yamaha who got away first with Karl Harris hounding him down and Michael Rutter running in third. Harris pushed his way into the lead through the wooded section of the track. His lead was short lived as he went grass tracking at the chicane allowing Kiyo into the top spot.
Meanwhile the second of the Virgin bikes with Billy McConnell on board had moved up to fourth place and was on the tail of his team-mate. Harris moved back up to second place having passed Hill at Park corner. Further down the field Johnny Rea on the Red Bull Honda was making life difficult for defending champion Lavilla, passing him to take seventh place. Lap five saw Michael Rutter retire as he was running full wets and the track was starting to dry out.
By lap seven Kiyo had pulled a 7.026secs lead, however as the track was drying out, Haslam's tyre choice was starting to take effect as he passed Hill and then Harris on consecutive laps but both at Park corner. Rea was also on the move and was up to third place while Lavilla, who he had got the better of earlier, also started to feel the benefit of his intermediate tyres passing both Hill and Harris in one fell swoop.
Local rider Steve Plater on the Rizla Suzuki ended his race with a DNF as did Billy McConnell when they crashed out together on lap ten. Haslam by now had pulled Kiyo in and was just 0.912secs off the back of him. He made his decisive move on lap twelve and his team-mate Lavilla followed him through. Haslam lead the race for two laps until Lavilla decided it was his turn and he took the lead at Park on lap fourteen. It was on the same lap that Johnny Rea crashed out of fourth place and had to take the long, lonely walk back to the pits.
Lavilla pulled a lead of 5.302secs over Haslam to take the race win; with Kiyo finishing third the points difference has moved Haslam into the championship lead by one slender point.
BSB race results (1) – Cadwell:
1. Gregorio Lavilla
2. Leon Haslam
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari
4. Shane Byrne
5. Tommy Hill
6. Glen Richards
7. Craig Coxhell
8. Dean Thomas
9. Jon Kirkham
10. Karl Harris
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