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Reynolds doubles-up at Donington.

John Reynolds powered to a brilliant winning double in the opening round of the British Superbike Championship at Donington Park - the former champion had things relatively comfortable in the opening 25-lapper at his local circuit, but was made to fight every inch of the way in the second as James Haydon hit back strongly.

Reynolds, riding the Red Bull Ducati, had claimed the Dunlop Superpole start with a 95.94mph lap, but was beaten off the line in each race by another former champion, Steve Hislop, aboard the Monster Mob Ducati. The Nottingham rider was ahead in the opener by the fourth lap, but Haydon was upping the pressure on the Virgin Mobile Yamaha, twice setting the race's fastest laps, was closing in, only to slide out of contention at the Melbourne Hairpin on the eighth lap. He picked himself up, to take eighth place, but by then Reynolds had won, ahead of Hislop and John Crawford aboard the Clarion Suzuki.

Hislop again led the early stages of the second race before Reynolds moved ahead, but any thoughts he had of another easy victory were quickly dispelled by the hard charging Haydon, and on the penultimate lap the Yamaha rider was ahead at McLeans. Reynolds hit back, regaining the lead at Goddards, to set up a final lap 'shoot-out' during which the lead changed a further four times in a furious dice, eventually won by less than a second by the Red Bull Ducati rider.

''The first race win was a bit hollow after James went down, but I was full on throughout the second and I really enjoyed that race. I knew that James was behind me and that we would have a go at me, but I won the races, and that is what I have to do,'' said Reynolds, the champion of 1992.

Haydon, who had also crashed during Saturday qualifying, suffering ankle injuries in a 120 miles an hour tumble at Craner Curves: ''I hope I have had all of my season's bad luck in this one event. The second was great, but it would have been even better if I had won.''

In the Privateers Cup, Shane Byrne was also a double winner, aboard the Performance House Suzuki, heading off the challenge of Dean Ellison in the opener, and then Francis Williamson. Australian 'super-kid' Casey Stoner took an impressive maiden victory in the British 125cc Championship, heading off Paul Robinson by almost six seconds, while his fellow countryman Paul Young took the opening round honours in a British Superstock races, decided on aggregate time after Gary Mason's crash brought out the red flags. Remarkably Mason made the re-start and battled through to take second place ahead of Woolsey Coulter.

Chris Vermeulen, another Australian, won the British Supersport race by four seconds from his Castrol Honda team-mate Kirk McCarthy with Matt Llewellynn third, while Shane Norval took the British 250cc race by less than half a second from Adrian Coates. Ben Wilson took a last lap victory ahead of James Hutchins in the British Junior Superstock Championship race.

RACE 1

1 John REYNOLDS Ducati - Reve Red Bull Ducati 28:35.765
2 Steve HISLOP Ducati - Monster Mob Ducati 28:44.268 8.503
3 John CRAWFORD Suzuki - Crescent Suzuki Racing 28:50.033 14.268
4 Steve PLATER Kawasaki - Team Kawasaki 28:52.107 16.342
5 Michael RUTTER Kawasaki - Team Kawasaki 28:53.455 17.690
6 Paul BROWN Ducati - Dienza Ducati Perf. 29:08.318 32.553
7 Shane BYRNE (P) Suzuki - Performance House 29:17.758 41.993
8 James HAYDON Yamaha - Virgin Mobile Aiwa 29:27.117 51.352
9 Dean ELLISON (P) Honda - D&B Racing 29:28.203 52.438
10 Francis WILLIAMSON (P) Yamaha - T3 Racing 29:28.635 52.870
11 Jason DAVIS (P) Honda - Team DBK Racing 29:50.084 1:14.319
12 Nigel NOTTINGHAM (P) Yamaha - www.mandvc.com/racing 29:56.344 1:20.579
13 Gordon BLACKLEY (P) Kawasaki - Hawk Racing 30:05.185 1:29.420
14 Lee JACKSON (P) Yamaha - macsport 30:09.259 1:33.494
15 Paul JONES (P) Kawasaki - Travel City Direct 30:09.885 1:34.120
16 Carl RENNIE (P) Kawasaki - PRF Racing 30:10.048 1:34.283
17 Dave REDGATE (P) Kawasaki - Team Buff 30:15.422 1:39.657
18 Dave WOOD (P) Kawasaki - Myco Motorsport 29:19.322 1 LAP

Fastest Lap - James HAYDON - 1m:34.220secs -lap 4 - 95.52mph / 153.72kph

RACE 2

1 John REYNOLDS Ducati - Reve Red Bull Ducati 28:28.687
2 James HAYDON Yamaha - Virgin Mobile Aiwa 28:29.596 0.909
3 John CRAWFORD Suzuki - Crescent Suzuki Racing 28:36.982 8.295
4 Steve HISLOP Ducati - Monster Mob Ducati 28:37.706 9.019
5 Michael RUTTER Kawasaki - Team Kawasaki 28:47.858 19.171
6 Sean EMMETT Ducati - Reve Red Bull Ducati 28:58.580 29.893
7 Paul BROWN Ducati - Dienza Ducati Perf. 28:58.760 30.073
8 Shane BYRNE (P) Suzuki - Performance House 29:23.130 54.443
9 Jamie ROBINSON Yamaha - Virgin Mobile Aiwa 29:35.463 1:06.776
10 Francis WILLIAMSON (P) Yamaha - T3 Racing 29:35.962 1:07.275
11 Lee JACKSON (P) Yamaha - macsport 29:36.216 1:07.529
12 Jason DAVIS (P) Honda - Team DBK Racing 29:39.067 1:10.380
13 Gordon BLACKLEY (P) Kawasaki - Hawk Racing 29:54.694 1:26.007
14 Steve MARKS (P) Yamaha -Clifford James Footwear 30:04.930 1:36.243
15 Paul JONES (P) Kawasaki - Travel City Direct 28:47.015 1 LAP
16 Dean ELLISON (P) Honda - D&B Racing 29:22.993 1 LAP
17 Nigel NOTTINGHAM (P) Yamaha - www.mandvc.com/racing 30:09.355 1 LAP

Fastest Lap: - James HAYDON - 1m:34.137sec - lap 5 - 95.60mph / 153.86kph

CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS:

1. REYNOLDS 50
2. HISLOP 33
3. CRAWFORD 32
4. HAYDON 28
5. RUTTER 22
6. BROWN 19
7. BYRNE 17
8. PLATER 13
9. WILLIAMSON 12
10. EMMETT 10
11. DAVIS 9
12. ELLISON 7
13. JACKSON 7
14. ROBINSON 7
15. BLACKLEY 6
16. NOTTINGHAM 4
17. JONES 2




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