Race one from the British Superbikes at Snetterton saw a well deserved win for Rizla Suzuki's Yukio Kagayama. His team mate, John Reynolds, battled all race for the first place but had to settle for second as Kagayama was determined to get his first win after coming back from his injury.
Reynolds led the field into the first corner after getting a great start from his fourth place on the grid. Emmett was quick to gain the advantage though and took Reynolds on the long Rivetts straight to take the lead. Kagayama, who started in eighth also got a flying start and after the first lap was lying in fourth. Dean Thomas of Sendo Ducati was displaced from second on the grid to third ahead of Kagayama for the first lap.
Kagayama used his four cylinder power to take the Ducati of Thomas on only the second lap. So began Kagayama's domination of the race. On lap five, with Emmett in first followed by Reynolds and Kagayama, the trio started the long drag down Rivetts. Reynolds decided it was time to power past Emmett and take the lead but Kagayama had his own ideas. Kagayama followed Reynolds through past Emmett and then out-braked Reynolds into the left hander at the end of the straight to go from third to first in the blink of an eye. This was an outstanding manoeuvre from the recovering Japanese rider as the riders are braking from over 190mph for one of only two left hand bends on the track.
Kagayama and Reynolds then proceeded to have an all Rizla Suzuki fight for first. Most of the action took place along the Rivetts straight with Reynolds slipstreaming Kagayama only to be taken again in the breaking zone by the plucky Japanese rider. Reynolds was desperate to overtake and on a number of occasions showed Kagayama his front wheel breaking into the first corner. However, Kagayama was going to the beat of his own drum and every time Reynolds made a move and took the place, Kagayama was quick to take back the position before the lap was out.
This battle continued from lap five to the last lap and the relief of Kagayama was obvious when he crossed the finish line for the last time and punched the air in celebration then held his head low as he tried to take in what he had just done. Kagayama, who was told just eight months ago that he would never walk again following an accident at Cadwell, is self-professed at only 80% fitness. For him to lead from the fifth lap and battle all the way through to the chequered flag in a 25 degree C heat is a mammoth feat. A very well deserved win.
Michael Rutter, of HM Honda had a terrible start that saw him relegated to seventh on the first lap. Rutter, prone to bad starts this season, yet again had to carve up the field to make up the lost places. By lap 13 Rutter had out dragged Emmett to take third. Here he remained for the rest of the race without really being able to challenge the fighting Rizla duo.
Monstermob Ducati rider, Sean Emmett, led after the first lap but quickly got overtaken by the Rizla Suzuki boys and finished the race in a safe fourth ahead of the top placed Hawk Kawasaki of Scott Smart.
The Sendo Ducati of Dean Thomas was unable to keep up with the four cylinder power of Smart and subsequently had to settle for sixth at this extremely long and fast track.
1 Yukio Kagayama
2 John Reynolds
3 Michael Rutter
4 Sean Emmett
5 Scott Smart
6 Dean Thomas
7 Ryuichi Kiyonari
8 Tommy Hill
9 Glen Richards
10 James Haydon