Rutter steals win on final corner.

The first race of the Thruxton round of the British Superbike championship saw a restarted race after three laps.

The second part of the race was started on the positions the riders were in on the lap before the red flags came out. This saw Thomas on pole, followed by Reynolds, Rutter then Smart. The final race results were an aggregate of the two race parts.

The second part of the race was to be run over nineteen laps. The restart saw Scott Smart fire from fourth into second by the first corner behind pole sitter Dean Thomas. Smart's team mate, Glen Richards, also got a blinding start and went into the first corner in fourth.

The following few laps saw the top three, Thomas, Smart and Reynolds, pull a slight lead over fourth placed Richards. Michael Rutter, who had found himself down in sixth after the restart, was quick to move back up the field and take fourth place by lap six.

Reynolds, in response to Rutter's form, block passed Smart to take second on the track. By this time Reynolds team mate, MotoGP's Gregorio Lavilla, had moved up behind Rutter. He then proceeded to slipstream the Honda rider and take forth behind Smart.

On the next lap, now knowing he can overtake on the penultimate corner - a long right hander before a chicane, Lavilla made the same move on third placed Smart. He then started to close down the small lead Thomas and Reynolds had managed to pull over the rest of the field.

As Lavilla started to storm towards the leaders, Rutter made the same move that the stand in Rizla rider had made on him, on the Hawk of Smart. This saw him move into fourth.

Within a lap Lavilla had closed the 0.5sec lead to Reynolds and was challenging the championship leader. On this lap Lavilla used his now trademark out-braking manoeuvre on second placed Reynolds but Thomas seemed to slow and this let Lavilla through.

Reynolds stuck onto the back wheel of the MotoGP rider and managed to slip under Thomas also.

This gave the Rizla team the opportunity to use team orders in order to let Reynolds through to first to ensure as many points difference between him and Rutter. However, when questioned during the race the team announced that there were no team orders as “it's a race out there!”

Whilst this battle for first was going on, second on the first grid Sean Emmett was working his way through the field after a poor second start. By this point, lap 12, he had made his way back to up to forth ahead of Rutter.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Rutter, HM Plant Honda Racing CBR RR
Sean Emmett waves to the crowd nearly falling off in the process, throwing away victory.
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