Gregorio Lavilla on the Airwaves Ducati won the second Bennett's British Superbike race at Croft. He battled through red flags, pace cars and crashes to take the top step of the podium away from Michael Rutter on the HM Plant Honda and his team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari.
The race was red flagged due to rain and ran in two separate parts with part two being extremely eventful. Part one got off to a steady start with Kiyonari taking the lead from Johnny Rea from Michael. It was then announced that Rea had jumped the start and he was given a ride through penalty. Karl Harris who had an electrical fault in race one and failed to start the race had even more bad luck in race two when he crashed out at turn two on the first lap of race two.
Steve Plater on the Sendo Kawasaki was on form and was having a cracking battle with the Airwaves Ducati duo of Lavilla and Haslam. He put a fine move on Haslam on the last corner to take sixth place, it was at this point
the red flag came out as the weather had deteriorated. The race restarted with the grid lined up in the order that the riders crossed the line so the front row was Kiyonari, Rutter, Richards and Thomas.
On the restart Lavilla immediately took the lead ahead of Richards and Kiyonari, however there was a three rider pile up on the first corner and the Saftey Car had to come out. The three fallers were Marty Nutt, Marshall Neil and Johnny Rea, ironically all Irish riders. Whilst the pace car was out and the riders were parading around behind it Haslam pointed out to Tommy Hill that hs exhaust was hanging off and so Hill had to retire.
The pace car came in and the racing really hotted up with Glen Richards taking the lead from Lavilla and Steve Plater promptly taking second from Lavilla as well! Plater was on a charge for the lead but Richards wasn't having any of it and by now Kiyonari had advanced into the battle at the front. Kiyo took the lead on lap seven but still had to fend off Richards and Lavilla. Lap ten also saw Leon Haslam slip off at the hairpin unhurt.
Passing manoeuvre of the day had to go to Lavilla when he tried to go under Kiyonari on the final turn but had a big moment that pushed him wide and into the side of Kiyo pushing him wide too. Lavilla took advantage of this
move and held the lead right to the chequered flag.
Super sub James Haydon had a very fast crash at Clerveaux on lap thirteen. The bike bounced off the tyre wall and almost hit him you could see him trying to back away form it whilst still being carried forward by the momentum of his crash.
On the last lap Kiyo tried for the lead and touched Lavilla this put Kiyo wide and allowed his team-mate Rutter through. Steve Plater ran onto the grass at Tower but rejoined to finish in seventh. As for the Rizla Suzuki pairing of John Reynolds and Scott Smart they came home in twelfth and thirteenth.
10. M. Laverty