21 August 2005
Lavilla wins, Rutter falls.
Gregorio Lavilla staged a fine ride through the field to take the lead and then victory in the Bennetts British Superbike championship at Silverstone, whilst title rivals Ryuichi Kiyonari and Michael Rutter fell in the race.
Lavilla on his Airwaves Ducati worked his way magnificantly up the order after the race was restarted following a red-flagged first start. The reds were out due to an incident involving Karl Harris, Michael Laverty and Ben Bostrom. Harris was able to make the restart, whilst Lavery and Bostrom were deemed unfit to race and retained in the medical centre.
The restart saw Leon Haslam make a blinder away from the lights, but the pocket rocket had to concede to Michael Rutter, and then the Hawk Kawasaki of Glen Richards too. Haslam kept it in, however, and was soon past the green machine.
Kiyonari's start was nothing special, and the Japanese HM Plant Honda rider found himself in fourth place at the end of the first lap, and with plenty of attention from those behind, with Dean Thomas the first rider snapping at his heels. Down in seventh at the end of that first tour was Gregrio Lavilla's Airwaves Ducati, with the Spaniard riding with an air of confidence.
Sure enough, whilst his team-mate was making his moves for the lead, but never making anything stick against Rutter, Lavilla picked his way forwards. He was sixth the next lap, fifth the next time, then fourth, as he took a place per lap until he was in second place behind Rutter.
Lavilla was rather gifted the second place, as team-mate Haslam had taken Rutter for the lead, gone wide and lost both the lead and second. With Lavilla now behind the race leader, the Spaniard who started this season without a ride, could afford to spend a little extra time to wait for an opportunity to present itself.
Sure enough, though many would not regard it as such, Rutter left the faster man the mere slightest of gaps and Lavilla glided the Ducati through in a truly graceful fashion.
Gregorio was then unable to stretch out a lead as the current championship leader kept him honest to the penultimate lap when Rutter was looking at a move, lost the front end and fell. Helped to restart, Rutter finally crossed the finish line in a lowly fifteenth, whilst Lavilla and team-mate Haslam celebrated a Airwaves Ducati 1-2.
Still without the bike he craves, reigning champ John Reynolds inherited the final podium spot for Rizla Suzuki. Karl Harris took fourth a mere 0.031secs ahead of Glen Richards, with Dean Thomas right there too.
Rutter's woes were not as bad as they could have been as title rival and team-mate Kiyonari had fallen himself, earlier in the race. The Japanese was on his second lap of the restarted race and had just been overtaken by Dean Thomas, when his fightback at Woodcote went wrong and he lost the front. He was helped back into the race way down the field but managed to work his way all the way back to eighth.
1. Gregorio Lavilla
2. Leon Haslam
3. John Reynolds
4. Karl Harris
5. Glen Richards
6. Dean Thomas
7. Gary Mason
8. Ryuichi Kiyonari
9. Tommy Hill
10. James Haydon
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