Gregorio Lavilla on board his Airwaves Ducati has been crowned Bennetts British Superbike Champion following an exciting race two at Brands Hatch. The Spaniard needed just one point to clinch the title over HM Plant Honda rider Ryuichi Kiyonari, who eventually finished fourth after a dramatic battle for third place.
Ducati rider Leon Haslam led from flag to flag, closely shadowed by Lavilla who matched the pace throughout the race. Kiyonari didn't have the best of starts and was ninth on lap one. The battle for third was the one to watch from the green light to the chequered flag. Dean Thomas led the way followed by James Haydon, Glen Richards and Michael Rutter. Haydon crashed out on lap three on the exit of Druids, leaving the others to battle together.
Meanwhile, Lavilla was making some headway into Haslam's 1.2 second lead, just as Kiyonari was catching Rutter and joining onto the back of the third place scrap on lap eight. Thomas and Richards almost had a coming together at Paddock Hill Bend on lap eleven, but Thomas held the position.
Honda riders Plater and Mason soon joined the battle, just as Kiyonari moved up to fifth at Surtees. Plater looked very menacing and began cutting through the pack, right onto Kiyonari's back wheel. Kiyo responded by passing both Hawk Kawasakis, moving into third on lap fifteen.
Plater wasn't done though, and also passed the Kawasakis to challenge Kiyonari. He had a moment at Sheene Curve on lap eighteen, but recovered and passed Kiyonari a lap later. Kiyonari fought back strongly, almost touching Plater at the exit of Clearways. This wasn't enough, however, and Plater took an unexpected but hard-fought podium position, his first in two years.
Leon Haslam took the victory, from team-mate Lavilla. The pair were over sixteen seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Kiyonari held fourth, and the Hawk Kawasakis of Thomas and Richards beat Mason to the line.
Rutter finished eighth, and Tommy Hill and Jonathan Rea completed the top ten. The injured Scott Smart just missed the points, coming home in sixteenth, but Vivaldi team-mate Ben Wilson scored well with a twelfth place.
James Buckingham who was the remaining Rizla Suzuki out on track came home in fourteenth place - he did a fine job standing in for the injured John Reynolds.
BSB race two results – Brands Hatch: