Gregorio Lavilla has further extended his lead in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship after taking victory in race one at Thruxton.
Such was Lavilla's pace that he pulled a lead of 4.46secs over his team-mate Leon Haslam who came home in second with HM Plant Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari in third 8.282secs off the back of Haslam.
The race wasn't a straight forward event with a start line crash bringing out the safety car for three laps. The incident left Karl Harris on the tarmac in the middle of the pack as they all dashed off the line and James Haydon crashing out onto the grass by the grid. It looked like Harris was clipped by a bike from the row behind, he then lost control and Haydon who was coming through bumped Harris' bike and crashed.
Not a good start to Rizla Suzuki's home event especially with Shane Byrne being penalised by eight grid places for missing the chequered flag at the end of warm up and continuing for another lap on track. Despite being shuffled back on the grid Byrne made an awesome start and was up to ninth, his original starting position, within a few laps.
Byrne finished the race in fifth place just missing fourth after a race long battle with young Johnny Rea on the Red Bull Honda. Rea has really come of age and watching him battling with an experienced rider like Byrne and come out on top is a testament to his riding skills and talent. The pair swapped places on just about every lap at the chicane before the drag onto the front straight.
Dean Thomas who had a front row start on the Hawk Kawasaki faded to finish in ninth place. “Tyre wear is an issue for us especially with our bike we do tend to wear out back tyres quicker than everybody else. It was big a big problem at Brands Hatch, not so much at Donington Park but it is going to be an issue again here,” admitted Thomas, “We've worked non stop on the rear suspension all weekend to try and get longevity out of the tyre and we are getting there. I mean we know we can get three quarters race distance out of the tyres, so it is just the last few laps we need to hang on for.” Unfortunately for Thomas it hasn't turned out that way.
His team-mate Craig Coxhell opted not to race due to his broken collar bone. Thruxton is not a sympathetic track with all the bumps and the high speeds so Coxhell decided to give it a miss and try to be fully fit for Oulton Park in two weeks time.
Privateer James Buckingham had an eventful race as he was hit with a ride through penalty due to a jump start. Before the penalty kicked in he was running in a superb tenth place and after he had completed his ride through he worked his way from last up to fifteenth to score one BSB point and win the privateer's cup race.
BSB race (1) results – Thruxton:
1. Gregorio Lavilla
2. Leon Haslam
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari
4. Johnny Rea
5. Shane Byrne
6. Michael Rutter
7. Glen Richards
8. Tommy Hill
9. Dean Thomas
10. Michael Laverty