John Reynolds began his reign as British Superbike Champion with a double race victory at Donington Park worthy of any Champion as he overcame a treacherous track in race one and a banzai effort from James Haydon in race two to score BSB wins 11 and 12 in 2001.

Newly crowned British Superbike Champion John Reynolds celebrated his official Coronation by taking a hard fought double victory and a typically autumnal Donington Park circuit where the only thing dreary about the final round of the 2001 BSB Series was the English weather.

Morning rain at the rolling 2.5-mile circuit left track conditions damp but drying for the first 17 lap encounter of the day but after watching early race leader James Haydon pull off the track with an engine problem after just two laps on his Virgin Mobile Yamaha and DiEnza Ducati star Paul Brown send his large band of supporters wild with a stint at the front, Reynolds masterfully controlled the race from the front. Holding a steady two second gap on the still treacherous track surface. The Reve Red Bull Ducati star went on to make it three wins and three poles from three BSB races at Donington Park in 2001 and led home a titanic struggle for second between Brown and Steve Plater on the third Virgin Yamaha drafted in to aid James Haydon's bid for third place in the riders championship.

The charismatic Brown eventually took second, 2.249 seconds behind Reynolds but just two tenths of a second ahead of Plater equalling his season's best finish from Mallory Park. Plater's third podium of the year too equalled a season's best with the former Team Kawasaki rider venturing onto the rostrum for the first time since his wild race one third at Thruxton earlier in the year.

Reynolds' Reve teammate Sean Emmett was virtually secured in third place overall in the series as he crossed the line in fourth place, four seconds behind the winner for even if Haydon was to take his first win of the season in race two, Sean would only have to pick up a point to take third.

John Crawford finished fifth on the lone Crescent Suzuki ahead of Michael Rutter, leading privateer Shane Byrne and Jamie Robinson while Lee Jackson and Dean Ellison rounded out the top ten.

If the battle for second in race one wasn't thrilling enough, the battle for the lead in a two part second race was simply astounding as Reynolds and Haydon went toe to toe virtually the entire way despite a brief interlude after ten laps when a brief bout of drizzle forced the red flags to appear and an aggregate timing system to be adopted.

Reynolds and Haydon broke clear of early race leader Michael Rutter in the closing stages on a dry circuit but Haydon could not make a decisive move on the former factory Kawasaki World Superbike star and despite a late banzai run to the flag that saw the Yamaha man cross the line first by a mere single tenth of a second, aggregate timing gave Reynolds his 12th win of the season and four out of four at Donington by an agonising 0.016 seconds.

Hayden's fourth runner-up finish of the season could not mask his disappointment at failing to win a single race all year and with the gap between him and Emmett a measly ten points after 26 races he was left to rue his five DNF's compared to Emmett's three. Making things worse for Haydon after an outstanding, physically draining ride was the fact that Emmett was nowhere in race two and struggled home in tenth place.

Rutter too was not overjoyed with his fifth podium of the year after getting forced onto the secondary bike for the races after a warm-up crash and he finished a fraction over a second behind Reynolds on adjusted time with Brown completing a remarkably consistent year with a fourth lace finish after scoring points in 24 of 26 races.

Steve Plater equalled his best single-weekend's points haul with a solid fifth ahead of Crawford, Byrne, Ellison, Robinson and Emmett.

 

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