Shane Byrne and Michael Rutter each took a victory in the third round of the Motor Cycle News British Superbike Championship as the Renegade Ducati team celebrated its first ever double victory at Donington Park.

Byrne, the 25 year old Sittingbourne rider, moved ahead on the fourth lap and then withstood severe pressure in the 25 lapper as he held on to take his maiden victory by little more than a third of a second from Steve Plater.

"It's a great feeling - I thought I was going backwards in the first couple of laps, but then I was running out front. There was a lot of pressure in the final stages, but it is great to win for the first time," said Byrne, as he reflected on his battle to hold off first Sean Emmett, then series leading Steve Hislop and then the final titanic showdown with Virgin
Mobile Aiwa Yamaha rider Plater.

Rutter came in fourth - the pole starter had lost that advantage when a machine problem on the warm-up lap forced him to take the start from the pit-lane, aboard his spare bike, but he charged brilliantly through the pack, finishing a second down on Hislop.

Defending Champion John Reynolds crashed out of the action on the seventh lap, taking a bang to the head which ruled him out of the second race, but both Karl Harris and Simon Crafar, who smashed out at McLean bounced back.

Crafar took a fine third in the rain lashed second race, which produced a thrilling battle in atrocious conditions between Rutter and Byrne, with both surviving scary moments and exchanging the lead, before Rutter asserted himself at half distance and took the victory by some two seconds.

Fourth place went to Emmett who had slid off at Goddards, but remounted to charge through the field, finishing ahead of Paul Brown and Hislop who settled for a solid sixth place, which keeps him 23 points clear of Emmett in the overall standings.

 

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