Rizla Suzuki rider Karl Harris rode through the pain barrier to earn valuable points and earn the respect of the 15,000 strong crowd in the second race at Donington Park on Sunday, after suffering painful injuries in the first event.

Harris finished 12th in the second Superbike race, which was held in wet, freezing conditions, making his battle against the injuries he sustained in the first race even harder. In the first leg, Harris suffered a high-speed collision with Yamaha's Simon Crafar at the McLeans bend while in fifth place. He suffered a bloody nose, badly bruised left forearm and received five stitches to his right shoulder. It was only minutes before the second race before he received the okay to race by the medical staff.

He had got as high as third in the second race before gradually slipping back through the field to 12th as the race wore on and the pain from his forearm grew. He came into the garage to a round of applause from team members and marshals, all recognising his remarkable courage. Reigning British Supersport Champion Harris said: "The first race was going well and then Simon hit me and it was all over. Sitting in the medical centre, my arm hurt real bad, but after seeing the rain start to fall before the second race, I made up my mind I wanted to be out on track.

"I had a good start, but after five or six laps my forearm was really starting to hurt as the cold and wet set in and I started to struggle for grip. I so badly wanted to win the race and gave it my all, but I have to be content with getting points after the first race crash. Oulton Park next weekend is my home race and injuries permitting, I can't wait to do my best there."

Harris's team mate, reigning Superbike Champion John Reynolds, was forced to watch the second race from the pit garage after suffering concussion in a high-side crash at Redgate in the first event. He was itching to get on track, but Chief Medical Officer Lyn Jarrett ruled he was unable to compete.

Reynolds said: "I high-sided at Redgate and for a while I was unsure where I was and felt pretty ill. If I could have, I would have raced in the second race, but the Doctor didn't allow me. I'm very disappointed, I should have been able to claw back points in the Championship here. Now I am looking forward to resting and getting ready for Oulton Park. There will be nobody more determined than me to win next weekend."

Team manager Paul Denning said: "We fully expected the guys to do well whether it was wet or dry today. We had a good set-up but bad luck played its part. John was forced to sit out of the second race after his first race crash, and I know he would dearly have wanted to be out there, but the medical position has to be respected. As for Karl, I can't speak highly enough of his bravery. Just to sit on a bike, never mind ride it and score points at this level in the atrocious weather conditions, shows his commitment and determination. He showed just how tough he is today and there is no doubt he is a winner in the making.

"If we've had a worse day at a racetrack, I can't remember it. I'd like to thank all the team partners for their continued support, especially on hard race days like these. Our team will see better days, hopefully starting at Oulton Park next week."

 

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