Steve Hislop and Michael Rutter took the victories in a dramatic fourth round of the Motor Cycle News British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park today.

Rutter's success came in the second race which was halted after eight laps, after oil had been sprayed onto the circuit and three riders crashed out.

The incident came as defending Champion John Reynolds was powering through a section of the Cheshire circuit known as the Avenue and Cascades and the engine of his Rizla Suzuki blew.

Reynolds quickly pulled off, but among the riders to crash was his team-mate Karl Harris, who slid into the trackside straw bales, sustaining multiple injuries and concussion.

The race was stopped instantly, both to scramble medics to the scene, and also to enable marshals to work, trying to clean up the oil spillage.

The race was scheduled to re-start over ten laps, but after the riders had made a sighting lap prior to forming up on the grid they expressed concerns about safety. Race officials decided to give them an eight minute free practice session to assess the situation more fully, but after that, the riders again made representations to officials.

Race Director Stuart Higgs said: "The feeling was that it was rideable in a single file, but not in a close pack." The result was declared, giving Rutter the victory by 0.204 seconds from Hislop, but only half points were awarded.

In the first BSB race of the day Hislop overtook pole-starter Rutter at Cascades on the opening lap and rode his MonsterMob Ducati brilliantly to take his fourth victory of the season by a little over two seconds from Rutter with Sean Emmett on the IFC Ducati, taking the first of two second placings on the day.

Hislop now leads Emmett by 34 points in the title stakes.

British Superbike Series Director Jos Foulston said: "We are obviously disappointed that we had to cancel part two of the second race, and abandon the supporting 125cc race. The decision was taken by the Race Director in consultation with the Superbike competitors and the governing body (MCRCB) on the basis that following a major oil spillage in part one of the second race at Avenue/Cascades the conditions were such that that section of the track had deteriorated and were deemed unsuitable for racing."

The 125cc race has been rescheduled for 18-19 May at Silverstone.

 

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