Rizla Suzuki rider John Reynolds dominated the racing at Brands Hatch today, taking a win and fourth place in the most exciting racing to be seen at the track for years.

Both Superbike races were hard-fought affairs, with Reynolds leading from the front in both events and clearly the fastest rider on the day - setting a fastest lap of 1:26.878, just 0.02s off his own outright lap record. And he recorded that time on the only lap he had a clear track in front of him in the second race - on lap two with a full tank of fuel and therefore a heavier bike. He also recorded another important landmark - the first 1000cc four-cylinder bike to win a race this year in the new 2002 Superbike class, a great accolade for Suzuki.

In the second race, the pace car was called out on lap five and led the riders around for four laps, bringing the whole field together. Because of the congestion on track, Reynolds didn't have another opportunity to smash the lap record as he battled for the lead with Sean Emmett and Steve Hislop. Reynolds took the lead numerous times, to be retaken by Emmett. But the GSX-R1000 rider dug deep and made a decisive break for victory on the final lap, only to run wide half-way through the lap, relegating himself to a fourth place finish.

Starting from third on the grid in the first race, Reynolds was always at the front, dicing with Michael Rutter, Shane Byrne and Steve Plater for the lead. A 15,000 strong crowd enjoyed the nail-biting racing as the riders swapped position on a lap by lap basis. On the final lap only Plater could live with Reynolds and led the Suzuki rider into the final corner, where the reigning British Champion showed his class to make a pass and take the chequered flag to the loudest cheer of the day.

Reynolds said: "The feeling of winning again is the best, I'm on top of the world, it's better than sex! What can I say? We worked hard as a team and really deserved that first victory. But after the first race, we decided to reduce the rear tyre pressure in the second race and the bike was even better.

"In the second race, I outbraked Sean a lot. But he is so good on the brakes that every time I was running wide and it was hard to stay in front. On the last lap I got the lead at Hawthorn Bend and then outbraked myself into Westfield.

"The Suzuki is good and the engine is really strong. When I was changing from fourth to fifth at 150mph on the back straight, the wheel was coming up on the power - what's that all about? I'm looking forward to Rockingham next week. I can't wait to win more races."

Reynolds team mate, Giovanni Bussei, took two 8th place finishes from fourth row starts in 15th place. The Italian stand-in rider for the injured Karl Harris, who is recovering from a broken left wrist he sustained at Oulton Park last month, was pleased with his results. He reckons TT hero David Jefferies, who takes over the ride at Rockingham next week, will benefit from the set-ups he tried out, before Harris returns for the Knockhill round on July 7th.

Bussei said: "I am grateful to the team for giving me the opportunity to ride here. It is a fantastic Championship and I have enjoyed myself. In the second race I changed the chassis slightly, with hindsight I should have left it alone, but these experiments will hopefully help the team in the future."

Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"We would have had a double win if it hadn't been for one corner on the last lap in the second race. John was stunning today and was right on lap record pace, showing just how strongly he is riding at the moment.

"It was an incredible performance by John and he couldn't have done anymore. His efforts are lifting the team and we have proved the Suzuki GSX-R1000 can win. As a team, we have utmost confidence in John and the bike and are looking forward to Rockingham. A double win is on the cards.

"I'd like to thank Giovanni for a sterling job as stand in rider for Karl. To finish eighth from the fourth row is fantastic. Hopefully we will see him again and he'll comeback and visit the team."

Nick Barnes - Suzuki GBs General Manager for Sales:
"I am extremely pleased by the racing and the results today. The effort the team has put into making the GSX-R1000 a winner at the very highest level is astounding and has paid off after only six rounds. To be the first four-cylinder bike to win a BSB race in 2002 is a real coup and I congratulate the whole team.

"Anyone who saw the second race will know that John Reynolds deserved the double win. He was outstanding and if it weren't for a slide on the last lap, he would have won twice today. It was a tremendous effort by John and the whole Rizla Suzuki team and I can't thank them enough. I can't wait for Rockingham."

 

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