Two thrilling Superbike races at Brands Hatch last weekend showed why the British Superbike Championship is the most popular UK motorsport series.

Race one saw John Reynolds' and Steve Plater's race-long tussle for the lead decided on the last lap with the result that JR made his first visit to the top step of the podium in 2002. This also marked the first BSB win for the 1,000cc Suzuki as well as being the first non-Ducati race win of the season.

Adrian Coates continued his return to form on the number 19 Padgett's Suzuki and found himself chasing series leader Steve Hislop for twelfth place as the Scotsman struggled to match the pace of the leaders, despite qualifying in second place on the grid. Coates' teammate Marty Nutt put in a strong performance to finish 20th, ahead of last year's British Superstock Champion Paul Young on another Suzuki.

The excitement was even more intense in race two with the first 6 riders all covered by just over one second. Hislop's pace returned enough to finish second behind Emmett with JR, despite setting the fastest lap, having to settle for fourth, 0.2 seconds behind Michael Rutter.

The Padgett's riders showed themselves to be masters of consistency by settling into the same positions as they had finished in race one. Unfortunately Coates upset the symmetry of the results by trying slightly too hard on lap 15 and taking to the grass, losing four places in the process. Nutt kept it all together to repeat his first race result, albeit this time 0.3 seconds behind Young.

Daniel Coutts was the sole Junior team rider at Brands as teammate and current British Champion Leon Camier was taking the opportunity to ride for the Italjet team at the Catalunya GP. 2001 BMCRC Champion Coutts continued to lower his personal best lap times at the Kent circuit and finished a typically hard fought race in 11th place, hard on the tail of experienced 125 racers Steve Patrickson and Sam Owens.

The teams now travel to the Rockingham circuit without the luxury of a weekend off, as the BSB series makes only it's second ever visit to the Northants venue. With all the teams having limited experience of the track, Padgett's will be looking to capitalise on the opportunity to compete on more level terms with the seasoned BSB campaigners.



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