Top of the honours for the Team Virgin Mobile Yamaha at a thrilling Thruxton meeting was new signing Sean Emmett. On his ride under the Appleyard Racing banner, Emmett was out to prove himself - and that he did in style.

In the first race, when questionable weather conditions forced the first race to be stopped after five laps because of rain, only for the remainder to be run 20 minutes later in the dry, Emmett romped through the field to lead going into the final laps, however the last-chance gasp of the final chicane saw him loose out to both Steve Hislop and Michael Rutter as they slipstreamed past the Englishman.

"What a great way to start my time with this team!" smiled Emmett. "I felt really at home on the Yamaha and it was performing superbly out there. I figured I would be able to win but another rider was just able to get alongside me into the final chicane and it ruined my line into it."

In the second race, Emmett was no less of a challenger, and after just one test session and two qualifying outings yesterday to acclimatise, came within a second of winning, having chased down the leaders once again.

'The second race was pretty good," he recalled. "I couldn't quite get the start I needed but managed to chase the leaders down and we were right there by the end of the race. I'll take two podiums here - it's a good way to start the account with everybody who helped me race today!"

Teammate Steve Plater was also on form, fighting his way through the chasing pack. However, with a handful of riders bashing fairings every corner it was always going to be a lottery who made it through the final chicane best, Plater eventually came home in seventh place, the final result not reflecting the superb ride.

Come the second race and he was able to make a break from the chasing squabble behind, crossing the line in fourth place for another hatful of series points.

"I was closing in on Sean (Emmett) and thought I might be able to make a clean pass at the end but a backmarker drifted out across me in the final stages and I had to roll off to avoid him," said Plater. "It was nobody's fault. The slower rider was trying to get out of the way and did the best he could but it cost me time."

Meanwhile, Simon Crafar had arguably the best ride of the season in the first race, storming through the pack time and time again during a heated scrap to cross the line in fifth place.

The fight was spectacular with Crafar running into corners hotter than ever before: "I was having some grip problems because I made the wrong choice for the restart of the first race. After three laps I knew I'd gone the wrong way with the rubber but there was nothing I could do.

"I am a bit fed-up with myself because I really thought I could win here. I know that if I can get the rubber right then I can get on the top step of the podium."

Come the second race and the ex-GP rider was unfortunate to be caught in the squabbling pack, robbing him of positions at the end of the race when slower traffic held him up at the final chicane.

"There was a lot of traffic and it was hard to make any sort of break on them, driving out of the corners was great until a slower rider got in the way. But that's racing, this weekend there has been a load of positives. The pace was good and my bike was handling really well which is building my confidence even more."

 

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