Renegade Ducati team-mates Michael Rutter and Shane Byrne switched second and third places in the two races comprising the tenth round of the Motor Cycle News British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park.

The pace car came out on race one after Dean Thomas crashed out at Quarry Bend, and bunched up the front runners as the race re-started proper. Rutter got off to a bad start, and felt that his bike was lacking in power, but held on for third place behind Byrne and race winner Steve Hislop. Byrne, meanwhile, had had to battle to pass reigning champion John Reynolds to take third place prior to passing his team-mate..

In the second race, Rutter got off to a far better start, and led from the early stages - only for the race to be 'red flagged' due to poor weather conditions. Over the second half of the re-started race, Rutter had to finish the nine remaining laps in front or on Hislop's back wheel to gain the victory but, despite the two frontrunners duelling for much of the race, Hislop pulled out a lap of 1min 24.883secs to knock a full second off the previous lap record and break Rutter's challenge.

"The bike was perfect, even though I started the race on my spare bike," Rutter commented, "Steve was untouchable during this weekend. In fact, I can't believe that anyone in the world could have beaten Steve today - he fully deserved the win."

Team-mate Byrne got off to a bad start in race two, which left him with too much to do to keep up with the front runners. He eventually came home third overall on aggregate.

"I would have loved two seconds but, overall, I am happy with my weekend's work," he admitted, "I am finally getting some consistent results."

"I can't be anything but happy with the boys' performance," commented team principal Mark Griffiths, "Hislop was just unstoppable all weekend and, with that in mind, two seconds and two thirds is the best we could have hoped for.

"We have not given up on the championship yet - there are 80.5 points between Michael and Steve and, although that gap is widening, there are still 150 points to go for. This was a good weekend for us to put pressure on Sean [Emmett] to manoeuvre ourselves into the second spot, and I am looking forward to competing next weekend at our local circuit Oulton Park."

 

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