John Reynolds capped a great weekend for the Rizla Suzuki team with a podium second place finish in the second race at the 11th round of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.

A large crowd of around 25,000 packed into the Cheshire track to watch the close racing and they weren't disappointed. In race one, reigning champion Reynolds was threatening to win right up until the final two laps, when he outbraked himself and suffered a spill. He remounted his GSX-R1000 to finish eighth and was determined to make amends in the second race. Consistently fast, Reynolds benefited from revised chassis and suspension settings all weekend.

"In the first race Michael Rutter was holding me up and I fell off trying to outbrake him," explained Reynolds. "I ran onto the gravel and then made it to the grass where I fell over trying to turn the bike.

"I was desperate to make amends in race two and thought I might have won it," he added. "On the last lap, Steve Plater made a big mistake at Druids, but quickly took back the racing line and I was unable to overtake. That left it down to the last corner again. The slip in race one was going through my head as I approached the corner and I had the bike completely locked up and it wouldn't brake any harder. I could see the marshals all starting to run as I went in sideways, but I managed to hold it upright and take second, just beaten to the line by Steve.

"I am disappointed not to win, but happy for the team. The bike is now better than it has been all year and I am in charge of it. It is a whole new proposition to ride - it's consistent and gives me so much confidence. I have to thank Oz and Dan and my whole team for working so hard to get it to this level, just the way I like it. Let's see what we can do at the next round at Mallory Park."

Reynolds' champagne celebration on the podium was mirrored by his team mate Karl Harris in the pits - the northener recorded his two best ever Superbike results consecutively in today's races. He took fifth in race one and then bettered that with fourth in race two on his GSX-R1000.

Harris, still recovering from a broken left wrist that he sustained at Oulton Park in May that forced him to miss the middle part of the season, is continuing to find his form with every lap he completes on the track.

A career personal best result of fourth in the Superbike class has fired him up for the remaining two rounds of the season and brings him tantalisingly close to the podium.

"In the first race I frightened myself when I overtook Steve Plater and the front wheel crossed up," admitted Harris. "Towards the end of race one I was following Steve and waiting to pass but he held me off on the dash for the line and I was a bit disappointed - but that's how you learn Superbike racing.

"In race two I got stuck behind a few riders at the start and made it hard work for myself. By the time I got passed the slower riders, the break had been made and then riders started coming back through the field. I'm really happy with fourth place, my best result yet - it's mega," he smiled. "Not quite as good as top spot, but I'm still building up after the injury I got here in May. This visit has been a lot better than the last visit, that's for sure. I'm still aiming for a podium by the end of the season and looking forward to Mallory Park."

Team manager Paul Denning was delighted with Harris' efforts, and admitted that he had told Reynolds to race for points after his early exit in race one:

"(Harris) is around half a second behind John on race pace, but given his lack of experience in the class and the races he missed mid-season, it shows he is very capable of doing the job," explained Denning. "In race one John made a very uncharacteristic mistake but... in the second race he stayed with the front runners again and was racing at the front the whole time. He thoroughly deserved his second place and I'm sure, knowing John, he's disappointed not to win. But after the mistake in race one, we told him we needed a result in race two and perhaps that had a bearing on his aggression during the last lap."

 

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