Over 20,000 race fans crowded the trackside banks here today at Mallory Park in Leicestershire to enjoy a packed programme of intense action and fast and furious racing on the tricky 1.37-mile track.

In the two 30-lap British Superbike races, Rizla Suzuki team-mates John Reynolds and Karl Harris remained focused throughout, despite suffering high-speed crashes and tyre combination set-backs, to take home championship points.

Reynolds crashed out of the first race and finished seventh in the second, whilst Harris secured a seventh and eighth place.

From a fourth place start, Reynolds charged off the line in race one to hold second place for the first two laps behind Michael Rutter. Shane Byrne passed Reynolds as they entered Mallory's infamous Bus Stop but the Suzuki rider stayed on the tail of the leading duo, matching their speed lap after lap. He seized the opportunity to retake second slot by squeezing past Rutter's Ducati as they approached a third race distance. Reynolds kept the pressure on Byrne and looked on course for a strong podium finish until pushed wide by Sean Emmett and relegated to fifth.

The defending champion regained control and rode his GSX-R1000 hard to catch the front runners. But, with the leaders in his sights and having pushed his machine to the limit, Reynolds' charge was brought to a halt when he suffered a high side whilst exiting one of the faster sections of the track.

Pronounced fit and ready to race, Karl Harris also started well completing the first lap in fifth position. Very early in the race, however, Harris' rear race tyre lost grip and the Rizla Suzuki youngster soon realised that he had to settle for a points scoring finish rather than a podium result. He maintained steady lap times and sat behind John Crawford for most of the race, passing his former team-mate on lap 25. Despite the lack of traction, Harris took his GSX-R1000 Suzuki across the line in seventh position. The race was won by Yamaha's Steve Plater.

Another good start by Reynolds in race two saw him in second spot behind Rutter. As the pace of the race intensified, Reynolds struggled to keep up with the leading pack and gradually slipped back through the pack to seventh position ahead of Harris. The Rizla Suzuki duo carried their seventh and eighth positions through to the chequered flag with Michael Rutter taking the race win.

John Reynolds noted: "All-in-all it's been a less than satisfactory day and I'm gutted with the result. After the promise shown at Oulton Park, to leave here with an unclassified and seventh feels like a backward step especially as I know that the bike has so much capability. Following on from the first crash we tried a softer compound tyre but it didn't seem to suit it here."

Karl Harris continued: "I suffered from grip and traction problems in both races which is so frustrating as, during the weekend qualifying sessions, we've had a good machine and tyre set up. Physically I feel fine but this track didn't seem to suit the bike and tyre combinations we used today."

Paul Denning - Team Manager - concluded: "I share the frustration expressed by both John and Karl. We struggled with grip in both races which is a characteristic of the bike working the tyres extremely hard, particularly at a circuit as tight as this one.

"It is disappointing after the positive position we had at Oulton but having said that we have also been hampered by two substantial crashes - Karl during practice on Friday and John in today's first race. I truly feel that it would have been a different picture without those set backs.

"The team remains upbeat and focused and we're hopeful of a good result at Donington Park in two weeks."

 

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