Team Renegade Ducati riders, Michael Rutter and Sean Emmett, both enjoyed trips to the podium during this weekend's Snetterton round of the British Superbike Championship; Rutter after winning race one and Emmett after finishing second in race two.

Tyre selection and conservation were always going to be critical at the ultra-fast Snetterton circuit, and that definitely proved to be the case in race one.

Rutter got off to a flyer from the line but was overtaken by Shane Byrne, who seemed unconcerned about using his tyres up in the opening stages as he quickly pulled out a four second gap on his pursuers.

This gap remained consistent until five laps from the end when the inevitable tyre problems caused Byrne to slow the pace, allowing Rutter to close the gap and eventually take the lead on the penultimate lap, a position he held to the chequered flag.

A decision by race organisers to shorten the second race by five laps on safety grounds turned what would have been a tactical race into a flat out sprint. Pushing to close the gap on race leader Byrne, Rutter got off line at the Esses and slid off his Team Renegade Ducati 998F02 without injury.

"We knew that race one was going to be hard on tyres, and we weren't wrong," said Rutter. "It was frustrating to see Shakey disappearing off into the distance, but I knew if I gave chase then I was just going to wreck my tyres. I also knew there was a good chance that Shakey would suffer tyre problems towards the end, and that's exactly what happened. It might not have been the most exciting of races, but all the work we put into setting the bike up to conserve the tyres during practice and qualifying made it a good win all the same."

An electrical fault on his Ducati 998F02 cost Sean Emmett a finish in the opening race at Snetterton, but the former GP and WSB rider managed to kick start his championship campaign with an impressive ride to take the runner up spot in the second Superbike race of the day; his first finish of the season so far.

"I couldn't believe it when the bike stopped in race one, it was just so frustrating," said Emmett. "Three races and three non-finishes is definitely not the way I wanted to start my season, but hopefully the second place in race two will prove to be a turning point. I was comfortable following Michael in the race and the laps seemed to go quite quickly, but once he crashed out I started worrying about something going wrong and robbing me of another finish. The oil flag came out at the end of the straight towards the end and I was convinced that I was going to fall off on oil - it was a relief to see the chequered flag to be honest."

"I'm a fair way behind in the championship, but it's a long season and I'm sure that other riders will suffer their fair share of bad luck throughout the year. We've got some points on the board now and we just need to build on that from Thruxton onwards," continued the Renegade Ducati rider.

Nick Medd, still recovering from a fractured collarbone sustained in a preseason training accident, scored his first championship points of the season with two solid rides at Snetterton. The Beverley based rider finished 12th in race one, backing that up with 13th place in race two.

"It's a start," declared Medd. "We made some major changes to the bike overnight and they've worked well for us today. The shoulder still aches when I'm on the bike, but it's much improved over Silverstone and, if it continues to improve at the current rate then I'll be looking to break into the top ten at Thruxton in a week's time."

Leon Haslam's second outing on the Team Renegade Ducati 748 ended in disappointment when the 19-year-old former GP rider crashed out of the lead in the closing stages of the restarted 22-lap race. Haslam quickly remounted and rejoined the race, eventually securing a single championship point with a 15th place finish.

 

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