John Reynolds took Rizla Suzuki's first victory of the season in dramatic style today at Brands Hatch at the sixth round of the British Superbike Championship.

JR, starting from pole, led for most of the first Superbike race and despite swapping the lead with Ducati's Shane Byrne four times on the last lap, was just pipped to the post for the win.

In the second race, JR led from the first corner right through until the penultimate corner on the final lap, when Byrne overtook him. This time the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider fought back and re-took the lead on the last corner to win his and his team's first race of the season to a roar of applause from the 25,000 strong crowd.

In the process of taking the win, he also set a new lap record of 1 minute 26.800 seconds at the Kent track and is now up to third in the Championship.

"I feel great now, that win was just what I needed and it feels awesome to be back on the top of the podium," said Reynolds, "The bike was superb all weekend and the second race made up for the first, which was disappointing because I didn't win it.

"In the second race, going into the penultimate corner, Shakey overtook me and I thought, 'he can't do that!'. But I got great drive out of the corner and going into Clearways, I left my braking as late as possible and knew he would probably run wide, which he did. Fair play to Shakey, it was a great couple of races today. I hope this is the start of a winning streak for me and for Rizla Suzuki."

Pop superstar Jay Kay was on-hand to join in the Rizla Suzuki celebrations and presented JR with his podium prize before soaking him with champagne. He also received his new Rizla Suzuki GSX-R600 from the team today and rode it home after the event.

"The racing was fantastic today and it was great to be here to see John win his first race of the season," said the Jamiroquai front man. "Watching these riders go past the pit wall at over 160mph is something else.

"It was brilliant to be able to present JR with his prize on the top spot of the podium and soak him with champagne. I'll be riding my Rizla Suzuki GSX-R600 home tonight and hopefully hitching up with the team for a track day soon. Well done JR and Rizla Suzuki."

Rizla Suzuki rider Yukio Kagayama finished 10th in the second race after retiring from the first.

"Today was great for the team and I am very happy for John-san to win a race. He rode well and really deserved the glory," said Kagayama, "I struggled today with the circuit, it is not that easy to learn and although I was fast, I found it difficult to overtake and was held up for most of the time.

"At least I have learnt it now and will know it better when I return later in the season. Now I'm off to Assen to ride in the MotoGP and I hope my Rizla Suzuki fans will be cheering me on there."

The Rizla 'Cash for KPH' award went to Byrne at 264 kph. He received a Rizla trophy and ?264 in cash for his efforts.

Paul Denning, Rizla Suzuki's team manager, concluded: "What a fantastic day for the team and for JR. Our first win was long overdue but we have been knocking on the door all season and it was only a matter of time before we took the top step of the podium.

"It was thrilling racing today and JR showed all his class and determination to win the second race. The Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is a fantastic bike and now that it has won one race, I'm sure many more will follow. This team is committed, professional and has more determination to succeed than any other I have ever worked with. The team has earned the success. Thanks to all our sponsors for supporting us and this win is for all of you."

 

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