Japanese sensation Yukio Kagayama took a comfortable win by a massive margin in the first race of the day at Rockingham in the British Superbike Championship.

In a bizarre weekend, where paint problems meant no qualifying sessions for the riders, Kagayama made the most of the morning warm-up session to set the top time and find a comfortable running pace on his first visit to the circuit.

With the race starting with riders lining up in championship points order, it was a clean start from the grid. First John Reynolds was the man on the move through the field in the early laps whilst 28 year-old Kagayama followed his Rizla Suzuki team-mate through the field, and then past Reynolds and into the lead.

Once in front Kagayama wasted no time in disappearing into the distance, leaving the battle for positions to be something that occurred far behind his back wheel.

Championship leading Shane Bryne had been displaced down to third position by the Rizla Suzukis but he soon found his way back past John Reynolds to make second place his, though Reynolds didn't give up the place without a fight.

Reynolds, once the fight with Bryne was lost, fell further down the field, first losing third place to Steve Plater then on the final lap being displaced down to fifth by a pass from Michael Rutter.

It was a strong run from Plater, who put Byrne under pressure in the middle of the race, but ultimately was unable to move past the championship leader.

"It was good," Plater said of the race. "There were quite a lot of the backmarkers having their own race, it didn't hold us up too much, you're just got to get past them," he said acknowledging the fact that there were Superstock runners on the field.

Championship leader Shane Byrne found himself having an eventful race. "I made a few mistakes and early in the race I thought it was going to be okay, I thought we can hang in here," he explained.

"Then John came past and Yukio came past I started to go back a bit. I past John again and I started to catch up Yukio a bit, but I went into the hairpin and went down from third to second, and tried ro go from second to first and it just went into neutral, I was clinking down the gears and clunking up the gears just trying to find a gear, and nothing happened," Byrne continued "John and I think Glen Richards came past, I got things back together after then but after that Yukio was just gone."

Noriyuki Haga was present at Rockingham to watch the action, and what a performance Kagayama put on for his countryman to enjoy.

Top ten
1 Yukio Kagayama
2 Shane Byrne
3 Steve Plater
4 Michael Rutter
5 John Reynolds
6 Glen Richards
7 Sean Emmett
8 Leon Haslam
9 Scott Smart
10 Steve Hislop

 

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