Rising Japanese star Yukio Kagayama, stepped off the GSR-V GP racer he'd campaigned at Assen a week before and straight back onto his regular GSX-R1000 to take a double win at the seventh round of the British Superbike Championship, at Rockingham, on Sunday.

'Yuki' took his first win in the BSB series in domineering style in the first race of the day, then backed it up with a fighting win in the second event, setting a new lap record in the process.

Kagayama's double win was all the more impressive because it was his first time at the venue and due to slippery white and yellow lines being removed from the track surface at the start of the weekend, along with the other competitors, practice time was reduced to just over two-hours, giving him very little time to learn the circuit.

Qualification was cancelled and the grid determined from Championship Positions, with the Japanese starting from eighth and fighting his way to the front in each race to win. It moves him up to fourth in the Championship table, just behind his team mate John Reynolds.

"Today has been good for me and the team. The first race I won I dedicate to my team and staff, they have been great this year and have really worked hard. That win was for them and all the effort they put in to help me," said Yuki yesterday.

"The second win I think I can claim for myself," he added. "I really had to ride hard to win that race from eighth on the grid and I was very happy to cross the line in first position. The crowd really cheered me on and I feel on top of the world.

"When I pulled in to pit lane after the race I could hear many cheering and horns from the crowd, I love these people. Thank you to my two friends Nobuatsu Aoki and Noriyuki Haga who joined me at the racing today - they gave me extra incentive to win," he added.

MotoGP star Haga gave his own verdict: "Yuki had no problems winning today, this is good, now he has woken up...!"

"I can't remember the last time Suzuki had a double win and it is such a nice feeling for it to happen here with Yuki," stated Suzuki GB general manager Nick Barnes. "He had so little time to learn the circuit and with it being his first visit here, it makes his two wins something really special.

"This (Sunday) morning when his MotoGP friends arrived, he seemed to re-motivate himself and was extremely determined," continued Barnes. "Whether it was his friends, he just liked the track, the performance of his team and GSX-R1000 or a combination of them all doesn't really matter, he won and did it with style."

The result means Rizla Suzuki has now won the last three races in the series after Reynolds won the previous race at Brands Hatch two weeks ago.

JR took two fifth place finishes on Sunday as he struggled to find a comfortable setting around the twisty Northants circuit.

"That was just one of those days when it wasn't going to go right for me," sighed Reynolds. "We thought we had a good bike set up but when we raced it felt unsettled and nothing we could do would fix it. I rode my heart out today and I am gutted I couldn't get on to the podium with Yuki, but I can take nothing away from him, he rode fantastically and deserved the wins, congratulations to him."

Meanwhile, Jeremy Smith from Bristol enjoyed a pillion ride with Kagayama at Rockingham after winning a competition in the Daily Star.

"It was the ride of my life," he said after Yuki slid the rear tyre and pulled two wheelies along the back straight...

 

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