It was a weekend of exciting racing marred by a tragic accident at the seventh round of the Think! British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch. John Reynolds tells us how he managed to extend his championship lead whilst suffering from a broken collarbone, to the surprise of his team and even himself.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Darren Mitchell, who sadly lost his fight for life after a horrific crash in the Superstock race on Sunday afternoon. I am also mindful of the injured riders who are still in hospital from the same accident and my thoughts are with them for speedy recoveries.

It was a tragic end to the racing at Brands Hatch on Sunday and it makes me very sad. I want to use this column to pass on mine, my family's and Rizla Suzuki's thoughts to all involved.

My results at Brands Hatch GP circuit, it is fair to say, were so far above expectations that they surprised the entire team - and me! After practice on Friday I was sore and my collarbone was letting me know it was broken.

I went to my motor home 11th on the timesheets and more than a bit disheartened. Part of the reason for the slow time was because I wasn't committing to the corners as fast as possible and was being gentle with my Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. I spoke with my wife Shelley and she helped to raise my spirits. I had new strapping from BSN Medical applied and was determined to qualify well on Saturday.

The first time riding with an injury is always the worst; it is a shock to the system. So when I went out on Saturday, although there was still pain, I was expecting that and gritted my teeth. I was trying hard in second qualifying and hats off to Yuki, my Rizla Suzuki team mate, for posting the fastest ever two-wheel lap of the circuit, he was awesome.

I ended up sixth, which isn't the end of the world, but I felt as though I had been kicked in the balls after the amount of effort I had put in. Everytime I went on track, I had been held up, so I was frustrated, disappointed and still sore.

That evening I analysed everything that had happened so far. I had been building up speed slowly. My collarbone, while painful, wasn't physically holding me back a great deal. It was in my head - I didn't want to crash again at all costs and that was my biggest problem. I went to sleep determined to be more aggressive and praying for a dry meeting - wet weather is always a bit of a lottery and I didn't fancy that with my injury.

Sunday dawned beautiful but it was raining by the time we got on track. It was the worst conditions I could have wanted for both races - soaking wet but drying. As it was, my team came up with a good set-up and I was fastest in warm-up.

Race one and I put the injury out of my mind and went for it. My Rizla Suzuki was giving me so much feedback that I could ride round people almost at will. When the pace car came out it was a worry as I lost my four-second lead, but I was able to get back on the pace and win the race without any dramas.

In the second race I got a dreadful start and ended up 10th. But again, my Rizla Suzuki was awesome and I got through the traffic and into the lead and it was all going to plan until the rear started to slide. It got worse as the race continued and I ended up a disappointed seventh. But with time to reflect, seventh isn't bad when you have a slow puncture - I am happy just to have finished at all!

My collarbone is sore today but now I am going to take the next fortnight and do as little as possible so it can heal fully. I'll be at Knockhill looking for wins.

JR