The Virgin Mobile Yamaha British Superbike squad had an eventful first race meeting at the inaugural round of the British Superbike Championship at North Yorkshire's Croft circuit Sunday.

Out of the four riders James Haydon had the most successful weekend aboard his Yamaha R1 race bike, finishing sixth and fifth in the first and second races respectively.

In the opening race of the day Haydon, who started from third on the grid, was running in third when a hard-charging Michael Rutter forced the Yamaha rider wide into the gravel with an aggressive overtaking manoeuvre at the Hawthorn's section of the track.

Fortunately the Virgin Mobile Samsung rider kept the bike upright and rejoined the field. Demoted to sixth, Haydon retained the position until the end of the 22-lap race.

In the second fixture of the day Haydon went one better, finishing fifth at the 2.12-mile track. The Andorra-based rider now lies in eighth place in the Championship standings with a points tally of 132.

"I couldn't believe that, there was loads of room there, luckily I was able to keep it upright and rejoin," commented Haydon. "It was such a shame to lose the third place. I was absolutely fuming. I calmed myself down and got back to work.

"It was hard going here this afternoon, I made a few mistakes and couldn't push as hard as I would have liked to. Like any rider I wanted to convert my front row start to a rostrum finish but I guess today wasn't going to be the day."

Tommy Hill also had a mixed day. In the first race the R6 Cup Champion finished in an impressive sixth place, from a ninth place start, a good result from the young rider, but his good fortune did not follow him into the afternoon session; as he lost the front end of the bike and was forced to retire.

"This morning's race was excellent I really enjoyed it, so when I went out in the afternoon I pushed a little more and got caught out as a result," admitted Hill. "It was a real pity and was annoyed with myself but I was just trying to get to the next level."

Team-mates Steve Plater and Gary Mason both had a finish a piece. Plater was unlucky in race one when he was punted from behind on the opening lap and forced to retire. In the afternoon race he finished in tenth.

It was the reverse of fortunes for Mason, who experienced engine problems in race one and was forced to retire but, went on to finish sixth in the second after the Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha mechanics executed a swift engine change in time for the afternoon race.

"What can you say?" said Mason. "You have a problem with an engine and in no time at all your mechanics have swapped it over. Fantastic, the team were brilliant and I just want to thank them for all their efforts this weekend."