After looking like Shane Byrne's closest challenger in the first race at Thruxton, Cal Crutchlow managed to put one over the Ducati rider in race two, taking a clear victory on the HM Plant Honda.

An early race red flag after a huge crash involving Karl Harris and Tom Sykes led to a shorter race distance for the restarted race.

Harris was a non starter and Sykes was forced to use his spare machine after his number one bike was too heavily damaged to continue.

Sykes pinned the throttle off the line to lead into the first corner, obviously suffering no ill effects from his two tumbles over the weekend. The Suzuki was able to head the field for a lap until Crutchlow went sailing by on the back straight to take a lead he was never to lose.

Behind Sykes there was a gaggle forming, heading it up was Micheal Rutter in inspired form on the NW200 Ducati.

He was making good his promise to be more aggressive right from the start after in his words being a little rusty with running at the front for a few years!

It was soon apparent Sykes was holding up those behind him in second. The Suzuki was sliding all over the place and Sykes was rear wheel sliding his GSXR like the old 500 two stroke riders used to in places.

With the Honda getting away up front Rutter, Byrne and Haslam were keen to get past. Rutter was the first to try and have a go, and succeeded briefly as he and Skyes swapped paint, but then out the back of the circuit Rutter made a superb move to elevate himself into second.

Byrne didn't waste much time making his awy past Sykes either, whilst further back his team-mate Leon Camier was having a much better race in fifth.

Then, all change, as Haslam was out with an electrical problem, cruel luck for the former 125 British Champion and a terrible way to start his season.

The other HM Plant Honda was flying though, Crutchlow had taken full advantage of Byrne and Rutter being held up and stretched his advantage to nearly three seconds.

The inter-Ducati battle was interesting as the race drew to a close. Rutter was very strong into the final chicane and Byrne was going to have to make a hard move to get through.

The former champion made it past in his favourite spot at the Cobb corner in the complex, quickly getting his head down to pull away and catch the leading Honda.

The gap to Crutchlow was too great though and he took a well deserved debut Superbike victory.

The Coventry youngster has been right up there in every practice and qualifying session and if anyone was going to beat Byrne, the Honda man was the most likely candidate.

"I've worked hard for this," said the 22-year-old. "I feel I have proved a point here that I am right there on pace with the quickest guys. Hopefully there's more to come from now on."

Byrne was a happy with second but rueing the early part of the restart behind Sykes.

"I got held up a fair bit behind Tom in the early part of the race," revealed Byrne. "It took me and Michael too long to get past him and by that time Cal was too far in front.

"Fair play to Cal though he rode very well and the kid deserves a win."

Rutter could barely hide his delight with a double podium.

"It feels like we have won the whole meeting really," he said. "The Ducati was getting better and better through both races.

"I have to admit though that I am a bit rusty running this far up front, I've had a bad couple of years and it's so great to be up there challenging for podiums."

Behind these three the next best rider was Leon Camier, the young Airwaves Ducati rider having a much better ride in his second outing on the new machine and as his shoulder heals, (it's about 90% there now) the former Supersport champion will be looking to join his team mate on the podium.

Some retirements allowed Michael Laverty into the top five, the reigning British Supersport champion, in his second spell on a Superbike, made good progress from a disappointing qualifying to score good points for the TAS team.

But if you are looking for a surprise then look no further than sixth place Stuart Easton. Fifth row of the grid on the MSS Kawsaki, the diminutive Scot, a former Supersport champion riding for Paul Bird, rode a blinder of a race to stay with the second pack of riders and come away from Thruxton with two top ten placings.

James Ellison was again placed seventh, and will be happy with the consistency shown on the Bike Animal Honda. The team are in the very early stages of development and results will surely improve for them.

You had to feel sorry for Sykes though in eighth, it was clear that the Yorkshireman had very little rear end grip, the bike was pouring smoke off the rear tyres, great to watch, but sadly for Tom, not a help at this most abrasive of tracks.

Privateer winner again was John Laverty and with more improvements planned for the bike in future races watch for this highly talented Irishman to start sneaking into the top six.