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Lavilla takes BSB podium at Thruxton

Lavilla takes BSB podium at Thruxton

Lavilla takes BSB podium at Thruxton

Team Suzuki MotoGP test rider Gregorio Lavilla took third place podium finish in the second race at Sunday's sixth round of the British Superbike Championship at Thruxton in Hampshire as Rizla Suzuki team mate John Reynolds crashed and broke his collarbone.

The 30-year-old Spaniard, who will take part in the Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya this weekend, was in contention for the victory for most of the race but fell foul of a back-marker while leading on the 15th lap. At one of the fastest parts of the circuit, Lavilla found himself stuck behind the slower rider on the racing line and was powerless to react as his rivals overtook him, moving him from first to fifth in the blink of an eye. It took all his skill and courage to climb back to third in the last five-laps, finishing just behind eventual winner, Ducati's Sean Emmett.

Lavilla crossed the finish line first in the opening Superbike race, which was a two-part affair with final positions being calculated over both legs. On corrected time he finished fourth behind winner Michael Rutter.

Series leader Reynolds – who finished second in the opening race - is now battling to be fit for the next round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch in a fortnight's time after his rare crash and will see a specialist tomorrow. He will be joined at Brands Hatch by regular Rizla Suzuki rider Yukio Kagayama who is also due to return to action after breaking his collarbone one week ago in Japan.

"Racing in British Superbikes has been an excellent experience," commented Lavilla. "I thought maybe in the second race I could win but a back marker got in the way when I was leading and by the time I overtook him, I was too far behind to get to the front.

"I am pleased with a podium result and for the opportunity to join Rizla Suzuki this weekend but I am very sad that John has an injury. I had planned to try and help him in race two but I could do nothing but stand my bike up on the entry to the chicane when the leading riders slowed so suddenly, and John clipped my bike."

Race One Result: 1: Michael Rutter (Honda) 28:24.161, 2: John Reynolds (Suzuki) +0.024, 3: Sean Emmett (Ducati) +0.101, 4: Gregorio Lavilla (Suzuki) +0.115, 5: Dean Thomas (Ducati) +2.772, 6: Scott Smart (Kawasaki)+10.542, 7: Gary Mason (Yamaha) +11.263, 8: James Ellison (Yamaha) +11.613, 9: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +14.961, 10: Kieran Clarke (Yamaha) +26.247.

Race Two Result: 1: Emmett 25:45.597, 2: Rutter +0.783, 3: Gregorio Lavilla (Suzuki) +2.487, 4: Smart +2.571, 5: Ellison +2.640, 6: Hill +21.313, 7: Clarke +21.430, 8: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +21.546, 9: Craig Coxhell (Honda) +21.844, 10: James Buckingham (Suzuki) +27.488.

Championship Positions: 1: John Reynolds (Suzuki) 227, 2: Rutter 219, 3: Smart 153, 4: Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 152, 5: Emmett 146, 6: Thomas 95, 7: Kiyonari 87, 8: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) 78, 9: Hill 71, 10: Mason 58.

MotoGP, 2004

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