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Reynolds bids to extend BSB lead at Knockhill

Reynolds bids to extend BSB lead at Knockhill

Reynolds bids to extend BSB lead at Knockhill

John Reynolds powers into the double race eighth round of the THINK! British Superbike Championship this weekend intent on consolidating his lead in the points standings - the Rizla Suzuki rider might still be nursing a broken left collarbone but that has done nothing to slow his progress towards winning the crown for a third time.

The races at the tight, demanding Knockhill circuit, which lies to the north of Dunfermline in Fife, are at a crucial point in the season with Reynolds holding a comfortable 29 points advantage over Michael Rutter who knows that nothing short of victories will suffice.

Riding the HM Plant Honda Fireblade, Rutter had begun his campaign superbly by giving the bike victory on its racing debut, and subsequently he has taken a further two successes, but last time out, at Brands Hatch, he struggled on a day when he had been expected to capitalise on the obvious pain and discomfort being experienced by Reynolds.

The Nottingham rider was at his bravest, taking to the track just two weeks after breaking his collarbone in a racing crash at Thruxton - he had gone into those races looking for solid points in a damage limitation, but, tough guy that he is, Reynolds won the opening race, and but for a slow puncture would have taken a winning double.

"I was disappointed not to win the second race, but, overall, I have to be happy, having extended my points lead over Michael - I had not expected this, and as I lay in the straw-bales at Thruxton, I thought to myself, that's it, my title hopes have gone," said Reynolds, who so far has tasted the winner's champagne on four occasions.. " Now, I am looking for more - my shoulder is still sore, but, I am going for it again."

It signals another titanic battle for supremacy, with Rutter all out to beat him, but,the races will be anything but a private duel between them. Sean Emmett, riding the MonsterMob Ducati is running into a rich vein of form, with a win and a brace of second placings in the last two rounds, and that has moved him into third place in the rankings, but still with a lot of catching up to do.

Pride is at stake for Emmett, and that it also the case with Yukio Kagayama. The Japanese rider probably saw his title aspirations ended when he was forced to miss the Thruxton round having broken his right collarbone while qualifying for the Suzuka 300km, but, he knows the only thing about racing, and that is winning, something that he has done three times this season already.

One to watch is Scott Smart, riding the Hawk Kawasaki. He made his Superbike debut at the circuit eight years ago, riding strongly then, and now he returns, aiming to build on his maiden victory at Mondello Park to boost his fifth place in the standings, with his team-mate John McGuinness, the six times Isle of Man TT winner.

And, Iain Macpherson, back at his local circuit and riding for the Scottish based ETI Ducati is keen to make a big impression, as are the three Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha riders. Tommy Hill, the youngster who won his ride in the top flight by winning last year's Yamaha R6 Cup, continues to impress alongside Gary Mason and James Haydon who continues for a fourth round with the team in place of the injured Steve Plater.

Current standings in the THINK! British Superbike Championship

1. John Reynolds (Rizla Suzuki) – 261
2. Michael Rutter (HM Plant Honda) - 232
3. Sean Emmett (MonsterMob Ducati) - 186
4. Yukio Kagayama (Rizla Suzuki) - 181
5. Scott Smart (Hawk Kawasaki) - 164

MotoGP, 2004

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