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Smart and Haydon take wet wins at Knockhill BSB

Smart and Haydon take wet wins at Knockhill BSB

Smart and Haydon take wet wins at Knockhill BSB

Scott Smart and James Haydon took the victories in a rain ravaged eighth round of the THINK! British Superbike Championship at the short, demanding Knockhill circuit in Scotland on a day that saw the leading duo in the title chase, John Reynolds and Michael Rutter, struggle for positions.

The opening race, with the track beginning to dry posed tyre selection problems, but the Hawk Kawasaki team gambled correctly, fitting intermediates of Smart's bike and the Maidstone rider took full advantage, moving ahead of Gary Mason on the seventh lap and then dictating terms from the front as he took the victory by 18 seconds from Haydon.

Reynolds, who had made a particularly slow start from pole, upped the tempo, charging his Rizla Suzuki into fourth place, just adrift of his team-mate Yukio Kagayama, while Rutter was struggling, running ninth and being lapped by the race winner.

"It was a frustrating outcome for me, tyre selection was a lottery and the conditions made life difficult," moaned Rutter, while Smart enjoyed his second victory of the campaign: "It as good, the tyres were just right, although I agonised about fitting a full wet to the front. I'm glad I didn't as it worked out."

Haydon, who had given the Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha team their best result in over a year, went one better in the second 25 lapper, taking the lead on the second lap from Kagayama and then holding off the fierce late challenge from MonsterMob Ducati rider Sean Emmett.

"That was a great result, a real confidence booster. I am delighted to have these results and feel that I have repaid the faith that Rob McElnea and his team have shown in me. I have worked very hard to make the most of this opportunity, and to give the team their first victory in two years is superb," smiled Haydon, deputising in the team for the injured Steve Plater. He was tasting the winner's champagne for the first time in four years and added: "I'm on the up now, and mean business!"

Reynolds took third place, ahead of the determined HM Plant Honda rider Rutter, and that extended the twice former champions lead in the series to 38 points.

THINK! British Superbike Championship standings, after round eight:

John Reynolds 290
Michael Rutter 252
Yukio Kagayama 208
Sean Emmett 206
Scott Smart 199
Dean Thomas 108
Ryuichi Kiyonari 95
Tommy Hill 88
James Haydon 87
Glen Richards 78

MotoGP, 2004

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