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Oulton Park hosts penultimate round of BSB title scrap

Oulton Park hosts penultimate round of BSB title scrap

Oulton Park hosts penultimate round of BSB title scrap

The heat is on in the chase for the THINK! British Superbike Championship crown with John Reynolds and Michael Rutter locked in an intriguing battle for supremacy as they power into the double race penultimate round at Oulton Park on Sunday 12 September.

Reynolds, the twice former champion, takes a 33 points advantage into the races at the Cheshire circuit, with Rutter keen to make further inroads in his efforts to secure the country's premier title for the first time in his career.

Both riders have good pedigrees as they return to the circuit for a second time in the current campaign, and both are keen to shrug aside disappointing memories of their most recent races at Cadwell Park, where both endured misfortune.

The Rizla Suzuki rider tumbled out the opening race at the Lincolnshire circuit, while Rutter took his sixth victory and then in the second race, Reynolds struggled into eighth place while the HM Plant Honda rider was forced to pull out having gambled incorrectly on tyre choice as the track dried out from an earlier shower.

That has put added importance onto these two races, which could prove decisive in the hopes and ambitions of the two riders. Both reckon their focus is simply on winning races and not thinking about the title, but at this stage of the season, that in real terms equates to one and the same thing.

However, they cannot regard the races as a private duel for the crown - both have team-mates eager for success, and in both the Suzuki and Honda camps there is a policy of no team-orders. Yukio Kagayama, riding Suzuki, won both races at Oulton Park back in May and is eager for more, while Ryuichi Kiyonari, after a lean mid-season, is just running into good form.

That spells problems, and these will be added to by the determined Scott Smart who is proving the revelation of the season aboard the Hawk Kawasaki. The 28-year-old has won three times already but has the overall runners-up position in mind and to achieve that, he needs more maximum points scores.

Sean Emmett may be coming to the end of his time as a MonsterMob Ducati rider but that will not stop him wanting to win - he needs to impress to secure a good ride in next year's championship, and that is a sentiment shared by the sport's super-sub James Haydon.

He continues with the Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha team and could well add to his Knockhill success, while the time is right for Aussie Dean Thomas to secure a first podium finish aboard the Dienza Ducati. Meanwhile, James Ellison returns from MotoGP duty with the WCM team at Estoril and needs only eight points to secure the Superbike Cup for Independent teams and riders.

Leading positions in the THINK! British Superbike Championship after round eleven:

1. John Reynolds - 370
2. Michael Rutter - 337
3. Scott Smart - 296
4. Yukio Kagayama - 290
5. Sean Emmett - 262
6. Ryuichi Kiyonari - 170
7. James Haydon - 155
8. Dean Thomas - 155
9. Tommy Hill - 116
10. Gary Mason - 100.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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