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Bennetts British Superbike: Rutter takes the lead

Bennetts British Superbike: Rutter takes the lead

Bennetts British Superbike: Rutter takes the lead

Michael Rutter has taken the third round, a winning-double, of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Mallory Park to move ahead in the chase for the sought-after BSB crown.

In an incident packed third round, the HM Plant Honda rider took the initiative after his previously unbeaten team-mate, Ryuichi Kiyonari, crashed, heavily, out of the action on the sixth lap of the opening race as he braked into the left-hander of the chicane.

Kiyonari, who had shattered the lap record to claim his second pole start, escaped serious injury, but now faces a race against time to be fit for the fourth round at Oulton Park on Holiday Monday – the 22 year old Japanese rider was heading the action just ahead of Rutter when disaster struck.

"I was pushing him hard, hoping he might make a mistake, but not for that to happen," said Rutter who was told that his team-mate was conscious and sitting talking to staff in the circuit's medical centre.

Rutter held off heavy pressure from Hawk Kawasaki rider Glen Richards to take the victory, as they scrapped for supremacy in the afternoon's second race, which was run in three parts.

The first stoppage came as officials dealt with a heavy crash involving Tommy Hill and Danny Beaumont at Devil's Elbow, and then, owing to a blown engine, they had to deal with an oil-sprayed track.

Richards made Rutter work for his second victory, but the Honda rider, who lives adjacent to the circuit, held on: "I'll be having a few drinks to celebrate tonight – I've never known so many stoppages but we still got some decent races in and I just had that little bit more speed than Glen."

Rutter now leads 119-100 over Kiyonari; with Spaniard Gregorio Lavilla – confirmed as an Airwaves Ducati rider for the remainder of the season third – in third position on 88 points – recovering after a first-race tumble with Karl Harris to grab third place second time round.

MotoGP, 2005

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