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Kiyonari and Lavilla share the victories

Kiyonari and Lavilla share the victories

Kiyonari and Lavilla share the victories

Ryuichi Kiyonari and Gregorio Lavilla took the victories in the fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Mondello Park, but Michael Rutter with second and fifth placings holds a 46 points advantage in the title stakes.

HM Plant Honda rider Kiyonari, returning after missing the previous round through injury, led throughout the opening race, with Rutter somewhat fortunate to take second place, coming eight seconds down after Glen Richards had tumbled out and then Leon Haslam had slowed with gear problems.

Lavilla took his Airwaves Ducati into third place, but he overcame a dreadful start to carve through the pack and win next time out. "I felt much better on the warm-up lap, and though this will be a good race, but then I made a poor start.

"I decided to take it step by step, and got ahead of my team-mate Leon Haslam, but then thought I had allowed him to close up too much, but I held on to win - that is unbelievable," said Lavilla as he savoured the victor's champagne for the first time.

His winning margin was 0.018seconds with Haslam happy in second place: "I led for much of the race, but am still pleased with the result, which is very good for my team - I had a bit of a coming together with Kiyonari, but held onto my place."

Rutter had complained of front end problems, particularly in the first race: "it was just a case of sticking at it - I thought that I would have to settle for fourth, but then Glen went straight and on, and Leon slowed." He had himself been involved in an opening lap tangle.

Pole starter Jonathan Rea clipped the back of his bike going into the first corner: "I felt something, but didn't really know who it was - I had intended to keep well clear of Rea, but it didn't work out that way."

Kiyonari ended the day with a smile: "very hard races, make me very tired, very pleased though with points and results."

Chris Martin and Danny Beaumont took the victories in the British Superbike Cup but James Buckingham with a third and then a second place holds the lead in the title stakes.

MotoGP, 2005

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