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Rutter defies broken collarbone to increase title lead

Rutter defies broken collarbone to increase title lead

Rutter defies broken collarbone to increase title lead

Ryuichi Kiyonari and Gregorio Lavilla took the victories in the eighth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, but the real hero at Snetterton was Michael Rutter who defied a broken collar-bone to race on and increase his lead in the title stakes.

The HM Plant Honda rider had crashed heavily, and spectacularly at Russells during qualifying taking a severe battering, having been thrown high over the top of his bike, but it was not until after the two races at the Norfolk circuit that he disclosed the extent of his injuries.

"I broke one collarbone and think that the other has been pushed out a bit," explained Rutter, who had raced on taking fifth and third placings. "It's been a hard weekend – I had a bit of crash that left me sore and beat up and then in the first race had a problem with the quick shift gear change.

"It is not easy to ride this circuit without that working – I was disappointed not to finish on the podium in the first race, and but did my best. In the second I was backing into the corners a bit too much, riding a bit too rigid, maybe trying too hard, but I can't complain," said Rutter who increased his lead over Kiyonari to 45 points.

The Japanese rider, who had taken the first race by eight seconds from Leon Haslam aboard the Airwaves Ducati, crashed out of the second race, in which the determined Lavilla overcame both Rutter and Michael Laverty, riding the Stobart Honda, to take his third victory of the season and avenge his first race crash.

The heroics of Rutter overshadowed another battling performance as reigning champion John Reynolds continued his recovery from the broken leg sustained in a pre-season testing crash.

The Rizla Suzuki rider took a determined third place in the opener, just ahead of his team-mate James Haydon. "That was like a victory – it repays the team for standing by me. At Knockhill I felt it was coming back, each race I'm getting closer, so I am really delighted with this." Next time out he took fourth.

Steve Plater, on his debut with the Hydrex Honda team, enjoyed seventh and fifth placings and Ben Wilson gave the Vivaldi Kawasaki team their best ever result in the championship with a sixth place in the second race.

Chris Martin, despite starting from the back of the grid, took the British Superbike Cup honours in the first race, ahead of James Buckingham and Steve Brogan, while in the second race Danny Beaumont took the victory, ahead of Brogan, Marty Nutt and Martin.

MotoGP, 2005

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