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Bennetts BSB: Kiyonari takes the double at Oulton Park

Bennetts BSB: Kiyonari takes the double at Oulton Park

Bennetts BSB: Kiyonari takes the double at Oulton Park

Ryuichi Kiyonari won a high speed dash to the line to head off Gregorio Lavilla in the second race of the eleventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship to complete a winning double at Oulton Park that puts him a single point ahead in the title stakes.

The 22 year old Japanese rider took his twelfth victory of the season by inches, officially 0.004 seconds, after a thrilling second race duel with Lavilla during which they swapped the lead several times.

Lavilla seemed to have the upper hand as they charged into Lodge Corner for the final time, but his HM Plant Honda rival was full of fight, leaving his braking until the last possible moment, and putting himself into a good position to enjoy the better drive out of the turn.

But, the Airwaves Ducati held the line to set up a frantic dash for supremacy, with Kiyonari coming out on top, just. "I think maybe I was a little lucky – I didn't think it was possible to pull him back but my bike is very fast, very good and I always do my best."

In the opening race, they had fought throughout, trading places, with Kiyonari taking the verdict by some two seconds.

"I knew these races would be close, very hard, and it was no surprise that Lavilla came past me, but that made me determined, more aggressive than normal.

"Now, I have to keep winning the races, finish them all well, and that way the championship will look after itself," said Kiyonari who is on course to become the first Japanese rider to win the British crown.

The trophy however looks to be out of reach of his team-mate Michael Rutter whose late season run of ill-fortune continued – a sticking rear brake dropped him to tenth in the opener and then he crashed out of the second, to be third overall in the standings, 36 points down on Lavilla.

Rutter and Kiyonari rode with blue armbands on their black leathers as a mark of respect for 14 year old Chris Jones who sustained fatal injuries in a crash at Cadwell Park last month. "I think that he helped on that final lap," reflected Kiyonari.

The two races at the Cheshire circuit had provided some of the toughest duelling of the season, but they also gave defending champion John Reynolds the opportunity to show his return both to fitness and form after his season had been wrecked before it had even started by a horror crash in testing.

He took a pair of thirds aboard his Rizla Suzuki, with Leon Haslam pushing him hard in each, finishing just adrift, while fifth placings went to Karl Harris, riding Honda, and Glen Richards aboard the Hawk Kawasaki.

MotoGP, 2005

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