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Lavilla at the double at Thruxton

Lavilla at the double at Thruxton

Lavilla at the double at Thruxton

Gregorio Lavilla, with a winning double, at record breaking pace, extended his points lead as he continued the defence of his Bennetts British Superbike crown in the third round at Thruxton.

The Airwaves Ducati rider took charge in each race after overcoming the early threat of his team-mate Leon Haslam, who twice made the perfect start, but was soon overhauled by the Spaniard.

Haslam had to settle for second best in each race as Lavilla made it four wins from six starts to charge into a 36 points lead in the title stakes but there is no complacency from him.

"I am not thinking of the title – remember last season Ryuichi Kiyonari won the first six races but not the title."

That said, Lavilla is riding with an assured style and speed. He broke the lap record in the opener, and then bettered it, with an average speed of 113.25mph to win the second race by a little over six seconds.

If nothing else, his speed and domination is frustrating Haslam: "It's hard making the start, and then seeing him come past, but in fairness, he has not put a foot wrong, and I am struggling a bit still with my ankle injury."

Kiyonari took third place in the opener, and looked set for an action replay next time out, but his HM Plant Honda team-mate Karl Harris snatched the position from him at the chicane on the final lap.

Harris was at his most determined to set the record straight after escaping injury in a start-line tangle with Michael Rutter in the opener – the Sheffield rider tipped off, and slid along the track, with everyone avoiding him, although the unlucky James Haydon hit the Honda as it spun off the track.

Haydon then crashed out of the second race on the opening lap as the Rizla Suzuki team had another tough day at the office, with their former champion Shane Byrne relegated eight places on the grid for a flag offence during the morning warm-up.

Byrne battled into fifth place, just adrift of Red Bull Honda rider Jonathan Rea in the first race, and then had to start the second race on his spare bike after a mechanical problem, but he rode through the pack to finish in eighth place.

Ahead of him Rea had to settle for fifth place, just ahead of Dean Thomas on the Hawk Kawasaki and the Stobart Honda of Rutter.

James Buckingham, the defending British Superbike Cup champion, enjoyed a winning double, finishing each race in fifteenth place overall. In the first race, he overcame a ride through penalty for a jump start, to finish ahead of Chris Martin and Marty Nutt.

Then, he looked set for second place, but Howard Mainwaring tumbled out at the last corner, gifting the victory to the Devonian.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship – Round three – Thruxton

Race One Result 1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 28m47.270s, 2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +4.460s, 3, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +12.742s, 4, Jonathan Rea (Red Bull Honda) +18.921s, 5, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +19.058s, 6, Michael Rutter (Honda) +22.866s, 7, Glen Richards (Honda) +30.839s, 8, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +30.974s, 9, Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +34.210s, 10, Michael Laverty (Honda) +34.252s.

Fastest Lap: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1m15.422s (112.45mph)

Race Two Result

1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 27m58.085s, 2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +6.337s, 3, Karl Harris (Honda) +15.230s, 4, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +15.566s, 5, Jonathan Rea (Red Bull Honda) +21.323s, 6, Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +25.437s, 7, Michael Rutter (Honda) +30.305s, 8, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +34.977s, 9, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +38.501s, 10, Scott Smart (Suzuki) +42.610s.

Fastest Lap: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1m14.890s (113.25mph) Record

Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings (after round 3)

1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 132pts
2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 96pts
3, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 87pts
4, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) 57pts
5, Jonathan Rea (Red Bull Honda) 54pts
6, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) 45pts
7, Scott Smart (Suzuki) 44pts
7, Michael Rutter (Honda) 44pts
9, Michael Laverty (Honda) 42pts
10, Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) 40pts

Tags:
MotoGP, 2006

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