Motorcycling: Lavilla dominates field to stay top
Tuesday 02 May 2006
The Spaniard Gregorio Lavilla continued to break the spirit of Britain's best riders when took his Airwaves Ducati to two more wins here yesterday in the British Superbike Championship.
Lavilla, 31, started in fourth place in each of the two 17-lap races, but needed only nine laps in the first event and three tours in the second leg before he grabbed the lead.
The reigning champion has now won six of the eight races held so far, and leads the championship with 182 points to the 121 of his closest challenger - his team-mate, Leon Haslam.
Rizla Suzuki's Shane Byrne made a brave effort to stop Lavilla in the first race, despite needing intravenous drips before the start to counter the effects of flu. He broke into the lead but eventually succumbed to Lavilla's pressure.
"I'm feeling dreadful," Byrne admitted. "I got tired and kept making mistakes and couldn't hold on."
Haslam had shattered the lap record to claim pole position, but complained that the bike set-up that had worked so well in qualifying handicapped him in the first race, when he finished third. "I'm lapping a second a lap slower than yesterday," he said. "I can't get the bike to stop, and it's handling a lot differently."
Yorkshire's Karl Harris twice forced his HM Plant Honda past Lavilla in the closing stages of the second race, but eventually lost the duel by just 0.058sec.
"I was struggling on the last sector of the track all weekend," Lavilla said. "Karl braked later than me, but I was able to cut back inside him."
Byrne was credited with third place after race officials studied an incident at the chicane on the final lap, ruling that Red Bull Honda's Jonathan Rea had gained an advantage as he took to the grass, and relegating him to fourth.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Female BBC presenter receives offensive and sexist letter after she criticised level of women's sport given TV coverage and sponsorship
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
The 12 worst haircuts of the 2014/15 Premier League season
West Brom vs Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey desperate to be back in the middle for Arsenal title challenge
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...