Emmett fights back to hold off Reynolds

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The Independent Online

Sean Emmett claimed his first victory in 15 months in the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch yesterday, holding off a challenge from the former champion, John Reynolds, who had earlier won the first of the two races of the penultimate round.

Emmett, now riding for the ETI Ducati team following his split earlier in the season from Renegade Ducati, had been on the pace throughout the weekend and had contributed much to a first-race thriller, before conceding second best to Reynolds who was powering through the pain barrier. The Rizla Suzuki rider had injured his knee and wrist as he struggled to hold on to his bike when it swerved out of line on the approach to the Paddock Hill bend during practice.

Reynolds nonetheless took his fourth victory of the season by a couple of seconds from Emmett, who reversed the result in the second 30-lap race, the Weybridge rider moving ahead after a third of the contest, then holding off Reynolds to win.

"I'm really enjoying this moment, you have to take the rough with the smooth but now I am with this team I'm enjoying my racing more than ever," said Emmett, whose previous victory was at the Kent circuit in June of last year. His victory was the first success in the series for the ETI team.

Second place was sufficient to secure the runners-up spot in the overall rankings for Reynolds, while the champion, Shane Byrne, was twice third, his hopes of beating Neil McKenzie's six-year record of 13 victories in a season ended.

BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch) Round 11: Race 1: 1 J Reynolds (Suzuki) 24min 28.732sec; 2 S Emmett (Ducati) 24:30.593; 3 S Byrne (Ducati) 24:30.840; 4 M Rutter (Ducati) 24:33.599; 5 G Richards (Kawasaki) 24:33.847; 6 G Mason (Yamaha) 24:38.139; 7 S Plater (Honda) 24:39.955; 8 S Smart (Kawasaki) 24:40.136; 9 L Haslam (Ducati) 24:41.213; 10 C Burns (Yamaha) 24:44.890. Race 2: 1 Emmett 23:26.076; 2 Reynolds 23:27.753; 3 Byrne 23:29.384; 4 Richards 23:30.829; 5 Haslam 23:35.244; 6 Plater 23:39.053; 7 Mason 23:39.059; 8 Smart 23:39.555; 9 Rutter 23:41.813; 10 Mark Heckles (Honda) 23:46.810. General Classification: Byrne 438pts; Reynolds 322; Rutter 263; Plater 246; Richards 238; Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 210; Emmett 207; Mason 195; Smart 144; Steve Hislop (Yamaha) 122.