'Horrible' conditions fail to halt Rutter

Michael Rutter and John Reynolds share the lead in the British Superbike Championship after winning a race apiece in the opening round at Silverstone yesterday.

Michael Rutter and John Reynolds share the lead in the British Superbike Championship after winning a race apiece in the opening round at Silverstone yesterday.

Rutter, who started from pole position on his brand new HM Plant Honda, charged to victory in difficult conditions in race one on a drying track. Light rain made the circuit difficult, but Rutter took the lead on the third lap from Sean Emmett and then dominated to win from team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari, with Reynolds third.

He said: "It was horrible out there. It was a case of keeping it smooth but there was no easing up because my team-mate Kiyonari was just behind and I knew he would keep going all the way."

Rutter dropped to third in race two following a rare error with two laps to go. The Leicestershire rider came from ninth, after a dreadful start, to lead but did well to hang on as his bike swerved out of line at Woodcote chicane. Reynolds took his Rizla Suzuki to victory, with Kiyonari second.

* France's Regis Laconi, riding a Ducati, followed up two days as leading qualifier to win one of yesterday's 22-lap races in the second round of the World Superbikes series at Phillip Island. Garry McCoy of Australia, won the second race, also on a Ducati. Britain's James Toseland was third in the opening race and holds the overall championship lead with 61 points after two rounds.

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