Kagayama celebrating emotional victory
Monday 26 April 2004
John Reynolds claimed a win and a second place in the third round of the British Superbike Championship here, extending his lead in the riders' standings as his Rizla Suzuki team-mate Yukio Kagayama claimed an emotional victory in race one.
The 29-year-old Japanese rider is still recovering from the life-threatening injuries sustained in a crash last August at Cadwell Park. He compounded that by taking a battering in a heavy tumble during Friday free practice at the Norfolk circuit which wrecked his bike.
"I worried after Friday if I could ride - I decided to try qualifying and then not to race would have been sad," said Kagayama.
He started from the second row but was soon duelling for the lead, going ahead at quarter distance and then fighting back to regain the advantage after Reynolds had gone through to hold the upper hand for six laps.
"I am very, very happy - last year was very hard, I had a big crash, but now I am back," he smiled, after holding Reynolds off by 0.414 seconds.
The twice former champion was to dictate terms next time out, however, grabbing the lead from the off and then holding off the intense pressure from his title rival, Michael Rutter.
The HM Plant Honda Fireblade rider shattered the lap record as he overcame a slow start to reel in Reynolds, but had to settle for second best as the Nottingham rider took his third victory of the season to open up a 10-point advantage over Rutter.
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