Reynolds' rapid pace holds off Hislop

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The Independent Online

John Reynolds is the early leader of the British Superbike Championship after a victory and a fourth place in yesterday's opening round here at the Kent circuit.

James Haydon won the second race and the Red Bull Ducati rider briefly held the lap record he broke last year on a Suzuki before the 34-year-old Reynolds shattered the mark to complete a triumphant day for the team.

Haydon is second in the points table, a place he shares with the Virgin Yamaha R7 rider Steve Hislop, who finished in second and third places.

Reynolds took the opening win with some thrilling overtaking moves after a race-long duel with Hislop and the Suzuki GSX-R750 of Chris Walker.

Niall Mackenzie, the three-times champion and title favourite, made a disappointing start to his challenge after a switch from Yamaha to a Ducati 996 over the winter. Sixth in the opening race, the 38-year-old former grand prix rider crashed without injury on lap two of the second leg.

BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP (Brands Hatch) Round one:

First race: 1 J Reynolds (Ducati) 22min 00.774sec (ave 93.63mph); 2 C Walker (Suzuki) 22:01.018; 3 S Hislop (Yamaha) 22:02.067; 4 N Hodgson (Ducati) 22:05.599; 5 J Haydon (Ducati) 22:06.965; 6 N Mackenzie (Ducati) 22:18.604. Fastest lap: Haydon 46.546sec (94.84mph).

Second race: 1 Haydon 21:58.241 (93.81mph); 2 Hislop 22:01.659; 3 Hodgson 22:02.675; 4 Reynolds 22:03.509; 5 Walker 22:03.862; 6 J Crawford (Suzuki) 22:16.804. Fastest lap: Reynolds 46.424sec (95.09mph - lap record).

Championship standings 1 Reynolds 38; =2 Hislop 36; =2 Haydon 36; 4 Walker 31; 5 Hodgson 29; 6 P Brown 17.

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