Serious crash leaves seven Superstock riders injured

Seven riders were injured, two seriously, in a massive crash here yesterday. The accident happened in driving rain on the first lap of the National Superstock race, when the race began in atrocious conditions on the 2.6 mile circuit. Up to a dozen machines were involved in the crash on one of the fastest parts of the track, near Hawthorn Hill.

They were treated at the trackside by a team that included anaesthetists and trauma surgeons. The riders were later transferred to local hospitals by the Kent Air Ambulance service and by road ambulances. "All hell broke loose because nobody could see anything because of the spray,'' a photographer said. "The rain was so heavy that it was running across the track instead of draining away.''

The 1,000cc machines were lightly modified standard models, capable of up to 180 miles per hour, although they were probably doing about 140mph at the time of the crash.

Meanwhile, Rizla Suzuki rider John Reynolds stunned his rivals by winning the 50th Superbike race of his career only two weeks after breaking his left collarbone in a crash at Thruxton. Reynolds - at 38 the oldest competitor in the series - won the first race of the day to extend his lead in the championship to 29 points, over Honda's Michael Rutter.

Reynolds was heading for victory in the second race, until his rear tyre lost pressure. He dropped to seventh, but Rutter was in even worse trouble and finished in 14th after electrical problems robbed his bike of power. "I never dreamed of beating Michael this weekend," Reynolds said. "I would have been happy to get within five or six places of him."

Sean Emmett finished second, ahead of TT winner John McGuinness. Reynolds' team-mate Yukio Kagayama - also recuperating from a broken collarbone - pushed Rutter into fifth place overall.

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