In the first dry race Shakey battled to sixth while James recovered from a poor start to claim 10th. The race was cut short after 20-laps when Ducati rider Leon Haslam suffered a spectacular crash going into Paddock Hill bend. He was unhurt and his Ducati team mate Gregorio Lavilla won the race.
The second race started in damp conditions and the weather played havoc with tyre choice for all teams. Both Rizla Suzuki racers started with intermediate front and slick rear tyres anticipating the weather to improve but the rain continued to fall throughout the 30 lap race. Both riders showed immense control and maturity with James coming home in seventh and Shakey in 11th. Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari won the race.
Defending Champion Lavilla heads the Championship table and the Rizla Suzuki racers are equal seventh. Rizla Suzuki races at Donington Park in Derbyshire at the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on April 9th.
“In the opening race on the second lap I went into the left hander at Surtees too fast when my tyre wasn’t up to full temperature and ended up grass tracking. I lost six or seven places and then spent the rest of the race fighting back. I got to 10th before the race was cut short and I’m frustrated because I think I could have got another couple of positions if it had gone full distance.
“Race two was hideous because of the damp conditions. Like most of the rest of the field, I picked the wrong tyres and ended up riding a restrained and controlled race to score points in seventh. My confidence is building and I’m keen to get back on the bike as soon as possible.”
“The first race was very positive and gives us an indication of where we are in relation to the rest of the field. The second race was hard because of the conditions and I also got a terrible start.
“I learnt a lot by following other riders and I am comfortable on the Rizla Suzuki, so today has been good from that perspective. I am now desperate to test before we go to Donington so I can find out more about my bike and what changes we need to make to go faster. I need and want to be challenging at the front to win races.”
Robert Wicks, Team Manager:
“The weather conditions were difficult and we are pleased we are leaving here with some solid points in the bag for both riders. James and Shakey both rode with controlled aggression and have given excellent feedback to their crews which will improve the bikes for the next round.
“This weekend has proved we have a very fast motorcycle that has lots of potential and two riders champing at the bit to win races. We will now do everything we can to unlock that potential.”
Race One Result: 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 15:28.510, 2: Karl Harris (Honda) +4.222, 3: Michael Rutter (Honda) +8.758, 4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +8.891, 5: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +12.363, 6: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +18.556, 7: Michael Laverty (Honda) +18.793, 8: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +19.171, 9: Glen Richards (Honda) +19.285, 10: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +20.402.
Race Two Result: 1: Kiyonari 25:39.805, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +10.069, 3: Lavilla +19.240, 4: Craig Coxhell (Kawasaki) +21.922, 5: Harris +23.918, 6: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +25.842, 7: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +48.840, 8: Thomas +53.371, 9: Richards +1 lap, 10: Ollie Bridewell (Suzuki) +1 lap, 11: SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1 lap.
Championship Positions after Round 1 of 13: 1: Lavilla 41, 2: Kiyonari 38, 3: Harris 31, 4: Haslam 20, 5=: Rutter, Thomas 16, 7 = SHANE BYRNE (RIZLA SUZUKI), JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) 15, 9: Richards 14, 10: Coxhell 13.