Right from the start of the second race, Harris was determined to make his mark and got off to a flying start establishing himself in third. He soon overtook Michael Rutter and briefly led the field on lap three and setting a new lap record on the next. With Rutter behind him, Harris then concentrated on hunting down Lavilla and took up a watching brief, which culminated in the HM Plant rider passing the Spaniard at Lodge on two occasions on the final lap. However, Lavilla snatched back the lead and beat Harris to the line by a mere 0.058 seconds.
In the first race of the day Karl Harris was unable to convert his front row start into a front running position when he came together with fellow Honda rider Jonathan Rea at the first corner. Harris held onto the bike but was forced onto the grass and, as a result, rejoined the pack in 19th place.
The tenacious rider was undeterred and clawed his way back through the pack, making up ten places by the end of lap six. The Sheffield-based rider continued to establish consistent and competitive lap times aboard his Michelin-shod Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, finally settling in fifth place, a position he was to retain until the end of the race.
Meanwhile, Ryuichi Kiyonari finished the first race in sixth place after starting from a disadvantaged fourth row. The Japanese rider, who experienced a challenging weekend at the 2.69-mile track, knew that he would have to work hard at the demanding venue. The HM Plant rider put in a determined effort and worked his way through the field; by lap 16 Kiyonari was running in eighth place. The Louth-based racer then went on to claim a further two places on the final lap, overtaking Tommy Hill and Jonathan Rea.
While Harris was fighting for his maiden win in race two, team mate Ryuichi Kiyonari was steadily working his way up through the field. The Japanese rider went one better in the second race and brought his HM Plant Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade home in fifth, bringing to a close a difficult weekend for the Louth-based racer.
Karl Harris: “I’m gutted. I so wanted to beat him today, it’s my favourite track and it would have been perfect to get my first British Superbike win here. But never mind, there is always Mondello Park where I am going to be more determined than ever to win.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “The results this weekend were not the best and it has been a hard weekend, but we have tried many things and have some good data as a result, so that is positive for us.”
Neil Tuxworth: “It is a shame that Karl didn’t win but it was an excellent ride from him and a new lap record; he has been strong all weekend which is excellent. While Kiyo’s results were better than we anticipated it was still a disappointing day from his point of view.
Superbike Race One Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 27m41.446s,
2, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +0.429s,
3, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.870s,
4, James Haydon (Suzuki) +2.087s,
5, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) +11.188s,
6, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +19.467s,
7, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +20.053s, 8, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +20.196s,
9, Michael Rutter (Honda) +20.878s,
10, Glen Richards (Honda) +25.854s.
Fastest Lap: Shane Byrne (Suzuki) 1m36.698s (100.22mph)
Superbike Race Two Result
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 27m33.612s,
2, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) +0.058s,
3, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +12.004s,
4, Jonathan Rea (Honda) +12.380s,
5, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +12.430s,
6, Michael Rutter (Honda) +14.764s,
7, Leon Haslam (Ducati) +14.826s,
8, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +22.645s,
9, Glen Richards (Honda) +27.654s,
10, Ben Wilson (Suzuki) +27.858s.
Fastest Lap: Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) 1m36.245s (100.69mph)
Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings (after round 4)
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 182pts
2, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 121pts
3, Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 108pts
4, Karl Harris (HM Plant Honda) 88pts
5, Shane Byrne (Suzuki) 81pts
6, Jonathan Rea (Honda) 75pts
7, Michael Rutter (Honda) 61pts
8, Michael Laverty (Honda) 52pts
=, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) 52pts
10, Scott Smart (Suzuki) 50pts
The next round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Mondello Park in three weeks time (21/22 May).