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HM Plant Honda's Leon Haslam has taken the British Superbike race two win at Knockhill this afternoon in a session that was stopped twice because of crashes. Airwaves Ducati's Shane Byrne brought out the second reg flag as he went down into Duffus Dip and is in the medical centre but is ok.
It was declared a wet race and was stopped after 10 laps when David's Johnson's errant bike narrowly missed Jentin Yamaha's Simon Andrews but hit Tom Grant on the SMT Honda. The crash also caused Astro Kawasaki's Kenny Gilbertson to run across the grass and fall.
At the re-start, the conditions were mixed with some riders on full slicks, others on intermediates. Honda's Cal Crutchlow changed bikes after two warm-up laps and started from the back of the grid.
Rutter led off the line but struggled and Byrne was straight round him to take the lead. Haslam also made short work of the NW200 Ducati man and set about chasing down the leading Ducati. As the got among the backmarkers, Byrne crashed out, handing Haslam his first win of the season.
Rutter took second with Karl Harris finally making it on to the podium. Injured Simon Andrews managed an heroic sixth.
The original start saw Haslam storm into the lead and have a gap of 1'298s by the end of the first lap. Following him into the first corner was Rutter, Byrne, Crutchlow and race one winner Rizla Suzuki's Tom Sykes who didn't have quite the right setup and finished fourth overall.
Shakey immediately was looking to get round Rutter in second place and on lap four he finally outbraked him, even though Rutter tried to go back past he ran wide at Scotsman making him settle at that time for third.
Sykes was running a lonely fifth, but with Airwaves Ducati man Leon Camier gaining on him bringing Michael Laverty with him. On lap 10 the first red flag of the race appeared due to a three-bike collison where David Johnson of Team Maxxis went down, unfortunately hitting replacement rider for SMT Honda Tom Grant.
Kenny Gilbertson of Astro Racing Kawasaki was also caught up in the crash and looked to be the only rider not injured from the crash. Simon Andrews luckily escaped collision with Johnson who was behind Andrews at the time before flying across his path into another rider.
Within the recovery period the sun came causing riders to take the restart on a mixture of tyre compounds. There were a few riders that due to a late decision in tyre choice had to start the warm up lap from pit lane and the race from the back of the grid. This included Dean Ellison of Co-Ordit, Guy Martin of Animal Hydrex Honda, Martin Jessopp of Riders Racing Honda and, astonishingly, Crutchlow.
The 20 lap restart saw Rutter, Byrne, Haslam, Harris and Camier take the first five positions in to the first corner. Harris had made successful use of the clear track in front of him from the second row with Crutchlow moved to the back leaving an empty grid space.
Soon Byrne took the lead away from Rutter with Haslam taking second shortly after. Harris moved to third on lap two, which Rutter later regained. Byrne had pulled away in his usual Ducati style, but on lap nine Haslam set the fastest lap of the race pulling the gap down to 0.975s.
Camier and Andrews battled for seventh with the walking wounded Andrews having the last say before pulling away and letting Camier fall into the clutches of Crutchlow who had worked his way from the back of the grid to finish seventh overall.
On lap 14 the race was declared after a second red flag due to Byrne crashing out and hitting the barrier at Seat Curves (Duffus Dip) . This then gave Haslam his first win of the season, Michael Rutter his first podium of the day and Karl Harris of Rob Mac Racing his first podium of the season in third.
Chris Burns on his MV Agusta dominated the Daily Star Cup by finishing in 10th place ahead of second cup rider Martin Jessopp of Riders Racing Honda in 16th who just held off Quay Garage Honda Gary Mason in third.
Scott Smart who rode from 18th place grid was given the black/orange flag on the last lap for an oil leak but due to the red flag he was able to keep his deserved 13th.
Leon Morris on the Brookspeed Ducati crashed out three laps in, Aaron Zanotti crashed and remounted to finish 23rd and Tom Tunstall went grass tracking before finishing 20th overall
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