Reigning Bennetts British Superbike champion Gregorio Lavilla heads for Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday, intent on another winning double to further extend his title lead over Airwaves Ducati team-mate Leon Haslam in round four of the 2006 series. The Spaniard made it four wins out of six starts as he dominated the Easter weekend action, at record breaking pace, at Thruxton – firing a double ‘hands-off’ salvo to the pretenders to his crown and opened up a useful 36 points lead in the overall rankings.

But Haslam, who will be back to fitness having recovered from the dislocated right ankle sustained in a crash in the Brands Hatch seasonal opener, starts these races in no mood to be beaten again – last time out, he admitted: “it is frustrating to make a good start, and then have him come past me, but in fairness, he is riding well at the moment.”

The Derbyshire rider does not like settling for second best and is determined to enjoy an action replay of his victory in the corresponding round last year while, for Michael Rutter – the other winner on that day – a repeat would be just the confidence booster that he and the Stobart Motorsport Honda team need after a difficult weekend at Thruxton.


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