The Black Mint Airwaves Ducati team head to round 13 of the British Superbike championship at Brands Hatch this weekend lying first and third in the title race. The 2006 title will be decided in a double point's header at the Kent circuit on Sunday.
In a dramatic penultimate round at Silverstone two weeks ago Gregorio Lavilla achieved two second places and former championship leader, Leon Haslam had a day of mixed results, failing to finish the first race but coming 3rd in the second. Those results mean that Greg goes into this weekend's finale with 377 championship points and a slender 1 point lead over Kiyo, with team mate Leon only 8 points behind on 368.
The decision to award double points for this round was taken after persistent rain resulted in round 5 at Mondello being cancelled. With only 9 points separating the top 3 riders it will be a head to head battle between the two Ducati's and Kiyo's Honda for the 2006 BSB title.
This time last year the team headed to the final round first and fourth in the championship and after an outstanding display of top quality riding and a set of one-two finishes Gregorio Lavilla was crowned the 2005 British Superbike champion. Back then he made it clear how important it was to him to win the title saying, "It maybe British Superbikes but I am thinking of it as a World Superbike Championship.that's how much this Championship means to me." Both riders have similar sentiments about the title this year and are excited about what is sure to be a sensational finish to the season.
The defending champion Lavilla said, "I am really looking forward to racing at Brands Hatch this weekend, leading the championship going into the last round is obviously a good place to be, even if it is by 1 point! It won't affect my preparation though; I will go there to put in the best performance I can and hopefully regain the title, but I know it is going to be a very competitive weekend. I have great memories from this time last year when I took the title but I was much further ahead then and there are very different pressures on us all this year, especially with the double points, but I can't wait to get started."
Making it clear that he has put the disappointment of his DNF at Silverstone behind him Leon Haslam commented, "I made a mistake in the first race at Silverstone which cost me a finish and the championship lead but I have forgotten about that now and I am looking forward to Brands Hatch. It is going to be a really exciting weekend for the fans especially as the double points mean it will go down to the final race. There is going to be such a good atmosphere, I think it will definitely be the most exciting racing of the year."
The 2006 Bennetts British Superbike title will be decided on October 1st at the Brands Hatch GP circuit.