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Top Ten Finishes for Hawk Kawasaki

Round 3 - Thruxton - 17th April

Hawk Kawasaki rider Dean Thomas secured two top ten finishes at the third round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on Bank Holiday Monday (17th April). 33-year-old Thomas gained a ninth and sixth place in the two Superbike races at Thruxton Circuit. After a fantastic qualifying position of fourth place on the grid, his second front row start this season, it was always going to be a difficult task to stay with the factory machines of Ducati and Honda at the super fast 2.4-mile track.

It was the first dry race day so far this season and with a bumper crowd of 35'000 spectators it was a great day for some fantastic racing. Hawk Kawasaki Team Manager Stuart Hicken made the decision to pull the injured Craig Coxhell out of the two races to avoid further damage to his injured shoulders. Coxhell made a valiant attempt all weekend to try and bear the pain but it was obvious the 23-year-old Australian was in a lot of discomfort.

Youngster of the pack, 19-year-old Peter Hickman was once again unlucky not to score his first points of the season. Tied up in some of the best battles of the race Hickman was dicing for 14th place in the first race and ended just outside the points in 18th after a fraught battle with Gary Mason, Steve Plater and Privateer Champion James Buckingham. In race two, Hickman lead a freight train of five riders for 12th position but sadly ended up crashing on lap 19 of the 22.

Sheffield based Thomas was content with his results saying "I had a disaster with tyres in the first race and to avoid crashing I just wanted to ensure that I brought the bike home. This made it difficult for me to stay with the front runners, as I had no grip what so ever. The second race was much better and the ZX10 felt a lot smoother to ride. I knew we would struggle with horsepower here and the likes of Kiyo and Lavilla came past me like I was stood still. I tried to conserve my tyres a little more and managed to get past Michael (Rutter) in the closing stages of the race. We still have a lot of work to do with the bike but we are definitely getting there."

Lincolnshire rider Hickman was disappointed not to have scored points saying "It's very frustrating not ending up in the points as I know there is a strong possibility that I can do, I think I proved that this weekend. I really enjoyed the racing today but riding a Superbike round here, certainly is a scary affair and so fast it's untrue. It's a very difficult circuit to learn in such a short space of time, I've been here on a Superstock bike but the Superbike is like an animal around here. I'm not sure what happened in the crash as it all happened so quickly but I'm just thankful I walked away from it uninjured. I'm looking forward to Oulton as it's a track I know."

Injured Coxhell said, "I really wanted to ride this weekend to try and get some Championship points. Although I made a big effort all weekend I knew that it was going to be nearly impossible for me to finish the races in the points. Both shoulders were sore all weekend but during morning warm up I was in the slip stream of Scott Smart and pulled out the pass him and got the bike into a huge tank-slapper which ripped the muscle in my right shoulder. It was so painful and knew then that I couldn't ride in the two races. I'm hoping to be fit for Oulton in a few weeks time."

The Hawk Kawasaki riders will be testing at the official British Superbike Test Day at Oulton Park this Friday (21st April) and will race there on the May Bank Holiday weekend (29th, 30th April and 1st May). For more details please see www.hawkkawasaki.co.uk.

BSB Race 1 Result:

1.Gregorio Lavilla - 22 Laps, 2. Leon Haslam + 4.460, 3. Ryuichi Kiyonari + 12.742, 4. Jonathan Rea + 18.921, 5. Shane Byrne + 19.058, 6. Michael Rutter + 22.866, 7. Glen Richards + 30.839, 8.Tommy Hill + 30.974, 9. Dean Thomas + 34.210 (Hawk Kawasaki), 10. Michael Laverty 34.252, 18. Peter Hickman + 53.786 (Hawk Kawasaki)

BSB Race 2 Result:

1.Gregorio Lavilla 22 Laps, 2. Leon Haslam + 6.337, 3. Karl Harris + 15.230, 4. Ryuichi Kiyonari + 15.566, 5. Jonathan Rea + 21.323, 6. Dean Thomas + 25.437 (Hawk Kawasaki), 7. Michael Rutter + 30.305, 8. Shane Byrne + 34.977, 9. Tommy Hill + 38.501, 10. Scott Smart + 42.610

Championship Standings after Round 3

Lavilla 132
Haslam 96
Kiyonari 87
Harris 57
Rea 54
Byrne 45
Smart 44
Rutter 44
Laverty 42
Thomas 40
15th Craig Coxhell 18
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