Russell Wood set a new Kyalami 600cc Superbike lap record as he won both races in the South African Superbike Championship on Saturday.

Russell Wood set a new Kyalami 600cc Superbike lap record as he won both races in the South African Superbike Championship on Saturday.

But it was not a breeze, the Autopage Cellular Yamaha rider had to fight all the way. Wood started from pole position, sharing the front row of the grid with Shaun Whyte (First Technology Yamaha), privateer Gavin Ramsay (Kreepy Krauly Yamaha) and Arushen Moodley (First Technology Yamaha).

Moodley grabbed the lead at the start of the first race, with Whyte, Ramsay, Wood, Stewart MacLeod (Cell C Suzuki), Greg Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Yamaha) and Sheridan Morias (Teazers Kawasaki) close behind.

But Wood methodically passed one rider per lap, to take the lead from Moodley on the fourth tour. Moodley fought back over the last four laps of the race and both he and Wood repeatedly broke Kyalami’s former 600cc Superbike lap record of 1 min 48, 40 seconds.

But Wood’s pace was not to be matched and on the very last tour he set a new record of 1 min 47,80 seconds, while winning the race.

Moodley finished second, leading home Ramsay, Whyte and Dreyer.

Cell C Suzuki team-mates Trevor Crookes, Noel Haarhoff and Hudson Kennaugh filled the respective fifth-, sixth-, and seventh places, with Kawasaki riders Morias, Greame van Breda and Garth Norris rounding out the top ten.

Afterwards, third-placed man Ramsay was docked 30 seconds for moving his Kreepy Krauly Yamaha fractionally on the grid before the start of the race. The penalty dropped Ramsay to 17th place.

Relegated to the back of the grid for Race Two, Ramsay had a proper start this time. He passed 14 other riders before the first corner and slotted his Yamaha into third place, on the heels of leaders Russell Wood and Arushen Moodley.

The three riders disputed the race lead for seven laps before the organisers black-flagged Ramsay. Wood then took his second victory for the day, ahead of Moodley and Kennaugh. The next four places went to Whyte, Dreyer, Morias and Haarhoff.

“I just love it,” Wood said. “I knew the youngsters were right with me, but in both heats I just rode aggressive final laps and it did the trick.”