Pitt wins 2008 World Supersport Championship
Australian Andrew Pitt has won the 2008 World Supersport Championship.
HANNspree’s Ten Kate Honda rider Andrew Pitt has won the 2008 World Supersport title again, seven years after he first won it on a Kawasaki. Unlike his first championship, in which he did not win a race, he managed 5 wins this year with one round still to come on his way to take out the 2008 championship.
Pitt won races at Assen, Nurburgring, Misano and his “home” race at Phillip Island.
Pitt wrapped up the 2008 World Supersport championship by taking victory in a thrilling race at Magny-Cours in France which saw team mate and championship rival Jonny Rea knocked from his bike and the title chase after being hit from behind by Robin Harms . Pitt’s second world title – he was the last non-Honda rider to win the title in 2001 – is the seventh successive championship for the Ten Kate team and the Honda CBR600RR.
Pitt and his HANNspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Jonathan Rea, started the 22-lap race from the front row of the grid, separated by 11 points at the head of the championship table. However, Rea was taken out of contention at the tight Adelaide hairpin on lap nine, whilst lying in third place. Pitt was involved in a thrilling, race-long battle with Suzuki’s Barry Veneman and fellow Honda rider, Josh Brookes.
But the 32-year-old Australian eased away in the latter stages of the race, winning by more than one second at the flag. Rea, meanwhile, remounted and, despite losing first gear in the crash, was able to climb back to tenth place. He retains second place in the series, with the final race due in Portugal on 2 November.
Andrew Pitt :
Well, you can’t say I didn’t win a race with this championship! Jonny missed out today and I’m sure it would’ve been a tough battle right to the end. I didn’t actually know that he was out until I worked it out by looking at the big TV screen! I needed a bit of luck, having been taken out myself a couple of times this season. But I have never enjoyed a season as much as this – the team is just a fantastic bunch of guys to work for and the way everyone pulled together yesterday to put my bike back together was just typical of the spirit here. I’d like to thank Ronald and Gerrit (ten Kate) for having the faith in me and giving me such a competitive machine. I’m happy to repay that faith today.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager:
It’s been another roller coaster of a World Supersport race but I’m just so happy it’s done now. Big congratulations to Andrew and the whole Supersport crew for winning the title in such style. This makes number seven, of course, and they have all been truly magnificent. I feel sorry for Jonny being taken out of the race and having his titles chances taken away from him. But we are still one and two in the points table and we’ll be doing everything we can to keep it that way in Portugal.
Results – World Supersport, Magny-Cours
1 Andrew Pitt AUS (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) – WORLD CHAMPION
2 B. VENEMAN NED (Suzuki)
3 J. BROOKES AUS (Honda)
4 M.LAGRIVE FRA Honda
5 D. VAN KEYMEULEBNEL RES Suzuki
6 M.ROCCOLI ITA Yamaha
7 G.NANNELLI ITA Honda
8 F. FORET FRA Yamaha
9 J. HAYES USA Honda
10 Jonathan Rea GBR (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda)
Championship points after 12 of 13 rounds:
Final round: Portimao, Portugal – 2 November 2008