World Supers Wrap-up from Honda
Toseland Extends Championship Lead After Thrilling Race Win
World Superbike Round 4 of 13.
James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) rode to his fourth win of the season after the disappointment of fifth in race one, and in doing so extended his championship lead over Max Biaggi to 13 points, 151 points to 138.
In the first race, Toseland get away quickly but a tyre that had spun on the wheel rim was the reason why he had to drop from the leading group, running out a solitary fifth after 23 laps. The race was won by Ruben Xaus, with Noriyuki Haga second and Troy Bayliss third.
In the second race Toseland was involved in the fight for the win from the very start, having qualified fifth in a wet Superpole. Race two was a classic, with three different riders exchanging the lead, and the final podium three being separated by only 0.375 seconds. Biaggi was second, Haga third.
In the opening contest Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) started from 17th on the grid, having missed out on Superpole qualification, but his pugilistic attitude saw him tenth, just one place behind front row qualifier Joshua Brookes (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR), who was only pushed from a fine sixth place to ninth in the last few laps. Brookes was an excellent season-best seventh in race two, with Rolfo 12th.
Michel Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) beat Biaggi in race one to finish seventh, but an ill-advised set-up change put him 11th in race two.
Raceday was unlucky for top ten Superpole rider Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR) who carded two crashes, the first after hitting one of the damp patches which persisted all day, and the second after losing adhesion on the first lap of the second leg. Steve Martin (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) had two technical issues mar his raceday, having made great progress in the early laps from his 21st place in qualifying.
Toseland was understandably ecstatic about his second race win, especially as he was able to fight back when passed by Biaggi on the final lap. He has now won half of all the available races in 2007, more than he won in all of 2006.
"The problems in the first race were due to the tyre moving in the wheel rim and that's the end of my excuses for that," said the blunt Yorkshire rider, now resident in the Isle of Man. "The second race was just awesome. We used Friday's set-up on the number two bike so thanks to my team for getting it ready so quickly after the first race. I am just so happy to have got the win in Valencia. Last year I was 9th and 11th here, so I was determined to do better this time. It really was a great race and I had to give it everything to hang in there until the end, but I did it and I leave here the leader."
Rolfo was disappointed with his weekend's work, and is now overall ninth on 46 points, but takes some positives away after race one.
"The weekend has not been too great for me because starting in the fifth row it is hard to get to the front of the pack," said Rolfo. "I pushed pretty hard and had a good fight with Biaggi in the first race, but the second it was not working for me. I have two weeks before Assen and I will work hard to come back fighting for the team's home race."
Technical and organisational changes for the Alto Evolution team before and during the Valencia weekend allowed Brookes to deliver on the promisehe has shown in the past. He is now 12th overall, on 32 points.
"We only made small changes to the bike between race one and race two but we had a much better result," said Brookes. "When you are in the right area then small changes can make a big difference. The first race I had a better start but made a worse finish, but in race two I got baulked a bit off the start and still made a better finish. I made a good fight back and passed people, and the team worked great this weekend."
Fabrizio had a good race one but a less successful race two, after qualifying ninth.
"For race one the set-up was very good and I could race at a high pace," said Fabrizio. "The race rhythm was OK and to fight with a champion like Max Biaggi has given me enormous satisfaction. In race two we made changes to try and make even more of an advantage but things went the other way and the rear was sliding a lot. It was not the tyre but the set-up. We have a test here tomorrow where I will use the Honda electronics for the first time, so I am excited about that."
Martin, who had to start from the back row of the grid after problems in the dry qualifying session, suffered bad luck twice in race situations.
"Starting where I was made it hard work but in race one I started well and had a good set-up," said Martin. "It was working well but the throttle came loose and I almost crashed; I was lucky to stay on. My foot started slipping from the footpeg and I couldn't see what was causing it, so I had to stop. We've learned a few things this weekend and I want to try a few more things in testing tomorrow." Martin is now 17th overall.
Muggeridge knew he was unlucky in race one and is now 16th, on 14 points, the same total as Martin.
"I just hit a damp patch of track in race one," said Muggeridge. "I knew it was coming and I was ready for it, but I still fell. In race two, at turn two, the rear just came round and highsided me."
Round five of the WSS and SBK classes take place between 27 and 29 April, at Assen in the Netherlands.
Race 1 : (Laps 23 = 92,115 Km)
Pos/ Rider/ Nat./ Team/Time/ Gap
1 / R. XAUS / ESP / Team Sterilgarda / 37'14.606 /
2 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia / 37'16.603 / 1.997
3 / T. BAYLISS / AUS / Ducati Xerox Team / 37'20.936 / 6.33
4 / T. CORSER / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia / 37'23.386 / 8.78
5 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 37'31.646 / 17.04
6 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati Xerox Team / 37'38.878 / 24.272
7 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / D.F.X. Corse / 37'40.428 / 25.822
8 / M.BIAGGI / ITA / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 37'40.693 / 26.087
9 / J. BROOKES / AUS / Alto Evolution Honda / 37'43.384 / 28.778
10 / R. ROLFO / ITA / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 37'47.360 / 32.754
11 / R. LACONI / FRA / Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse / 37'51.690 / 37.084
12 / M.NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Suzuki Germany / 37'51.747 / 37.141
13 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Team Sterilgarda / 37'52.169 / 37.563
14 / J. SMRZ / CZE / Team Caracchi Ducati SC / 37'53.150 / 38.544
15 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 38'07.655 / 53.049
Fastest Lap 13° Troy Bayliss 1'36.092 150,044 Km/h
Race 2: (Laps 23 = 92,115 Km)
1 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 37'02.596 /
2 / M.BIAGGI / ITA / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 37'02.883 / 0.287
3 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia / 37'02.971 / 0.375
4 / R. XAUS / ESP / Team Sterilgarda / 37'09.233 / 6.637
5 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati Xerox Team / 37'10.587 / 7.991
6 / T. BAYLISS / AUS / Ducati Xerox Team / 37'12.806 / 10.21
7 / J. BROOKES / AUS / Alto Evolution Honda / 37'13.457 / 10.861
8 / R. LACONI / FRA / Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse / 37'16.962 / 14.366
9 / T. CORSER / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia / 37'18.107 / 15.511
10 / M.NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Suzuki Germany / 37'22.312 / 19.716
11 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / D.F.X. Corse / 37'27.883 / 25.287
12 / R. ROLFO / ITA / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 37'29.033 / 26.437
13 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 37'37.588 / 34.992
14 / C. MORALES / ESP / Team Laglisse / 37'42.583 / 39.987
15 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Team Sterilgarda / 37'45.041 / 42.445
Fastest Lap 5° Noriyuki Haga 1'35.746 150,586 Km/h
Record Lap: 2003 N.Hodgson 1'35.007 151,760 Km/h
Best Lap: 2007 T.Bayliss 1'34.599 152,410 Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 TOSELAND 151, 2 BIAGGI 138, 3 HAGA 124, 4 CORSER 101, 5 BAYLISS 90,
6 LANZI 87, 7 XAUS 83, 8 NEUKIRCHNER 56, 9 ROLFO 46, 10 LACONI 37,
11 FABRIZIO 32, 12 BROOKES 32, 13 NIETO 30, 14 KAGAYAMA 27, 15 SMRZ 25.