2007-04-03 01:15
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) won his second race of the season after a dramatic weekend of Supersport action at Donington which saw Sofuoglu leave round three with a 27-point lead. During a strong day for
Honda finishers, Robbin Harms was second,Katsuaki Fujiwara (Althea Honda Team CBR600RR) a battling third and Craig Jones fourth. Honda now leads the Manufacturers' Championship by 22-points.

Sofuoglu's team-mate Sebastien Charpentier (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) crashed in the first practice session of the entire weekend, and suffered injures to his collarbone and pelvis, and stretched ligaments in his pelvic and groin area - aggravating old injuries from a big
mid-season crash in 2006. He was ruled out of the rest of the Donington weekend after medical examination, and is now in a fight to be fit before the next round at Valencia, on April 15.

Lorenzo Alfonsi (Althea Honda Team CBR600RR) was
running strongly near the front in leg one but
after being taken out at Coppice in leg two, he failed to score points.

Sofuoglu rode with assurance in the end, despite
all the dramas and his race one clutch issue, and
was strong enough to win by 0.767 seconds
overall, after qualifying third. He now sits on
70 points, with Fujiwara second on 43, with Harms third on 39.

"I am really happy because I have been very lucky
this weekend," admitted Sofuoglu, who was
nonetheless the fastest rider on show in any
case. "I was experiencing a clutch problem in the
first part of the race and I was thinking to
myself 'I cannot finish this race!' I thought I
would be joining the other championship title
contenders with a zero point finish. Then I saw
the red flag and I thought this is my chance. I
was able to change the bike and pick up where I
had left off. I started pretty well but then my
forearms were really in pain and the last few
laps were difficult. I had a small advantage from
the first race so I managed to hold on and I got the win."

Fujiwara was in position to win at one stage
after a disappointing eighth place in qualifying,
and finished only 1.3 seconds from the win. He
scored a new lap record, 1'33.848, on lap 17.

"I am happy because we were close to Sofuoglu at
the end," said Fujiwara. "I changed both the
front and rear suspension before the race because
everybody was crashing in practice down the hill.
The bike was too soft before and it was hard to
open the gas. That made things better in the race
and I am second in the championship now."

Alfonsi was bitterly disappointed to not score,
but was enthused by his strong showings in
qualifying (6th) and his strong pace in leg one.

"I was in a good position at the re-start," said
Alfonsi, "and I knew that I could make a top
eight position for sure. Then at Coppice corner I
got hit by someone from behind and it knocked me
off. I'm very disappointed with the result but pleased with our pace."

Charpentier, speaking from France, is now in a
fight to be fit for the Valencia race.

"I am bitterly disappointed because after the bad
start to the season, I was aiming for this race
to be the turning point," said the 2005 and 2006
champion. "The crash I had was probably the
slowest in my racing career so I can't believe
the shape I am in now. I am going to my doctor in
Paris today for further treatment - he also
treated me after my accident last year. I am
aiming to be back as soon as possible."

After the Donington round the championship moves
to Valencia on April 15 and then Assen on April 29.

World Superbike Round 3 of 13


James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR1000RR) scored a fine race-one win at
Donington Park but was forced to stop in race two
after an electronic gear-shifter halted his
progress to a possible first career double win.
Toseland was fourth on the grid and despite his
no score in race two still leads the championship
fight, with 115 points, over Max Biaggi on 110
and race two winner Noriyuki Haga, 88.

Toseland started the first race from the front
row and after Troy Bayliss took the holeshot,
Toseland worked hard to stay with the 2006
champion. Bayliss fell at Coppice corner,
allowing Toseland a free run to the flag in the
lead. He won by a final margin of 1.3 seconds,
from Troy Corser and Max Biaggi.

In race two Toseland was leading when his machine
appeared to stutter into Redgate corner, before
slowing to a halt shortly thereafter.

Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR1000RR) proved that he likes Donington with a
ninth place in race one, recovering from a fourth
row start after experiencing braking problems
that caused him to run off track in Superpole. In
race two he went better still, finishing top
Honda rider in seventh position. He is now ninth overall, on 36 points.

Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR)
slotted into the top ten in race two, with a
ninth place finish, after an 11th in race one.
Josh Brookes (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR)
scored a 12th and a 15th place, securing points
in both races. Muggeridge missed a second row
qualifying slot after Superpole by one place, but
Brookes was one of three top riders on the fourth
row, after a non-finish in Superpole.

Michel Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) ran
out 13th and 12th, and his team-mate Steve Martin
(DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) battled hard for his
single points score, in 13th in race two, after
stopping to make adjustments to set-up in race
one, before restarting five laps down.

For Toseland the sweetness of race one turned
sour in race two, but he is philosophical because
he still leaves Donington with another victory and the championship lead.

"After Troy fell in race one I had to concentrate
to settle into my own rhythm, and try to set a
hot pace," said Toseland. "The early pace had
taken me away from the group behind and it felt
like a long race from then on. I was so relieved
to win race one because of the pressure of riding
in front in your home race, so it was just great
to win again. In race two I had a problem with
the quick shifter and it cut the engine and that
was that. I thought I had hit the kill switch for
a second but I didn't. I felt really confident
about winning the second race as well but a
double win has eluded me again, even if I'm still
leaving with the championship lead."

Rolfo had to work hard after his bad luck with a
brake problem in Superpole, but got the reward in
race two, equalling his best result of the year
and slotting in ninth in the championship.

"This was a complicated weekend because I was
good in the rain in Friday and then in the dry
session later on," said Roby. "Then I had a
problem with the brake in Superpole, and it was
not so easy to start each race from row four. I
pushed hard in race one and my rhythm was not so
hot, but better in race two. I understood what I
needed to do to improve for race two and I was
happy with that race. My speed was the same as
the top five riders, but I needed to be closer to
the front at the start to get a better finishing position."

Karl Muggeridge rode to a pair of assured
finishes, and despite some issues with ultimate
traction, scored well in each race.

"I finished two races in the points and we
understand now that the suspension is not
allowing the rear tyre to work as well as it
could," said Muggeridge. "So if we can find
another half a second or so from that alone, that
will bring us half way there. I tried hard but
the tyre was spinning and spinning, but we can move on from here."

Brookes had to fight hard to get his results,
after starting on row four in each race.

"I went for a softer tyre in race two to get
better lap times but the temperature is still too
cold to run a soft tyre for any length of time,"
stated Brookes. "I did well at the start and felt
comfortable and if things had stayed where they
were then I would have been fast. But I got to
about half distance and I started going
backwards. We took the gamble, but it didn't pay off."

Fabrizio was forced into changes between races
due to his first race tyre choice.

"I had a hard rear tyre on for race one and it
was impossible to race hard with it," said
Fabrizio. "Between race one and race two we
adjusted the suspension and put a softer rear in.
The start was terrible but after a few laps my
pace was good, as good as the guys well inside
the top ten. But after about 16 laps the tyre
went off and it was impossible to defend my position."

Martin was frustrated at not being able to find a
set-up but the changes made in the middle of race
one had an immediate beneficial effect in race two.

"At least I finished both races, but not in
positions anywhere near where I know we can be,"
said Steve. "It may not seem like it from the
results, but we have actually made some good
positive steps forward today and the base setting
of the bike now needs refining, along with a lot
of work on the electrics and engine mapping, in
order to achieve competitiveness with the overall bike package."

Next stop for World Superbike, like World
Supersport, is Valencia, on April 15 then Assen, on April 29.


RACE : (Laps 22 = 88,506 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap
1 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 34'56.601 /
2 / R.HARMS / DEN / Stiggy Motorsport Honda / 34'57.365 / 0.764
3 / K. FUJIWARA / JPN / Althea Honda Team / 34'57.944 / 1.343
4 / C. JONES / GBR / Revè Ekerold Honda Racing / 35'06.816 / 10.215
5 / S. SANNA / ITA / Racing Team Parkalgar / 35'08.736 / 12.135
6 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Lightspeed Kawasaki Supp. / 35'09.583 / 12.982
7 / Y. TIBERIO / FRA / Stiggy Motorsport Honda / 35'13.243 / 16.642
8 / M.ROCCOLI / ITA / Yamaha Team Italia / 35'13.265 / 16.664
9 / D. CHECA / ESP / Yamaha - GMT 94 / 35'19.566 / 22.965
10 / G.NANNELLI / ITA / Team Caracchi Ducati SC / 35'20.453 / 23.852
11 / S. GIMBERT / FRA / Yamaha - GMT 94 / 35'21.463 / 24.862
12 / G.VIZZIELLO / ITA / RG Team / 35'22.654 / 26.053
13 / D.SALOM / ESP / Yamaha Spain / 35'23.113 / 26.512
14 / B. VENEMAN / NED / Pioneer Hoegee Suzuki Racing / 35'26.046 / 29.445
15 / P. RIBA / ESP / Team Gil Motor Sport / 35'26.049 / 29.448

Fastest Lap 17° Katsuaki Fujiwara 1'33.848 154,322 Km/h
Lap record: 1999 J.Whitham 1'37.565 148,440 Km/h
Best Lap: 2007 P.Riba 1'34.066 153,960 Km/h

Riders Championship Standings:
1 SOFUOGLU 70, 2 FUJIWARA 43, 3 HARMS 39, 4 FORET 38, 5 CURTAIN 25,
6 RIBA 22, 7 JONES 19, 8 ROCCOLI 17, 9 VENEMAN 17, 10 PARKES 16,
11 TIBERIO 15, 12 NANNELLI 14, 13 CHARPENTIER 13, 14 SANNA 11,

Race 1 : (Laps 23 = 92,529 Km)
Pos / Rider / Nat. / Team / Time / Gap
1 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 35'28.222 /
2 / T. CORSER / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia / 35'29.590 / 1.368
3 / M.BIAGGI / ITA / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 35'30.670 / 2.448
4 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia / 35'37.471 / 9.249
5 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati Xerox Team / 35'46.250 / 18.028
6 / F. NIETO / ESP / Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse / 35'47.178 / 18.956
7 / R. LACONI / FRA / Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse / 35'58.220 / 29.998
8 / M.NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Suzuki Germany / 35'58.518 / 30.296
9 / R. ROLFO / ITA / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 35'58.747 / 30.525
10 / J. SMRZ / CZE / Team Caracchi Ducati SC / 36'04.883 / 36.661
11 / K. MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Alto Evolution Honda / 36'07.611 / 39.389
12 / J. BROOKES / AUS / Alto Evolution Honda / 36'16.267 / 48.045
13 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / D.F.X. Corse / 36'19.512 / 51.29
14 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Team Sterilgarda / 36'19.624 / 51.402
15 / D. ELLISON / GBR / Team Pedercini / 36'28.378 / 1'00.156

Fastest Lap 4° Troy Bayliss 1'31.575 158,152 Km/h

Race 2: (Laps 23 = 92,529 Km)
1 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia / 35'26.734 /
2 / M.BIAGGI / ITA / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 35'26.845 / 0.111
3 / T. CORSER / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia / 35'27.834 / 1.1
4 / R. XAUS / ESP / Team Sterilgarda / 35'32.661 / 5.927
5 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati Xerox Team / 35'36.568 / 9.834
6 / R. LACONI / FRA / Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse / 35'38.937 / 12.203
7 / R. ROLFO / ITA / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 35'49.021 / 22.287
8 / J. SMRZ / CZE / Team Caracchi Ducati SC / 35'56.794 / 30.06
9 / K. MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Alto Evolution Honda / 36'04.468 / 37.734
10 / M.NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Suzuki Germany / 36'06.627 / 39.893
11 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Team Sterilgarda / 36'08.258 / 41.524
12 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / D.F.X. Corse / 36'12.351 / 45.617
13 / S. MARTIN / AUS / D.F.X. Corse / 36'19.281 / 52.547
14 / S. NAKATOMI / JPN / Yamaha YZF / 36'28.403 / 1'01.669
15 / J. BROOKES / AUS / Alto Evolution Honda / 36'47.320 / 1'20.586

Fastest Lap 9° Noriyuki Haga 1'31.634 158,051 Km/h
Record Lap: 2007 T.Bayliss 1'31.575 158,150 Km/h
Best Lap: 2007 T.Bayliss 1'30.370 160,260 Km/h

Riders Championship Standings:
1 TOSELAND 115, 2 BIAGGI 110, 3 HAGA 88, 4 CORSER 81, 5 LANZI 66,
6 BAYLISS 64, 7 NEUKIRCHNER 46, 8 XAUS 45, 9 ROLFO 36, 10 NIETO 30,
11 LACONI 24, 12 KAGAYAMA 23, 13 SMRZ 23, 14 FABRIZIO 18,
15 BROOKES 16.

Source: Honda Pro Image

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