SOFUOGLU WINS AND POWERS AHEAD ON POINTS2007-04-15 10:59
Another almost faultless display of front running delivered Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) his third race win of the year, pushing him into a substantial 44-point lead in the championship after only four of 13 rounds. His excellent performance on raceday was underpinned by an impressive pole win on Saturday, the first of his WSS career, thanks to a time set in the first dry qualifying session.
In second place after 23-laps of often
incident-packed action, Andrew Pitt (Hannspree
Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) had a dream
re-introduction to World Supersport racing,
having been drafted in at short notice to replace
the recently injured and still unfit Sebastien
Charpentier (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR). He qualified fifth.
Poor weather issues which had plagued Valencia
for most of the weekend did not quite spoil the
racing on Sunday, with a drying track allowing
Katsuaki Fujiwara (Althea Honda Team CBR600RR) to
take a new lap record on lap six, with a 1'37.570.
The Japanese rider had qualified in an impressive
second place, but got swamped off the line and
was eventually knocked off his machine on lap
nine when lying fifth. Pere Riba and Kevin
Curtain collided in front of him leaving the
unlucky Fuji with no escape route. He restarted
and finished in 18th place and out of the points.
He is nonetheless third in the championship, on
an unchanged total of 43 points.
Lorenzo Alfonsi (Althea Honda Team CBR600RR)
finished his day of work at Valencia 13th, in the
same position he qualified. He got boxed in off
the start and had to battle with slower riders to
get his three points. He is now 18th overall, with 13 points.
Sofuoglu led for 20 of the 23 laps and was the
most composed rider when it counted, but was modest in his post-race comments.
"The dry conditions definitely helped me to get
to the podium," he stated. "For me it is
important to stay in a good position for the
whole race. When the three riders went down, I
knew that I had at least a three second lead
didn't have to push to hard. I tried to maintain
the same gap without going too fast, as when
there is no one to threaten you there is no need.
I could see on my board that the gap was staying
the same so I knew there was no-one closing in to
make me push harder. I want to thank my team for
working so hard. They always give me the best and I like to give my best back."
Pitt was delighted to have stayed clear of the
trouble on lap nine and had to fight hard to
re-pass Gianluca Nannelli's Ducati to secure second on the last lap.
"I'm really happy that I have been able to do the
job for the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team and
help them out when they needed it," said Pitt.
"It was a bit of a lottery going into the race in
the dry when we had done so many laps in the wet.
We used a softer front tyre, which gave me a
couple of problems towards the end but I tried
hard to bring it home and get on the podium. The
guys have been great all weekend and coming into
a team that has won the World Supersport
Championship for the last five years makes my job a lot easier."
Fujiwara was disappointed at his misfortune,
especially as he had potentially race winning
pace, despite a slow start and being ninth on lap one.
"The bike today was really good and the work of
the team was perfect," stated Fujiwara. " I knew
I had a bike to win but the crash stopped me from
having the chance. I have to start better in the
future than I did today. I think I was tenth in
the first corner. With a good start we can be
right up there as our race pace is really good."
A wheelie off the line dropped Alfonsi to 17th on
lap one and from then on his race was a struggle to get clear.
"I had a not so good start as the front of the
bike came up and I ended up losing some places,"
said Alfonsi. "I was stuck in a slow group and at
this circuit it is particularly hard to pass. I
wanted to get away with the group in front but it
was not possible. I took a lot of risks to pass
people and at least I got two more points than I did at Donington."
World Superbike Round 4 of 13
TOSELAND EXTENDS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER THRILLING RACE WIN
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 promise
he 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 : (Laps 23 = 92,115 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap
1 / K. SOFUOGLU / TUR / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 38'08.523 /
2 / A. PITT / AUS / Hannspree Ten Kate Honda / 38'13.434 / 4.911
3 / G.NANNELLI / ITA / Team Caracchi Ducati SC / 38'13.723 / 5.2
4 / F. FORET / FRA / Team Gil Motor Sport / 38'14.142 / 5.619
5 / B. PARKES / AUS / Yamaha World SSP Racing / 38'21.299 / 12.776
6 / D.SALOM / ESP / Yamaha Spain / 38'23.436 / 14.913
7 / M.ROCCOLI / ITA / Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni / 38'23.701 / 15.178
8 / J. LASCORZ / ESP / Glaner Motocard.com / 38'33.879 / 25.356
9 / V. KALLIO / FIN / Pioneer Hoegee Suzuki Racing / 38'36.977 / 28.454
10 / C. JONES / GBR / Revè Ekerold Honda Racing / 38'38.408 / 29.885
11 / G.VIZZIELLO / ITA / RG Team / 38'38.945 / 30.422
12 / D. GIUGLIANO / ITA / Lightspeed Kawasaki Supp. / 38'39.333 / 30.81
13 / L. ALFONSI / ITA / Althea Honda Team / 38'39.727 / 31.204
14 / D. CHECA / ESP / Yamaha - GMT 94 / 38'43.796 / 35.273
15 / S. GIMBERT / FRA / Yamaha - GMT 94 / 38'46.133 / 37.61
Fastest Lap 6° Katsuaki Fujiwara 1'37.570 147,771 Km/h
Lap record: 2006 S.Charpentier 1'38.664 146,130 Km/h
Best Lap: 2006 S.Charpentier 1'36.913 148,770 Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 SOFUOGLU 95, 2 FORET 51, 3 FUJIWARA 43, 4 HARMS 39, 5 NANNELLI 30,
6 PARKES 27, 7 ROCCOLI 26, 8 CURTAIN 25, 9 JONES 25, 10 RIBA 22,
11 PITT 20, 12 VENEMAN 17, 13 SALOM 16, 14 TIBERIO 15, 15 GIUGLIANO 14.
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.
Source: Honda Pro Image
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