BIAGGI STORMS TO SPANISH PODIUM2007-04-16 06:11
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi charged his way from the third row of the grid to grab second place in race two at the Valencia World Superbike Championship fourth round in Spain this afternoon.
The Italian stormed through the field, lap by lap, to fight the leaders James Toseland (Honda) and Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) in the closing stages. He dived past Haga on the very last lap and then attacked Toseland in the final few corners, but just couldn't get past the Briton.
His tremendous performance in the second race was the highlight of the day for the team after taking a hard-fought eighth in race one.
Team mate Yukio Kagayama was a low scorer in both 23-lap races due to his injuries and some tyre problems.
Local hero Ruben Xaus (Ducati) won the first race after a terrific battle with Troy Bayliss (Ducati) and then Haga after half distance. The Spaniard dominated proceedings after about 12 laps and took a comfortable win by nearly two seconds. Bayliss took third, with Troy Corser (Yamaha) fourth, Toseland fifth and Lanzi (Ducati) sixth.
Race one winner Xaus was again in contention in the first half of race two but then was passed by Toseland and Haga before succumbing to pressure from Biaggi on lap 16. Once Biaggi passed the Spaniard, he set about reeling in Haga and Toseland and managed to sneak past Haga when the Japanese rider left a small gap three or four turns from the end. He closed in on leader Toseland but the youngster held him off to take the chequered flag by just over two tenths of a second.
Max Biaggi - Race 1: 8th, Race 2: 2nd:
"A mixed day but it is good to finish on an up with a podium in the second race. Valencia is a very difficult track to race at unless it is perfectly dry. When there are damp patches around it is very tricky and you have to concentrate 100% all the time. I didn't have such a good feeling in the first race - some of the problems that we've had all weekend and also some other minor ones. We made some changes to the bike for the second race - clutch feeling, a few clicks on the suspension - and put on a harder front tyre and certainly the tyres worked better, also possibly because the track was completely dry. Starting from the third row of the grid is always a challenge and I couldn't attack the first corner because of all the cement dust there from a crash earlier. That had left a lot of oil on the track and it had to be cleaned and then cement dust put down. That meant there was only really one line through the turn so I couldn't use a different line and pass a few people straight away. I got held up by traffic but I was pushing hard right from the start for sure. I kept up a good fast pace and at the end I felt I could get past Nori and that's what I did. I tried to catch James but just ran out of time and laps, but I am happy to get second today after starting from 12th place."
Yukio Kagayama- Race 1:15th, Race 2: 13th:
"Not such a good day for me today but I knew this was going to be very hard before the races began. I am not fit yet and the pain in my shoulders meant that getting the bike to change direction was very hard - and painful! And Valencia is quite a physically-demanding track so you don't get any real chance to rest at all. Also, in the first race, we made the wrong rear tyre choice and after 15 laps it was destroyed and so I couldn't keep up a fast pace. We used a similar tyre in the second race and it performed better, but there were still a lot of slides in the last third of the race. In both races, I got some false neutrals and that made life interesting! After this weekend I need some rest and then I will be in better condition for the next race in Assen. Unfortunately it is in only two weeks time so I will not have much chance to rest and then get fit, but I know that I'll be in better shape than now."
Race 1: 1 Xaus (E-Ducati), 2 Haga (J-Yamaha), 3 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati), 4 Corser (Aus-Yamaha), 5 Toseland (GB-Honda), 6 Lanzi (I-Ducati), 7 Fabrizio (I-Honda), 8 Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 9 Brookes (Aus-Honda), 10 Rolfo (I-Honda). 15 Yukio Kagayama(J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra).
Race 2: 1 Toseland, 2 Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 3 Haga, 4 Xaus, 5 Lanzi, 6 Bayliss, 7 Brookes, 8 Laconi (F-Kawasaki), 9 Corser, 10 Neukirchner (D-Suzuki). 13 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra).
World Championship Points:1 Toseland 151,2 Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 138, 3 Haga 124, 4 Corser 101, 5 Bayliss 90, 6 Lanzi 87. 14 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 27.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Xavi Simeon crashed six laps into the scheduled 13-lap Superstock 1000 race at Valencia but was lucky to get a second chance as the race was red-flagged due to a crashed bike in the middle of the track.
Simeon got back on board his GSX-R1000 and rode back to the pits and was able to start the second race where he put in a fiery performance in the five-lap second part to end sixth overall.
Aussie Mark Aitchison (Suzuki) took the victory when the times of both races were aggregated. He was second in the first race and his performance in race two was enough to ensure the win by just over half a second. Second in the overall times was Michele Pirro (Yamaha) with Nicolo Canepa (Ducati) third.
Xavier Simeon- 6th:
"I guess I was a bit lucky today when the race was stopped because that meant I had the chance to start again. I began the first part with tyres for rain but the track started to dry up. Normally it takes a long time for this track to become dry so it was a bit of a surprise when it happened so soon. Two laps later I had to go into the pits because it was becoming impossible to stay on those tyres. I came back out of the pits with a fresh tyre more suited to dry conditions and four or so corners later I found a damp patch on the track and crashed! I got back on the bike and fortunately was able to take part in the restart. I wish the second part had been longer than just five laps because I was catching the leaders up and I'm sure I could have finished higher, maybe even on the podium!"
Superstock 1000 Results:1 Aitchison (Aus-Suzuki), 2 Pirro (I-Yamaha), 3 Canepa (I-Ducati), 4 Baiocco (I-Yamaha), 5 Dionisi (I-Suzuki), 6 Xavi Simeon (B-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra).
Championship Points (after 2 rounds): 1 Canepa 41, 2 Aitchison 38, 3 Corti 25, 4 Baiocco 24, 5 Dionisi 21, 6 Pirro 20, 7 Xavi Simeon (B-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 19.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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