Results World Superbike-Supersport, Misano, San Marino

2007-06-17 11:09
SOFUOGLU EXTENDS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH MISANO PODIUM


Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) rode one of the hardest races of the year in temperatures over 30°c during the two-part WSS race at Misano today. He recorded a
hard fought third place finish and extend his overall championship lead to 61 points.

Sofuoglu's closest championship rival Fabien Foret crashed out after a collision on lap four of the first leg, and Sofuoglu's 16 points for third put him on a total of 161 points to Foret's unchanged 100.

The race was stopped after four laps when a blown
engine on a local competitor's machine dropped
oil onto the track. The 18-lap restart saw
Sofuoglu fight to the end with Broc Parkes in a
dispute over the aggregate second place finish
behind winner Anthony West. Sofuoglu had been
fourth in qualifying, the top Honda rider pre-race.

Katsuaki Fujiwara (Althea Honda Team CBR600RR)
finished his day on the 'reverse direction'
Misano in eighth place, having been as high as
third at one point. He had qualified seventh, and
given all that went on around him in the Misano
race, he scored well to keep his overall third in the championship fight.

Reigning Supersport World Champion Sebastien
Charpentier (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR)
had another tough weekend in WSS, scoring ninth
in qualifying, tenth in the race then jumping up to 15th in the championship.

Lorenzo Alfonsi (Althea Honda Team CBR600RR)
experienced problems with clutch slip towards the
end of the race and finished 16th, one place out of the points.

Sofuoglu was only mildly disappointed with third,
but knows that the championship is the long-term aim.

"The conditions were very tough today and to
choose a good set-up and tyre combination was
very hard," said the Turkish rider. "After the
red flag stopped the first part I was pushing at
my limit in the restart, but the problem was
still the few seconds I was down from the first
leg. That time was impossible to make up. I am
still leaving here with a good championship lead,
so that is the most important thing."

Fujiwara struggled after being passed at the
midpoint of the restarted race, and slid
backwards slowly, to take his eighth place finish.

"Things were going OK in the beginning," said
Fujiwara. "After a few laps there was a lot of
chattering but on the left-hand corners only.
Strange and very frustrating, but I kept going to
score as many points as I could. I am still third
in the standings, which is good considering that
we had a complicated race here at Misano."

A crisis of confidence for Charpentier in the
first part of the two-part race held back his
overall performance and problems later in the
second part sealed his ultimate finishing position of tenth.

"Today has been very difficult," said
Charpentier. "The first half of the race was
really bad. I am not completely confident and I
lost a lot of time. After the red flag, the
second start was OK. We kept the tyres the same
and after six or seven laps the grip started to
go. It was hard for me to follow the group.
Because the grip in the rear was less, I pushed
harder in the front and that caused the grip in
the front to go as well. I finished the race with
no grip at all so there was no possibility of me
finishing in a good position. We are testing in
Brno soon and I hope it goes well for me because
for the moment it is not easy for me, weekend after weekend."

Alfonsi felt deprived of a points scoring finish,
even if he admitted to having a bad start.

"I did not have a great start," said Alfonsi,
"but near the end of the race, about lap 15, I
was getting a lot of spinning from the clutch,
especially on the high speed sections. The revs
were going up, but not matched by the speed. It
was hard here this weekend, especially on a 2006-specification bike."

World Superbike Round 8 of 13

TOSELAND STILL LEADING AFTER MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF MISANO

James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR1000RR) had to ride with all the guile and
determination he could muster to score top six
positions in each Misano race today. In doing so
he left the eighth round of the championship with
his championship lead intact. James now enjoys a
gap to his nearest rival of 21 points, after
finishing fourth and sixth in the 24-lap races.

After Misano, Toseland, who had started from a
front row place after setting fourth best
Superpole time, has a total of 260 points. Double
Misano race winner Troy Bayliss is second on 239;
Noriyuki Haga is third on 234 and Max Biaggi now
fourth on 217. Biaggi and Haga collided in race
one, aiding Toseland's battle in the championship.

Qualifying at the new-look 4.180km Misano
circuit, now longer and run in a different
direction from previous years, had been a tough
prospect for all in the hot temperatures that
prevailed throughout the entire race weekend.
Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR1000RR) had been ninth after Superpole, Michel
Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) 12th, and
relative newcomer Luca Morelli (DFX Corse Honda
CBR1000RR) was 19th after regulation qualifying,
missing out on Superpole qualifying by three places.



In the first race a potential three way fight for
the lead was ended when Noriyuki Haga and Max
Biaggi collided, and each fell from contention,
leaving a top three of Bayliss, Corser and
Kagayama. Toseland was a fighting fourth after
losing pace to the early leading group. Rolfo was
fifth after a strong ride from the third row,
seven seconds down on Toseland, with Luca Morelli
13th. Morelli's team-mate Fabrizio retired on lap
five, with a fault traced to the alternator.

Race two was a clearer cut version than the
opener, with Bayliss running clear from Haga and
Biaggi, with Toseland losing another early fourth
place in the final analysis, experiencing reduced
drive towards the end of the second race run with
track temperatures almost hitting 50°c.
Rolfo ground his way to eighth after losing rear
traction and then working the front too hard to
compensate, with Morelli finishing 18th in a race
with only three non-finishers, one of whom was his team-mate Fabrizio.

Toseland was not satisfied with the race day
results but acknowledged that the main objective,
maintaining a healthy championship lead at a
track which is not a designated test venue for
his team, was successfully achieved.

"I knew this round was going to be difficult
because it wasn't one of our test tracks and it's
a completely new layout," said Toseland ". I
expected to be coming from behind. We got lucky
in the first race when Biaggi took out Haga, but
you can't rely on luck for the rest of the
season. Needless to say I'm disappointed with the
weekend, but I'm looking ahead to Brno and hopefully we can get back on track."

Rolfo was happy with his progress in finding real
race pace in his set-up, even if in race two
results were not as good as the first race.

"I am not completely happy with the results, but
I am pleased that we have been able to improve
the bike set-up so much this weekend," said the
former 250cc ace. "We worked really hard in
qualifying and the bike is feeling very good for
me now. I felt like I had a good rhythm in the
races and I was making good lap times, but I
wasn't with the podium competitors like I wanted
to be. I am looking forward to the test in Brno
so we can continue the work we have done here and
I want to say thanks to the team for their support here in Misano."

Fabrizio was distraught at his misfortunes in front of a partisan home crowd.

"Obviously I am not happy to have two
non-finishes, especially here," said the
22-year-old Roman rider. "In the first race the
alternator went and in race two the throttle
seemed to be stuck half open and in two corners I
could not get the revs down, and it was not a good idea to continue."

Morelli is now 20th in the championship, after
scoring three points in race one.

"Race one was good for me and I was happy with
the new track," said Morelli. "We chose a softer
tyre than some and it worked OK, but I felt a
harder rear would be better in race two. It wasn't the best choice to make."

Top teams will be testing at Brno, followed by
official testing at Vallelunga in July, preceding
round nine of the WSS and SBK series, to be held
at Brno in the Czech Republic, between 20 and 22 July.


Source: Honda Pro Image

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