Toseland extends championship lead
James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and his new number one championship rival Max Biaggi (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) shared a win apiece at Brno, in two races with very different starts and finishes.
The completely dry first
race was followed by a rain-delayed start to race two, although by the time the action had commenced the track was largely dry, and soon dry enough for Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia) to leave with a superb new lap record of 2'00.674, set on lap four.
Toseland looked to have gone too early at one stage of proceedings, but the determined championship leader recorded his first win since race at Assen by holding off his eventual lone challenger, Max Biaggi. In third Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) survived a couple of scary moments to earn a podium, just ahead of a fading charge from pole man Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia). It was another hard race in SBK, and one with a result few would have predicted, especially as Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) crashed out after hitting the fallen machine of Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda).
The second race got underway with many strange names in the top positions to start but it soon settled into a chase of the rapid starting and highly aggressive Haga. He would finally drop back once more to record his second fourth place of the day, and allow Biaggi through to the lead he was never quite to surrender to the tenacious Toseland, who took a close second. Third place went to Michel Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda) who overcame a slow start to charge through to third, passing Haga with five laps to go. It was his first podium finish of 2007, and a remarkable achievement for a rider who looked set to be happy with two top ten finishes in this particularly challenging year for privateers.
TOSELAND NOW 43 POINTS AHEAD
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) finished race two down in sixth position and the Brno fortunes of the top five competitors have changed the shape of the world championship fight considerably. Toseland's win and second now puts him 43 points ahead of new second place rider, Max Biaggi, with Toseland on 305 points, Biaggi on 262 and Haga only two points further back, with 260. Bayliss is now fourth, on 249. Corser's seventh and technical DNF in race two puts him fifth, on 191.
Italian riders in top teams, Roby Rolfo (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) had a few on track fights at Brno and in the championship table Rolfo's two fifth places today brought him closer to Lanzi in the overall standings, with Lanzi on 150 and Rolfo 131.
Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Ducati) battled hard but had little joy today, finishing only 12th and tenth, and now has 140 points.
Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Germany) was one rider on really top form for periods today, but slides back in the latter stages after midfield battles saw him only ninth and 12th.
Fonsi Nieto (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) was forced out of the first race at Brno with a technical problem and after a few similar mishaps he almost pulled in again. He finished eighth in race two, despite being dead last into turn one as his clutch grabbed and held back his forward progress. Regis Laconi (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) was lucky not to fall in a collision that ended race one for Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda), with each rider blaming the other, but it was this crash that claimed Bayliss in race one. Laconi sits 12th overall in the standings.
WSS - SOFUOGLU AT HIS POLISHED BEST
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) added the race win to the pole he took on Saturday to put him in an almost unassailable championship position with only four races left to run. His win puts him 70 points ahead of second place rider in the title chase, Fabien Foret (Gil Kawasaki) who took a surprise third after qualifying on row three and having a bad start. He, and eventual second place rider Craig Jones (Reve Ekerold Honda), earned their podiums when Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team) crashed into the rear of Robbin Harms (Stiggy Motorsports Honda), causing each rider to fall.
Parkes recovered to finish thirteenth in the race, but dropped to eighth in the championship overall. Jones's podium was his first in WSS racing, and the first for his team, which is making its debut in WSS racing this year.
Katsuaki Fujiwara stays third overall on his Althea Honda, after finishing sixth today, behind Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni) and Joshua Brookes (Stiggy Motorsports Honda).
SBK Press Office