WSBK – Biaggi and Haga keep suspense! –

Biaggi and Haga spare the suspense !

WSBK - Biaggi and Haga keep suspense! -

Before arriving at Vallelunga, Toseland was 41 points ahead of his closest rival, Haga. On leaving, the British driver is only 29 points ahead of … Biaggi! The local child did not miss the boat… Summaries and Videos.

During the two days of testing, a superb war of the Troys – Bayliss on 1098 against Corser on R1 – took place, which only the Superpole event could decide. In the end, Bayliss is the only driver to go below the 1’36 mark (1 ‘35.890 exactly) and wins the 18th pole of his career.

Troy Corser logically takes 2nd place on the grid, turning seven tenths faster than the third man: Ruben Xaus in his Ducati 999. Max Biaggi is classified 4th but has a time superior to that of Bayliss by more than one second !

Then follow Noriyuki Haga, Lorenzo Lanzi, Michel Fabrizio and James Toseland. The Briton, author of the 4th best time during the qualifying phases, unfortunately fell during his only Superpole lap. He therefore inherits 8th place and will have a lot to do to get to the top of the race….

Roberto Rolfo takes the lead of the 3rd row ahead of Shinichi Nakatomi, Marco Borciani and Max Neukirchner. The first Kawa is that of Regis Laconi 13th, ahead of Jacob Smrz, Vittorio Iannuzo and Fonsi Nieto. Yoann Tiberio on his Honda Alto Evolution is 18th, just behind his teammate Karl Muggeridge.

In Supersport, the young Englishman Craig Jones created a surprise by obtaining the first pole of his career – but certainly not the last – in front of specialist Sebastien Charpentier. They beat the 2007 world champion Kenan Sofuoglu and one of the stage locals Gianluca Vizziello.

Broc Parkes leads the second row ahead of Joan Lascorz, Josh Brookes and David Salom. Then follow Arne Tode, Massimo Roccoli, Lorenzo Alfonsi and Tommy Hill. The second French is only 13th: it is Sebastien Gimbert of team GMT94.

His teammate David Checa is at the top of a fifth row in France: behind Christophe Guyot’s colt Mathieu Lagrive, Fabien Foret and Gregory Leblanc. Finally Julien Enjolras will start from the 34th and last position.

First Superbike race

Bayliss got off to a very good start but Biaggi managed to threaten him from the first corner. They are followed by Toseland, Haga, Xaus and Corser. A superb fight begins, with a few turns negotiated four abreast !

From the first lap, Troy Corser made a mistake: when accelerating, the bike was almost upright, the R1 n ° 11 started highside, incredible! "It was my fault: I turned off some electronic aids to start and I did not turn them back on. It’s that simple", admits the Australian crocodile surprised by the power of his machine…

The fall of Corser splits the head of the race and unfortunately, Regis Laconi is one of those who are slowed down … "I lost a little time, I went off the track and had to pass some riders", will deplore the Ninja n ° 55, finally 7th of this first test.

Roberto Rolfo is even more upset: "I got off to a good start but was hampered by Corser’s fall and someone bumped into me. It made a hole in my tire and I had to give up", will explain the Italian…

But very quickly, another transalpine – Ze Roman Emperor in fact – took the lead! In the 3rd lap, Max Biaggi took control and will not let go until the passage under the checkered flag. "It has been a while since I rode in Vallelunga but the last time I was there, I won !, Max will suddenly remember after insisting for several weeks that it was not "his" track…

In the following lap, Ruben Xaus in the middle of a fight for 4th place with Noriyuki Haga loses the front of his private 999 and cannot restart! "What I feared happened: when I run alone with this bike, I loop first-rate times. But in the race I have to invent new trajectories to compete with 4-cylinders. Therefore the difficulty increases and falling becomes easier", will defend the Spanish.

Printing a hellish pace, Max goes so far as to be 7.5 seconds ahead of Troy Bayliss six laps from the end! The reigning world champion who cannot keep up with No.3 is threatened by No.41 during the first 17 laps. Haga is furious, because he knows that to maintain his title chances this year he must insert as many drivers as possible between him and the championship leader: James Toseland.

However, the n ° 41 remains clean on its trajectories, which is far from being the case of Bayliss which multiplies the attempts to overtake under braking, always too optimistic. These small mistakes therefore allow the Japanese to covet the second step of the podium. "I was struggling to get what I wanted from the bike"Bayliss will complain.

James Toseland also takes advantage of the draft style of No. 21 and returns to the duo! But in addition to fighting against his rivals, "Djiti" has a lot to do with his own motorcycle … "The guys did a great job fixing my # 1 bike after I crashed in the Superpole and I chose to ride it. It was my decision and it may not have been the best as I have experienced motor management issues"James said after the race..

Then in the last quarter of the race, Bayliss takes more care of his driving and sticks a few precious tenths to Haga. The fight therefore opposes the Japanese to the British. And it is only two laps before the end that the n ° 52 installs his CBR in front of the R1 n ° 41 !

"In the first run I used the same tire as in the warm-up but it didn’t work as well as expected", will regret Nitro Nori, finally 4th in the race behind Biaggi, Bayliss and Toseland. Max thus takes 9 points from James and passes Nori in the general classification … While waiting for the second round !

Fabrizio, boosted by his public and his recent appointment to the official Ducati team next year, finished in a good 5th place, 3 seconds ahead of Lorenzo Lanzi. We also salute Shinichi Nakatomi’s 9th place and Yoann Tiberio’s 15th place !

Supersport Race

As usual, Craig Jones made a superb start. Except this time, the young Briton starts from pole and therefore takes half a second ahead of his opponents from the first meters! Behind, Broc Parkes tries to keep pace with the English but must quickly capitulate…

"I thought I could stay with him (with Jones, Editor’s note), but in the third lap my grip disappeared, especially at the back", will regret the Australian, unable to defend a place on the podium against Honda. Tommy Hill, replacing Kevin Curtain, is doing even less well: grabbing the brake lever with full hand to avoid a competitor, the british gratifies the public with an impeccable "stop" which ends in the gravel..

Apart from a nice heat on the re-acceleration which almost completely unsettled him, Sofuoglu climbed efficiently on the Yam n ° 23 of Parkes, although the Turkish aimed above all at the Honda n ° 18 installed in the lead! Between the 5th lap and the 9th, Kenan grapples 1.5 seconds to Craig then lands at half a second from the Englishman.

Then, once is not customary in Supersport, the action at the forefront is greatly limited. The two leading Honda watch each other, Parkes gradually gives way to Lascorz who moves away from Vizziello, the first Italian driver.

Sebastien Charpentier for his part is trying to keep his 6th position against a Mathieu Lagrive increasingly sharp on his Czech Honda. The two French are followed by a horde of pilots in which Sanna, Fujiwara, Tode, Alfonsi, Fores, Kallio, Gowland and Checa fight.

Only a few lengths away from this band of madmen, Fabien Foret, Gregory Leblanc and Sebastien Gimbert are looking to come back up to score some points !

It was not until the 16th lap to see Sofuoglu attacking the young Craig Jones for the first time and then taking the lead in the following lap. It was then that two pilots fell successively in the same curve…

Oil is spotted in full trajectory, the red flag is waved … It’s the end of the race! "I was lucky because if the red flag had appeared a lap later Jones would have won"admits the Turkish return to the stand.

"All things considered, it’s good to have started from Vallelunga with 13 points", calculates Parkes who goes back a little more on Fabien Foret and his provisional second place."We didn’t have a good grip at the back but I did my best"regrets Fabien once the race is over…

We salute once again the superb performance of Mathieu Lagrive who ranks 6th, those of the GMT94 team – Gimbert 13th and Checa 15th in full battle! -, the courageous 9th place of Charpentier and 14th place of Foret. Finally, note that Leblanc finished 24th in one lap of the best and that Julien Enjolras had to give up on the 6th lap..

Sofuoglu therefore won a seventh victory and thus totaled 251 points out of 300. Parkes (113 pts) is only 15 lengths behind Foret (128). The title of vice-world champion will therefore be played with the Kawasaki rider, at Magny-Cours this Sunday. !

The manufacturer’s ranking, however, is already established: Honda is champion with 271 points, Yamaha follows with 208 pts, Kawasaki 3rd with 140 pts, Suzuki 4th with 81 pts and Ducati 5th with 49 pts.

Second Superbike race

The second round starts very strongly, with a mutual tackle between Corser and Xaus from the first meters! Fortunately the two riders quickly moved away from each other without causing an incident, leaving the two official Ducatis to take the lead..

But the tension at the start of the race did not fall for all that! Cement clouds – placed on the track to absorb oil – cut off the view of the pilots in the middle of the peloton: "In some places there was so much dust that I had my visor full of it, it was difficult to see where we were going !", will describe Biaggi lodged in 6th place behind Corser at the end of the 1st lap.

After a few passages, however, the pilots change their trajectories and the race is really on. Troy Bayliss has already widened a gap of almost 2 seconds over Haga and Toseland while Max Biaggi raises his tone at the back of the pack.

Behind Bayliss, Toseland and Haga resume their "1st round" brawl and Biaggi fights with Corser, Lanzi unable to keep up with the 4-cylinder … "I’m a little disappointed because we had good times in qualifying and warm-up this morning but unfortunately I had grip issues at the rear, will deplore the young Italian.

Nevertheless the Roman public has something to rejoice: it can encourage an Italian – piloted by an Australian – or an Italian – piloting a Japanese -, or both! Car Bayliss and Biaggi are the two men of this second round.

Alone in the lead, Troy maintains his hellish pace without being hampered by the Japanese pilots who are more than a second away. For his part, Max makes his way through his opponents. The fight between James and Nori was cut short, the Japanese having from the 2nd round a small second ahead of the British.

On the 6th lap, the race is racing! Haga, warned of the rise of Biaggi, manages to pick up Bayliss while his teammate Corser now threatens Toseland. Put under pressure by the Yam n ° 11 on the track and the Suz n ° 3 in the championship, the n ° 52 cracks and loses the front in a tight left. "Giacomo" can start again, but in 12th position…

Halfway through the race, Regis Laconi missed one of his brakes and left the track. Too deep, the gravel trap holds his ZX-10R prisoner: the No. 55 of the Greens was then 9th, 2 seconds behind his teammate Fonsi Nieto … "I was not very happy with my front tire and tried a different type for the second race but there was still too much movement and not enough grip", Laconi will note.

In front, Nitro Nori could not resist the braking of Max Biaggi. The Roman Emperor lodges in the wheel of Bayliss and the two men embark on a superb chase. And it is in the 17th lap that the key event of the race occurs !

"I caught up with Bayliss and was ready to attack. But in a turn I almost hit him. I swerved to avoid it", will relate Max who gives in on this action nearly two seconds to bayliss. The Australian did not ask for so much and connects five laps fast enough to stay out of reach of Max.

"For the second race I wanted to change the tire but my chief engineer Ernesto Marinelli didn’t want it so I followed his advice and I have to admit: "Ernie, you’re the best"", Bayliss will rejoice a few minutes later. !

Behind, Haga concluded his solo race, 3 seconds behind Biaggi and 9 seconds ahead of Corser, also lonely. Then Rolfo, Xaus and Lanzi are acclaimed by the public. Then follow Nieto, Nakatomi and Neukirchner. James Toseland finished in 11th place and pocketed 4 small points … which could be important !

"We finish with 29 points ahead. If someone at the start of the season had told me that this would be the case, I would have been happy so I am not to be pitied", positive the leader of the championship. Biaggi is a little disappointed:"I would have really liked to have won both races today: for me, my team and all my fans", declares the n ° 3 which points – to a test of the end – to the 2nd place !

"Next weekend at Magny-Cours is going to be crazy, everyone wanting to win but I am confident and determined", explains the famous n ° 41! Despite his victory in the second round, Troy Bayliss will no longer be able to defend his title but will come out for the win next weekend !

On the constructor side, the final will also be decisive: Honda leads with 420 points ahead of Yamaha (417), Ducati (408) and Suzuki (386). Kawasaki brings up the rear with 165 points.

See you this weekend at Magny-Cours to follow the final of the World Superbike …. Who from Toseland, Biaggi or Haga will be titled this year? Answer Monday on Site !

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