Final package of the World Superbike !
A radiant sun lit up the last World Superbike event this weekend at Magny-Cours: the ultimate opportunity for the riders to demonstrate their abilities to the official teams with a view to next season…
The weather could not have been better this Sunday afternoon on the Magny-Cours circuit: air temperatures and on the track ideal for attacking one last time. ! The French are expected to stand firm, starting with the recent world champion Sebastien Charpentier…
Unfortunately for the French public, the tamer of the CBR 600 RR and the 2005 championship had to forfeit, his left collarbone still not recovered from the fall during the tests in Imola last week (Read).
Taking advantage of the boss’s absence, the Team Honda Megabike and Yamaha Germany riders had a blast: after dominating all of the tests, Fabrizio (Honda Megabike), Curtain (Yam Germany), Foret (Honda Megabike) and Parkes (Yam Germany) seize the front row. Fujiwara (Honda Ten Kate) leads the second row ahead of the winner of the last race Nannelli (Ducati SC Caracchi), Vos (replacing Seb Charpentier) and Stigefelt (Honda Stiggy). The third row consists of Fores (Suzuki Alstare), Chambon (Honda Gil Motor Sport), Canepa (Kawa) and Lagrive (Suzuki). Enjolras ranks 19th.
In Superbike, it was Vermeulen (Honda Ten Kate) who achieved the superpole thanks to a record time of 1’39.836! Half a second is Lanzi (Ducati SC Caracchi), which benefits from a factory Ducati "F05", followed by Haga (Yamaha Italia) and Muggeridge (Honda Ten Kate). On the second row we find Toseland (Ducati Xerox), Neukirchner (Honda Klaffi), Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare) and Pitt (Yamaha Italia). Walker (Kawasaki PSG1) is ahead of French Laconi (Ducati Xerox), Ben Bostrom (Honda Renegade Koji) and Bussei (Kawa). David Checa, on Team GMT 94’s R1, started from 13th position ahead of Martin (Petronas FP1), Chili (Honda Klaffi) and Corser (Suzuki), penalized by a qualifying rear tire that was largely too inflated and therefore inoperative…
First Superbike race
Decidedly, the French public is cursed: after Charpentier, it is Laconi’s turn to forfeit Sunday’s races, the fault of a right arm still too weak to drive properly … Fortunately Sebastien Gimbert and David Checa ( adopted French …) are there !
Nori Haga had the best start ahead of Kagayama and Vermeulen. But very quickly, the young Australian takes command and escapes in front of Kagayama. Walker, particularly recovered at the start of the race, achieved a muscular interior on Haga, who went from first to fourth place in a few turns. !
On the first pass, Vermeulen leads ahead of Walker and Kagayama, followed by Toseland, Haga, Muggeridge, Corser, Neukirchner, Pitt, Chili, Lanzi, Bostrom, Checa, Martin and Abe.
Chris Vermeulen drives home the point and takes cover from his pursuers. Haga is broke in the opening laps and sees his third place in the general classification threatened by James Toseland who fights with Muggeridge for the podium !
Chris Walker does not manage to keep pace and is overtaken by Yukio Kagayama, James Toseland, Karl Muggeridge then Andrew Pitt and Troy Corser … The Kawasaki is not yet at the level of its adversaries. Will the 2006 version provide the little extra that will finally allow the British to win? ?
But all the attention is focused on the big fight of this first round: the one between Toseland and Muggeridge! The two accomplices engage in a fierce fight from the middle of the race for the third step of the podium. Four laps from the end, the battle reaches its peaks and it is fairing against fairing that the Ducati and the Honda face each other. !
Despite the muscular and late attacks on both sides, the fight remains courteous, Karl even raising his hand to apologize during one of his last attacks! But these successive overtaking mainly benefit Troy Corser who puts them back together … Will the Australian "Croco" try everything for everything on the last lap? Toseland – who fights "for honor"- got the better of Muggeridge in the very last corners.
Finally, Vermeulen is the first to cross the finish line after having "ran 100% the whole race, up to the checkered flag", far ahead of Kagayama who is reborn from the ashes! Toseland wins over Muggeridge while Corser, who could not do anything, finishes off the podium again. Then it is the turn of Pitt, Walker, Neukirchner and Lanzi to cross the line. Checa achieved a very good 11th place while Gimbert took the last point despite some "fork, clutch and braking problems"…
With temperatures rising steadily and a cloudless sky on the horizon, the last race of the season is likely to be hotly contested. !
First Superbike race result:
- Vermeulen C. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’03.405
- Kagayama Y. – Suzuki GSXR1000 K5 – 39’11.605
- Toseland J. – Ducati 999F05 – 39’16.741
- Muggeridge K. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’17.292
- Corser T. – Suzuki GSXR1000 K5 – 39’17.704
- Pitt A. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’18.675
- Walker C. – Kawasaki ZX10 – 39’19.541
- Neukirchner M. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’20.021
- Lanzi L. – Ducati 999F05 – 39’21.606
- Abe N. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’34.505
- Checa D. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’37.715
- Bostrom B. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’37.898
- Bussei G. – Kawasaki ZX10 – 39’42.006
- Nieto F. – Kawasaki ZX10 – 39’42.319
- Gimbert S. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’43.913
Fabrizio had the best start but was passed by Curtain at the second corner … Parkes and Foret followed closely behind, Chambon was 4th just ahead of Fujiwara. In Adelaide, Michel Fabrizio is inside at Curtain but is outside for the right that follows and is ironed. These two pilots do the animation at the start of the race, taking turns in command…
On the second lap, Parkes is in Fabrizio’s wheel and is threatening. They are followed by Curtain, Foret, Fores, Chambon, Fuji, Vos, Stigefelt, Corradi, Lagrive, Lauslehto, Nannelli, Janssen and Goi.
Parkes passed Fabrizio before the end of the second lap and increased the pace further, leaving Fabrizio and Curtain to compete for second place. But it was counting without Fabien Foret who took third place while Curtain, in a bend, successively goes from 2nd to 4th then back to 2nd place! At the same time, Fores and Fujiwara are relegated to several lengths.
In the first third of the race, when Foret was starting to be slightly behind, the battle between Curtain and Fabrizio allowed the French to stay in touch. For his part, Parkes is responsible for maintaining his 2-second lead over his agitated pursuers..
In the tenth lap, Enjolras loses the front and gives up his 17th place … Hard end of the season for Julien! In the thirteenth lap, Fujiwara is struggling and is overtaken by Stigefelt, Vos and Chambon! At the front, the battle rages between the two Megabikes, so much so that in the 17th lap Foret is lost at the Water Tower … The four leading men are now all riding solo !
At the 19th passage, Parkes leads ahead of Curtain, Fabrizio, Foret, Fores, Stigefelt, Fujiwara, Chambon, Nannelli, Lagrive, Vos, Corradi, Lauslehto, Goi and Janssen. In the same lap, Corradi had a benign fall losing the front but made multiple antics in the gravel. He ends up getting up with a slight limp.
Three laps before the end, Fabrizio suddenly accelerates and climbs back on Curtain! At the start of the penultimate lap, Fabrizio seems to be able to climb on the second step of the podium! And just to spice up the end of the race, Parkes catches up with latecomers !
While Parkes passes the first laggards without incident, Curtain – who senses Fabrizio very close – does not want to get stuck in traffic and almost mows down one of the latecomers by making him inside! On the last lap, two other drivers are to be overtaken, but this time Kevin Curtain is doing cleaner and better than Michel Fabrizio. However, once the passes have been made, the young transalpine rider joins Curtain again !
Parkes wins his first race while Curtain retains his advantage over Fabrizio! Foret secures its fourth place, followed at a distance by Fores, Stigefelt, Fujiwara and Chambon. Lagrive finished in 10th place.
In the drivers’ championship, Seb Charpentier (210 points) obviously remains in the lead despite his last three draws! Curtain (187 points) is vice champion ahead of Fujiwara (149) who narrowly retains his bronze medal against a Fabien Foret (144) very fit this end of the season. Fabrizio (138 points) is 5th ahead of Parkes (125) and Chambon (94). Mathieu Lagrive retains his 15th place with 26 points.
On the manufacturers’ side, the positions remain unchanged: Honda is far ahead of Yamaha (270 points against 192), Ducati (117), Suzuki (90) and Kawasaki (35).
Supersport race result:
- Parkes B. – Yamaha YZF R6 – 40’12.350
- Curtain K. – Yamaha YZF R6 – 40’13.100
- Fabrizio M. – Honda CBR 600RR – 40’13.565
- Drill F. – Honda CBR 600RR – 40’16.448
- Fores J. – Suzuki GSX 600R – 40’33.973
- Stigefelt J. – Honda CBR 600RR – 40’35.798
- Fujiwara K. – Honda CBR 600RR – 40’42.458
- Chambon S. – Honda CBR 600RR – 40’44.494
- Nannelli G. – Ducati 749 R – 40’44.758
- Lagrive M. – Suzuki GSX 600R – 40’56.728
- Your A. – Honda CBR 600RR – 41’02.289
- Lauslehto T. – Honda CBR 600RR – 41’02.619
- Goi I. – Yamaha YZF R6 – 41’14.051
- Janssen J. – Suzuki GSX 600R – 41’22.821
- Penna S. – Honda CBR 600RR – 41’23.675
Second Superbike race
Kagayama has a great start! Vermeulen and Haga, taking advantage of better places on the grid, however, pass the first corner in front of Yukio. But the start was above all marked by the impressive fall of five pilots: Muggeridge and Pitt collided, Karl’s CBR was placed under the wheels of Martin and Bussei who could not dodge it, taking with them the French Julien Da Costa.
The race continued and Kagayama, followed by a very motivated Lanzi, quickly passed Haga. But before the end of the first loop, the red flag is waved. The five pilots are evacuated and among them, only Pitt and da Costa are able to take the second start !
Second start. We find the same four drivers in the lead in the first corner. Vermeulen still leads ahead of Haga, Lanzi and Kagayama this time. Behind, we find Toseland, Walker, the "miraculous" Pitt, Neukirchner, Corser, Chili, Abe, Bostrom, Checa, Gimbert and Nieto. Again, Haga goes through Kagayama then Lanzi in the first round !
While Vermeulen fled alone in the lead, Lanzi let Kagayama and Haga explain themselves for third place. Yukio cheerfully smokes the Pirelli of his Suzuki while Haga remains on the vacuum on the handlebars of his Yamaha.
Vermeulen makes a festival of braking while sliding, the rear wheel sometimes on the outside, sometimes on the inside … His approach in Adelaide even gives the impression that his motorbike is sliding off two wheels, like a crab! Nitro Nori is not left out and makes the interior to his friend Kagayama in the 180 ° with the brawling style we know him. Behind, the group breaks up: Toseland separates from Walker who moves away himself from Neukirchner…
From the fourth lap, Lanzi begins to gain ground on Vermeulen. For his part, Walker goes back to his compatriot Toseland. In the seventh lap, four explosive duos formed: Vermeulen seconded by Lanzi, Kagayama with Haga at 4.5 s, Toseland with Walker at 7.5 s and Corser with Neukirchner at 9.5 s. Abe was alone 9th at 10.5s, ahead of Pitt and Chili at 11.5s. David Checa follows at 13.4 s then arrive Nieto, Gimbert and Bostrom at 16.5 s.
Halfway through the race, Lorenzo Lanzi seems more at ease than Chris Vermeulen but remains in ambush. Corser got rid of Neukirchner and joined the two Britons Toseland and Walker. Haga and Kagayama never cease to surpass themselves, straining our nerves … and their fairings! "I think we’re both crazy", will summarize Nitro Nori! The Japanese in his turn makes his tire smoke but cannot stay in front of Yukio…
On lap 14, Corser passed Walker while Abe’s and Pitt’s Yams caught up with Neukirchner’s Honda. The first, third and fifth places are fiercely contested! Eight laps from the end, the fight between the two Japanese rises a notch. Walker loses some ground against the two world champions Toseland and Corser – who are trying different paths, with a view to an upcoming overtake.
Five laps from the checkered flag, Vermeulen loses his chain and offers a victory "too easy"To Lanzi’s taste. Behind, Kagayama carries the final assault and raises the tone without Haga being able to react. Corser manages to overtake Toseland. The former world champion is not at the end of his troubles since he is made Also take his 5th place by Walker.The order remains the same at the finish. We note the beautiful 13th and 14th places of Checa and da Costa !
In the pilot’s championship, Corser loses one point against Vermeulen (433 against 379). Haga retains his third position (271 points) ahead of Toseland (254), Kagayama (221) and Laconi (221) who will have scored only 7 points in the last eight races! Walker (160 points) retains his 7th place against Pitt (156) who bitterly regrets the incident at the start of the second round … Sebastien Gimbert is 16th with 46 points.
In the manufacturer’s championship, Suzuki (468 points) leads ahead of Honda (403), Ducati (385), Yamaha (322), Kawasaki (183) and Petronas (48).
Second Superbike race result:
- Lanzi L. – Ducati 999F05 – 39’01.858
- Kagayama Y. – Suzuki GSXR1000 K5 – 39’08.520
- Haga N. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’12.580
- Corser T. – Suzuki GSXR1000 K5 – 39’15.315
- Walker C. – Kawasaki ZX10 – 39’18.509
- Toseland J. – Ducati 999F05 – 39’18.863
- Pitt A. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’22.721
- Neukirchner M. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’24.138
- Abe N. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’24.571
- Chile P. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’32.966
- Bostrom B. – Honda CBR 1000RR – 39’34.129
- Checa D. – . – YZF R1 – 39’40.053
- Nieto F. – Kawasaki ZX10 – 39’47.172
- Da Costa J. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’48.780
- Vizziello G. – Yamaha YZF R1 – 39’52.462
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