WSBK – Sacred Bayliss! –

Sacred Bayliss !

WSBK - Sacred Bayliss! -

This weekend, the Mondial Superbike returned to Italy: after Monza, it was in Vallelunga that the riders had an appointment to compete in the twelfth round of the year. Troy Bayliss could be crowned … but he will have to wait for Magny-Cours !

On Saturday, in front of the crowd of tifosis who came to attend the third coronation of Ducati n ° 21, Troy Bayliss won the Superpole race by completing the Vallelunga circuit in 1 ‘36.606! "I know I can win the title tomorrow but it will be very difficult because the guys who are with me will do everything to stop me", remarks the Australian after qualifying.

To become World Champion this weekend, Bayliss had to maintain his lead of 100 points against his closest rivals (99 points exactly against Corser and 105 against Neukirchner) and beware of Checa and Haga…

Now on the first row, we find two of these main opponents: Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga, respectively 2nd and 3rd on the starting grid! Max Biaggi completes this first row: he runs after a first victory this season but can no longer worry the kangaroo n ° 21.

On the second row are Ryuichi Kiyonari (double winner at Donington Park, read), Max Neukirchner, Michel Fabrizio and Yukio Kagayama, followed by Lorenzo Lanzi, Fonsi Nieto, Ruben Xaus and Carlos Checa on the third.

On the French side, Regis Laconi is in 15th place while David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert, from the GMT94 team are respectively in 20th and 22nd position, a few days after obtaining 6th place at the Bol d’Or (read).

In Supersport, Broc Parkes won his 6th pole of the year riding his official R6. Barry Veneman, on his increasingly sharp GSX-R, blows 2nd place on the grid to Jonathan Rea, who is ahead of Gianluca Nannelli.

The Norman Matthieu Lagrive manages to accommodate his CBR on the second row behind the championship leader Andrew Pitt, Joan Lascorz and Eugene Laverty who replaces our national Fabien Foret on the second official Yamaha since the last round at Donington Park.

Note the presence this weekend of David Perret who drives the CBR of the Berry Racing team. The 2007 vice-champion of France qualifies 31st out of 34 and will finish 23rd in the race … Vivement Magny-Cours !

First Superbike race

Having started like a cannonball, Troy Bayliss took the lead in the race ahead of Biaggi, Haga, Corser, Kagayama, Kiyonari, Neukirchner, Nieto and Checa. Before the end of the first round, Nitro Nori steals his 2nd place from the Roman Emperor: Bayliss will not be able to dress up !

Very quickly, the four leading men separated from the rest of the peloton led by the Honda n ° 23 of Kiyonari. Despite all his efforts, Bayliss is unable to outrun his pursuers … Worse, he is passed in the 2nd lap by Haga then Biaggi !

Behind, Carlos Checa doubles his opponents one by one and tries to catch up with the leading group which has a few steps ahead. Troy Bayliss on the other hand continues to lose ground: after Troy Corser, it is Ryuichi Kiyonari who overtook him in the 3rd lap.

In the same loop, Carlos Checa drives home the point: he doubles – with incredible ease – Bayliss in a fast right. Haga is still in charge, now tracked by his teammate Corser. Biaggi is 3rd ahead of Kiyonari and Checa.

Also in this third lap, Ryuichi made a mistake: in the very tight left hairpin, the front tire of his CBR gave way to the point of rope and the Japanese could not avoid the fall. The pilot Ten Kate, who will not be able to leave, leaves his teammate Carlos his 4th place !

The leading trio took advantage of this incident to isolate themselves for a while. While Haga dominates his subject, Biaggi takes 2nd place in the 4th lap. Corser then 3rd sees a Checa coming back on him in great shape. As proof, El Torro n ° 7 has just set the best time in the race and finds himself under the pots of the Yam ‘n ° 11 four laps later !

Meanwhile behind, it is Fabrizio who impresses and treats his audience. At the controls of the second 1098 F08 – factory Ducati -, the Italian Hurricane gains three places and is in 7th position.

The differences between the leaders vary according to the portions but the classification does not change: Haga leads in front of Biaggi, Corser, Checa and Bayliss. Neukirchner continued his solo race in 6th place, but Fabrizio approached: "I was slipping a lot from the back but kept on attacking", summarizes the young Max.

Shortly before the halfway point, the established order was finally changed: Corser tried to overtake Biaggi on his outside but the Australian was forced to give in to the Roman. Carlos Checa takes advantage of the slightly off-center position of R1 n ° 11 and slips his CBR into 3rd position !

A few turns later, however, Corser regained his place on the podium with a slight gap from Checa. In the end, the two men lost contact with Haga and Biaggi while Bayliss manages to take back – briefly – the aspi! Neukirchner is still in 6th position: if the German does not manage to join Bayliss, he remains a good distance from Fabrizio.

From the middle of the race, as Haga and Biaggi continue their round, Corser painstakingly forges a lead over Checa. "I had forearm cramps "", will point out later the Spaniard, who always has Bayliss glued to the Basques. Fortunately for Checa, the Australian does not seem to be able to fight with him.

Starting from 15th place but pointing to 12th at the end of the first lap, Regis Laconi and his ZX-10R n ° 55 are once again in 15th place. Le Meusien fights against Ayrton Badovini – also on Kawa – and David Checa !

Six laps before the checkered flag, Biaggi is more and more pressing on Haga but does not find the fault! Corser meanwhile grabbed meter after meter the lead he gave to the leading duo a few laps earlier … The end of the race promises to be !

But the action is also intensifying behind: Neukirchner definitely gets rid of the "Fabrizio" threat and swoops down on Checa and Bayliss … In two laps, the German fills the two seconds which separate him from his enemy n ° 1 in the championship !

For his part, Biaggi was surprised by the power of his Ducati! When exiting a curve, the front wheel of his Ducati flies a few centimeters over the track. It is out of the question for the Italian to let go of the throttle but his Ducati rearing up on his rear wheel widens and forces him to give up his hand.

Biaggi thus finds himself equidistant between the two official Yam ‘. Further on, another trio formed: Checa passed in front of Bayliss, immediately threatened by Neukirchner! But the German was quick to overtake his two opponents and to break up this second group.

In the last lap, the three leading men did not give up and kept their respective places: Noriyuki Haga finished 1st, Max Biaggi 2nd and Troy Corser 3rd! Max Neukirchner crosses the finish line in 4th position ahead of Checa and Bayliss.

"Haga drove really well and I made her life hard", declared Max Biaggi after the race, aware that Nitro Nori was unbeatable in the 1st round … And the Japanese insisted:"I heard Biaggi’s bike the whole race but my bike was running great and I’m delighted with the result".

Supersport Race

When the lights go out, Parkes is surprised by his opponents: Veneman, Rea, Pitt and Harms pass him in the first few meters! At the end of the straight line, Jonathan Rea and his CBR take the lead ahead of Barry’s Suz ‘and Pitt’s other Honda Ten Kate.

A few turns later, Andrew Pitt climbs into 2nd position: he is ahead of Veneman, Harms, Parkes, Lascorz, Nannelli and the newcomer in the category: Laverty on the second official R6 !

At the start of the second lap, the two Honda Ten Kates had a slight lead over Harms ‘Honda Stiggy, Veneman’s Suz’ and Parkes ‘Yam’. One lap later, Broc Parkes overtakes Barry Veneman and storms the Honda trio…

During the next four laps, Rea and Pitt try to pack their bags, leaving Harms alone against Parkes. Behind, the hot Nannelli offers his audience something to shiver: Gianluca grazes the exit of the track and disrupts the more careful trajectories of his little comrades of the fighter peloton !

At the same time, Laverty raised the tone and sneaked discreetly into 5th place ahead of Veneman, Lascorz, Van Keymeulen and Nannelli. Matthieu Lagrive is in 14th place, fighting with the Italians Clementi, Vizziello and Toti.

Carefully chaining the laps, the two leading Ten Kates did not manage to separate themselves from the CBR n ° 127 of Harms and the R6 n ° 23 of Parkes. Better – or worse, "it’s up to you to see" – the Yam n ° 50 is getting closer and closer !

We have to wait for the 8th lap to see Rea engage the upper gear: "during the first five laps I could hear everyone fighting behind me but after I was able to wring out the handle", will relate Jonathan.

And for good reason, "Johnny" literally drops his teammate Pitt, more and more threatened by Harms. So much so that at the end of this same 8th lap, the Danish man momentarily climbs onto the 2nd step of the podium … that the championship leader recovers in the last corner !

In the following lap, the tone rises again a notch: Harms takes the 2nd position and Laverty stabs his teammate – on a superb outside under braking – his 4th place! Then Andrew Pitt recovers his 2nd place and Eugene Laverty takes advantage of this attack to hoist his Yam ‘in 4th position.

Unperturbed and "unperturbed", Jonathan Rea has a lead of 4 seconds halfway. After a wise 12th place in Donington two weeks ago, Laverty boasted in 2nd place: a good performance that hardly suits Pitt…

With nine laps to go, Parkes overtakes Harms and lodges under Pitt’s pots. One lap later, the Yam ‘n ° 23 reiterates, overtaking Pitt and nesting under Laverty’s pots this time! "My bike behaved by getting lighter but I was a little too far to go get Jonathan", clarified Broc. The highest step of the podium therefore seems promised to Rea but the other two remain to be attributed.

In the 17th lap, Parkes gained a new place by overtaking his new teammate Laverty. It took the Australian some time to surprise the Briton. One lap later, Eugene tries to recover his 2nd place: he finds it the instant of a braking but must withdraw and takes back his 3rd place, not without conceding several lengths to Parkes….

Then it was Pitt’s turn to titillate the new Yamaha recruit. Several times in a row, Andrew shows the end of his fairing to Eugene but the latter is solid. Even when Pitt takes advantage of a very small patio door, skylight? – left ajar, Laverty remains impassive !

While the Yam ‘and the CBR collide in the middle of a curve, the Honda falls but the Yamaha – yet placed above it – remains stuck on its two-wheelers! "It was just a racing incident but I’m sorry for Andrew", will declare Laverty.

From then on the podium is known: Rea climbs on the 1st step, Parkes on the 2nd and Laverty on the 3rd. They are followed by Lascorz, Veneman, Harms, Nannelli, Van Keymeulen, Aitchison and Hayes.

"A big thank you to my team for offering me such a brilliant CBR", says Jonathan after the race,"I was able to widen the gap, enough to watch the battle behind me on the giant screens: it looked funny !"

His teammate Pitt, on the other hand, finds this race much less pleasant: "when Laverty stepped aside to the right, I just lodged under him. But he immediately came back to me and it was over". The leader of the championship leaves Italy with an unchanged score: 169 points.

With 158 points on the clock, Rea found 2nd place in the championship ahead of Brookes (141) and Parkes (139). Lascorz, 5th with 105 points can no longer claim the title … Lagrive had to give up the race and lost a place in the provisional: he is 13th with 43 points.

In the constructors’ standings, Honda continued its “almost” plain card with 265 points (out of 270 at most) and won its 6th title in a row! Yamaha is assured of 2nd place (182 points) while mathematically, Suzuki (81), Triumph (68) and Kawasaki (42) can still claim 3rd place.

Second Superbike race

The start of the second round is marked by the spectacular collision between Biaggi and Sofuoglu: "I first hit Corser and then my front axle started to wobble while I was in the middle of the package, that’s when Sofuoglu bumped into me, literally making me fly", will tell the Roman Emperor !

Poor Kenan, victim of a loss in the front in the 1st heat, falls again in the second, but the impact with the ground is beyond measure: "I just felt a knock … and I was flying. The damaged shoulder in Donington is painful and my back will hurt tomorrow but otherwise everything is fine", will note the Turkish" solid ".

We expect the red flag to be raised … But the Honda n ° 54 and the Ducati n ° 3 in no way hamper the progress of the race and it therefore continues! Bayliss is in the lead ahead of Haga, Kagayama, Corser, Neukirchner, Fabrizio, Nieto and Laconi. The other competitors, surprised by the catapult of Sofuoglu, are a few lengths away…

Vigilant, Corser quickly overtook Kagayama and joined the pots of his team-mates Haga who tried, with Bayliss, to widen the gap in the first lap of the race. Very quickly, moreover, the hunting group broke up: the three leading motorcycles (the 21, the 41 and the 11) separated from the two Suzuki.

In the 4th lap, Bayliss and Haga compete in daring to exchange the reins of the race several times in a row! Corser observes: he is in the first places to enjoy the superb spectacle. In the meantime, Fabrizio caught up with and passed Neukirchner while Kagayama surrendered: although 6th he was 2 seconds behind his German teammate, 4 seconds behind his compatriot Haga, leader of the race..

We then fear that the drop in power suffered by Bayliss in the 1st round reappears in the second round: on the 10th lap, Haga increases his lead to 3/4 of a second … But in two laps, the Australian gets back into the aspi from Japanese. Corser him cannot maintain the same rhythm and remains slightly behind.

Behind, Checa reproduced his formidable comeback from the 1st round. After having witnessed the "card" of Biaggi and Sofuoglu, the Spaniard was sure to see the red flags appear. "I let go of the gas, like other pilots. But they didn’t interrupt anything, I had to attack even harder to pass a few pilots but I was too far", will regret the n ° 7, 6th in the race, far behind Max Neukirchner.

On the 12th lap, therefore, the battle resumes with a vengeance between the two leading men: Haga and Bayliss elbows again in the straight line and the following sequence! Then Bayliss takes the lead for four laps, four loops during which the Australian is virtually crowned, Corser (his closest rival in the championship) being only 3rd !

But on the 16th lap, Nitro Nori passed the "Baylisstic" kangaroo again with incredible braking! Corser was then relegated to almost a second and the Australian crocodile had to watch his rear: Fabrizio began a new thunderous finish !

Six laps from the end, the report is final for Bayliss: "I was going to have to try to pass Nori, win or fall because I knew that by finishing 2nd with Corser 3rd, that would not allow me to win the gold title I really wanted to finish my job here", Bayliss will explain after the race…

Five laps from the checkered flag therefore, the Ducati rider takes the lead. But Haga has resources and the Japanese are back in front of him! Corser is still 3rd just a few lengths behind the infernal duo but Fabrizio, Bayliss teammate, wants to add his two cents…

"I knew I could help Troy (Bayliss) by passing Corser so I gave everything I had", will admit Michel. Fourth, the Italian goes back little by little to the n ° 11, now his one and only target !

Four laps from the end, the hearts of the tifosis, the Ducati Xerox team and the n ° 21 rider stop: Bayliss momentarily loses the front in the left hairpin, the one where the Australian has an unfortunate tendency to leave sparks with his boot !

While staying clean, Troy B. pushes his Ducati to its limits: the 1098 slides, streets, skids, rears up but nothing helps, Haga always remains in the lead of the race..

Already, the last round is launched! While Bayliss remains incapable of attacking Haga, Fabrizio him, doubles Corser: by lodging thus between the two Troys, Michel offers his teammate his third crown! But Bayliss knows nothing of the great job accomplished by his "second" and continues to calculate that to obtain the 2008 title, he must imperatively overtake Haga…

No doubt short of ideas, Bayliss decided to delay the heavy braking of the left pin. His Ducati n ° 21 loses the front again, but this time for good !

"Driving at the limit, you don’t need much: a little too much brake or a little too much angle and I found myself on the ground", will simply note the Australian who slips off the track, gets up and restarts his bike to finish 16th.

In the Ducati clan, the disappointment is great but some still sketch furtive smiles … The title will – no doubt – be for Magny-Cours in two weeks !

Suddenly, Haga signs another double – after that of the Nurburgring – by crossing the finish line alone. Then Fabrizio lets his joy burst in front of Corser who obtains a third 3rd place in a row! As for Neukirchner and Checa, they finished 4th and 5th again in Vallelunga.

Delighted with his home podium, Fabrizio will just regret not having been able to celebrate his teammate’s title "at home" in Italy. Haga will also be himself "sorry for his fall", and will add:"I enjoyed our battle".

On the French side, we will retain the 9th place of Regis Laconi: victim of the demonic "chatter" in the 1st round, "the whole team did a good job of solving the problem by making the rear shock softer and that helped a lot", will signal our national No. 55.

Within the GMT94 clan, we congratulate ourselves on the two points scored by Sebastien Gimbert in the second round: "David Checa first ranked 34 seconds behind the leader (Haga on Yamaha) in the first heat, then Sebastien Gimbert took the points from fourteenth place by finishing 36 seconds behind the same winner in the second heat. The race had 24 laps. Knowing that the factory bikes had 20 km / h better than us, this is a very good performance.", states the team of charismatic Christophe Guyot.

In the general classification, Bayliss sees his lead diminish: Troy (369 points) now has "only" 79 points ahead of Corser (290) and 89 over Haga and Neukirchner (both 280). But already Checa (262) is definitively disqualified … And in two weeks at the end of the two French rounds, a 50 point lead over his opponents will ensure him his third title. !

On the constructor side, Ducati is still leading the way with 479 points and only Yamaha (416) can still steal the title … Honda is 3rd with 357 points, followed closely by Suzuki (355). Kawasaki on the other hand is far behind with 77 points.

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