Spies draws and holds up in World Superbike !
On Saturday in the Qatari desert, the Texan Ben Spies imposed his law: Superpole, fastest lap in the race and doubled! Haga and Biaggi tried to retaliate, but the American was too strong … In Supersport, Laverty won his first race. Story.
In 600 cc, after brilliantly taking advantage of his pole position to take the first corner in the lead, Cal Crutchlow and his R6 will be forced to let the sensational Eugene Laverty pass on his CBR600RR prepared by Team Parkalgar.
For seven laps, the young Irishman leads the race ahead of Crutchlow, Pitt, Sofuoglu, Harms, Aitchison and Lagrive! The second French, Fabien Foret, fights around the 15th place when he leaves the track, just before starting the 3rd lap…
"Unfortunately, I got hooked in the first lap and lost a few places", Fabien will explain later."Not very comfortable"on his R6 but forced to attack to join the leading group, the n ° 99 could not avoid the high-side in the last corner of the second lap…
Wounded in the shoulder at Phillip Island, Foret miraculously comes out unscathed! He will therefore be well in Valence "and i will come back to fight for the championship", concludes the Charentais.
Andrew Pitt, posted in 3rd position behind Crutchlow, seems very comfortable and not using – yet! – the whole track to trace its trajectories. It was only in the sixth round that the reigning world champion went on the attack and got rid of the Yam ‘n ° 35 and then the Honda n ° 50 in quick succession..
However, Pitt did not manage to outrun his competitors so that at halfway the Australian gave in and let his teammate Sofuoglu pass. The until then discreet Turkish tries in turn to escape, without more success !
So the three Hondas – the two Ten Kate and Laverty’s Parkalgar – are having a great ball. In the front row are Crutchlow and his R6: the Englishman, convinced that he can "win this race", patient…
Aitchison, Harms and Lagrive are more than a second behind the leading group and will be unable to make the connection, despite the somewhat disjointed final of the leading men! Further still, West, McCoy, Roccoli and Veneman compete for 8th place, for lack of better…
"I came to win and I am disappointed that I did not achieve good results", said Anthony West, who had to deal with the lack of power and top speed of his private Honda.
In front, a final of all beauty looms between the world champions 2008 and 2007 – respectively Pitt and Sofuoglu – and the former stars of British Supersport, Laverty and Crutchlow…
"I gave everything I had during the race", testified the" Number One "Andrew Pitt: in the lead at the exit of the last corner, Andrew did not foresee that the Honda n ° 50 would be able to dislodge it and climb the top step of the podium !
"Kudos to Eugene and the Parkalgar Honda team – they were already knocking on the door last year and deserve to be here", declared Pitt, eager to join Valencia where the CBR600RR model 2009 will await him..
Laverty, of course, is in heaven: the one who fought for a few points in GP 250 for the last two years is now playing for the win, or even the World Supersport title. !
"All I can say is thanks to the whole Parkalgar team Simon, Brains, everyone", will rejoice" ioudjin ","without forgetting the Parkalgar circuit from Portimao, NDLR), Ohlins, Motec and all our partners".
Finally, Laverty dedicates this victory – his first and the first also for his team – to the late Craig Jones (who died last year following his fall at Brands Hatch, read), "who did all the work to bring the team to this level".
Third place is also hotly debated between Sofuoglu and Crutchlow. But here too, the outsider comes out victorious in the confrontation !
Earlier in the race, Cal had already slipped – and the run is low! – his rear wheel out of the curb when exiting a curve, sending a plume of earth on these pursuers and losing precious tenths against these predecessors…
But in the penultimate corner, giving everything and even a little more, the rider of the solo Yamaha – five Hondas rounding out the top 6 – again goes out to garden with his rear wheel … However, in the final right, Cal goes to Kenan’s level !
The Englishman then briefly loses the front – his left foot even leaves its footrest -, but serves the teeth and completes a superb interior on the Turkish! "It takes that to win !", he will assure after the race.
The 2007 champion is therefore "beaten" but he pockets the 13 points of 4th place with philosophy: "it’s not such a bad result considering the hard weekend we’ve been through", remarked Kenan, whose confidence had been damaged by two falls during the tests..
Andrew Pitt therefore retains the reins of the championship with 40 points, against 38 for Sofuoglu and 36 for Laverty. Matthieu Lagrive (15) is in 6th position alongside Roccoli (also 15), behind Crutchlow (29) and West (23). As for Fabien Foret, his counter remains stuck at 9 points.
Among manufacturers, Honda largely dominates with 50 points ahead of Yamaha (29), Triumph (15), Kawasaki (11) and Suzuki (9).
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