Corser increases WSB lead, while Yamaha takes first win
By Mike Hanlon
July 16, 2005
July 17, 2005 The last time Troy Corser went to the Brno circuit in Czechoslovakia for a superbike round, he left with a superpole victory, fastest race lap and two wins and but for a small electronic problem in the second race history almost repeated itself today. In the end, he was not to repeat his 1996 glory, but he did have the satisfaction of increasing his lead in the championship. Without doubt the surprise of the round was the performance of Noriyuki Haga, who gave Yamaha its first victory with the R1-based superbike and brought to four the number of marques which have won so far this year - Suzuki, Honda, Ducati and now Yamaha. Kawasaki’s best so far is third with Chris Walker almost adding a podium on the weekend with a fourth in Leg One.
Unfortunately, the points don’t reflect this closeness as the incredible consistency of Troy Corser and his Team Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki GSX-R1000 have increased his Championship lead at every single race meeting so far this year and with just five rounds (ten races) to go, he is 94 points clear of second placed Chris Vermeulen - with 25 points for a win, that’s nearly two rounds or four races he could sit out and the chances are that if he did that, he would still have a sizeable lead because no-one else can string together any consistency and no-one is likely to put together the 100 points needed to bridge the gap.
Corser almost repeated his 1996 whitewash of the event. After his success in Superpole yesterday, Corser wanted to get back to winning ways and that’s exactly what he did. And, if it had not been for a technical problem in race two, he might have left with a double victory. As it was, he settled for a close second to the inexplicably rejuvenated Nori Haga.
Corser led the first race from start to finish and ran out the winner by over six seconds. Both Ducati Xerox factory riders rode storming races to put their 999F05 machines on the podium, with reigning champion Toseland finishing in second place ahead of team mate Regis Laconi after a terrific scrap with Chris Walker’ Kawasaki ZX10-based machine.
Toseland was not as elevated as one would expect: “It was a hard race, I had a problem with the clutch at the start and that spoiled my whole race, but when I was catching everyone I could see that their tyres were going off, so I had to catch them before mine did as well and so I rode really aggressively. I enjoyed the race but I’m a bit disappointed Troy won again because we just can’t afford to finish second.”
“I am so happy to be on the podium because being ninth in Superpole was not so good” declared Laconi. “I pushed very hard, I chose the softer tyre at the front and the last few laps were very difficult. I tried to follow James but he was faster than me at the finish and so I settled for third, but I am happy because I took some points from Vermeulen and that’s what I need for today.”
The ride of the race was that of perennial favourite Pierfrancesco Chili who took his Klaffi Honda CBR1000RR to fifth ahead of Lorenzo Lanzi’s Carachi Ducati 999RS, Haga, Chris Vermeulen’s Ten Kate Winston Honda CBR1000RR and the Yamaha’s of Norick Abe and Andrew Pitt.
Chili had good results from bad starts in both events, scoring fifth on two occasions after qualifying in 17th position and missing out on the Superpole shootout on Saturday afternoon. This made for two starts way behind the leading players and although he was carrying injuries from a practice crash, the 41-year-old rider even had time for a joke or two. “It is fun for me to make a push up from the middle of the pack,” Chili later laughed after two difficult races in warm conditions. “I am only a young rider so when I learn to start then the races may be different!”
The second race was red-flagged after two laps - due to an oil spillage - and Corser decided to use his number two bike as he had felt that his number one bike was running a bit slow. The number two bike had only completed a handful of laps all weekend, so it was a bit of a gamble but the team had set it up almost the same as his number one bike. He led from the restart but was passed by Noriyuki Haga after six laps. He kept in contention, but a slight electronic problem prevented him from catching and passing the Japanese rider, so he settled for runner-up spot and 20 valuable points instead. Third went to Chris Vermeulen (Honda), ahead of Norick Abe (Yamaha), Chili and Lanzi.
Laconi and Toseland could only manage seventh and eighth in the second appointment of the day after fading away from the leaders due to tyre problems. This race, rerun over the full 20 laps and not on aggregate, had to be restarted after a delay of 45 minutes to clean up oil on the track following an incident but in the two laps before the red flags came out, Laconi had made a blistering start to head the field and was leading from Corser and Toseland before the interruption. Toseland continued: “In the first start the tyres were unbelievably good and after all the effort we’d made I would have won that race for sure, but there’s nothing good I can say about the second race. After lap 3, the tyres were just not performing as well and there was nothing I could do. It’s a pity because with Corser’s results today it looks as if we’re not going to be able to win this championship now.”
Laconi added: “I struggled a bit with the gearing over the weekend, that was my fault but we made a change and it was a lot better. After two laps I found myself in the lead and that was fantastic but on the restart after half distance the front started to slide a lot. I was trying my best just to stay on the bike, because it was so hard. I finished seventh, which means I’m disappointed for myself and for Ducati because they’ve done a good job. Now I’m already thinking about the next race, I will take my fight to Brands and do much better. The only positive thing from this weekend is that I gained one point on Vermeulen!”
That Noriyuki Haga rode a sensational race two to give the YZF-R1 its first victory in the Superbike World Championship is without question – what’s really at question is what enabled him to go so much faster in the second race than the first, given that he used exactly the same suspension settings, tyres, and overall race set-up. In the first race the set-up had seen him finish seventh, some 13 seconds from the lead and a distant three seconds behind the Ducati of sixth-placed Lanzi.
Yet in the second race the Japanese Yamaha Motor Italia star gave a magical display to charge through from 16th place on the grid to take a lead he would never lose on lap seven, overtaking series leader Corser and establishing more than a three second lead at the chequered flag.
Haga’s win, Yamaha’s first in the class since the same rider won race two at Assen in September 2000 on the YZF-R7, came after a troubled weekend in qualifying that saw him starting way down the grid. However, even despite missing out on superpole the 29-year-old maintained that the settings of his R1 were ideal for race conditions. A lack of grip held him back as he raced to seventh in the opening race, before using exactly the same set-up and tyre combination to blast to victory in the second.
Chris Vermeulen had a disappointing weekend at Brno on his Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR and although he scored the best individual result for a Honda rider, with a seventh in the first race and third in race two, his major rival for second place in Regis Laconi did only one point better.
His Winston Ten Kate team-mate Karl Muggeridge (Honda CBR1000RR) was 13th and ninth, and had to fight hard in a melee of sometimes eight riders behind the leaders. Max Neukirchner (Klaffi Honda CBR1000RR) had another hard raceday, after a dazzling third place Superpole qualification. Only 14th in race one, then a retiree from race two, the German rider is 12th in the championship overall.
Yamaha Motor France’s Norick Abe almost made it two R1s on the podium in race two, narrowly missing out on third when passed by Chris Vermeulen (Honda) with two laps remaining. It was the Japanese rider’s best finish of his short superbike career and equaled his best result at the Czech circuit, matching his fourth place finish in the 2001 500cc Czech Grand Prix. Earlier in the day Abe finished ninth while team-mate Sebastien Gimbert, still struggling with an injured leg from a crash at Silverstone, was 19th and 17th.
Yamaha Motor Italia team-mate Andrew Pitt had a troubled weekend. Struggling for front end grip he came home 10th in race one, before a clutch problem forced him out of a points scoring position in the second, which had been restarted due to an oil spill in the opening laps of the initial running.
Troy Corser, Team Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki, Race 1 - first, Race 2 - second: “I’m pretty happy with how the day worked out -especially after the problems we had in the first day and a half. Once we found a good set-up, I knew a win or two was possible. I made a good start and had clear track ahead of me and that’s what you need at Brno if you are to have a good race. Although no race is ever easy, that was one of the more comfortable races I’ve had this year and it was good to get back to winning ways. My bike’s engine felt a bit slow at the start of the second race, so I guess I was fortunate that it was red-flagged and I was able to jump on my spare for the restart. The set-up was very close - and I have to thank the team for doing such a good job - but there was a bit of an electronic problem and I feel that stopped me from catching and passing Nori. But we came here to increase our points and that’s what we did, so I’m pretty wrapped.”
Noriyuki Haga, Yamaha Motor Italia, Race 1- seventh, Race two – first: “I am very happy for this win. I had some problem in the first laps when I touched Chris (Vermeulen) and this made my brake lever go up in the air. I had to hit it to put it back in place and this cost me some time but I was able to make some very good lap times. All season I have been asking for more engine power and I think that we will have a new engine with more power for Brands Hatch. I won twice there last year so now I am very much looking forward to going there.”
Andrew Pitt, Yamaha Motor Italia, Race 1- tenth, Race two – DNF: “We had the same problem in race two as we did at Misano. The clutch was slipping so I was losing drive and although I was able to make some time going into the corners the acceleration was not strong enough and eventually I had to retire. I also didn’t have enough grip from the front in either race which made for a tough weekend.”
Norick Abe, Yamaha Motor France, Race 1- ninth, Race two – fourth: “It certainly helped that I have been here before but the main difference between race one and race two was not even the start but the fact that we put more weight on the back of the bike to improve traction and a harder front tyre. The changes almost allowed us to take a podium, but in the last five laps the performance of my front tyre went down, and I could not push it any harder. I still had a lot of spinning from the rear but we made the bike much better in race two.”
Massimo Meregalli, Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia: “You have to ask Noriyuki about this race because I have no idea how he did it! Maybe the temperature change had something to do with it because he had the same set up on the machine from race one to race two. Obviously this is a huge morale boost for the whole team and we will go back to Italy tonight very happy and motivated for the next race.”
Martial Garcia, Team Manager – Yamaha Motor France: “The secret with our bike is to manage the lap times of the bike even when the tyre is not brand new. Abe did this better in the second race and we almost got a podium. This shows our level of potential performance.”
Yukio Kagayama, Team Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki, Race 1 -11th, Race 2 - 11th: “There’s not much to say except that all weekend I’ve had problems with grip and today was no better then the past two days. This track is very difficult if you do not have a good set-up - and I did not have a good set-up - probably because we did not have so much time on the bike to test different things. We made big changes from yesterday, but I don’t think the bike worked any better. I am disappointed of course, but I must look forward. The next race is a circuit I know and like - Brands Hatch - and I want to get on the podium in both races there for myself and all my British fans.”
Chris Vermeulen, Winston Ten Kate Honda, Race 1 -7th, Race 2 – 3rd: "I didn’t get of the line too badly in race two but the front wheel started to lift and I had to roll off a bit. I came together with Nori Haga at the first turn and then I found myself in with a lot of fast riders, who were all difficult to pass. Another couple of incidents cost me places that I had to work hard to get, but I eventually got into a good rhythm, and put in some fast laps towards the end of the race. We lifted the front end a little between the races and that helped me to hold lines a lot better. I’m happy with the podium though, considering it’s our first time here. It’s a good reward for all the team’s hard work.”
Pierfrancesco Chili, Klaffi Honda CBR1000RR, Race 1 -5th, Race 2 – 5th: “It is fun for me to make a push up from the middle of the pack. I am only a young rider so when I learn to start then the races may be different! I am very happy because after the practice I was not sure I could finish the race. Either I would crash pushing or I would have to retire. But we made modifications for the race today and they were good. My left foot has ‘gone to sleep’ but otherwise I am fine, just tired.”
Karl Muggeridge, Winston Ten Kate Honda, Race 1 -13th, Race 2 – 9th: “I got the front working better after race one but I suddenly found I had no grip at the rear. I could brake and run into corners with everyone in the fast group, but just lost out when we accelerated away. The bike was definitely better overall so it was a bit frustrating to find another problem, which got worse as the race went on.”
Max Neukirchner, Klaffi Honda CBR1000RR, Race 1 -14th, Race 2 – DNF: “I had the same problem in both races,” stated Neukirchner, “a lack of front grip only on right hand corners. The bike also went wrong in race two, I don’t know why yet. The thing that I don’t understand is that we chose the same front tyres in practice and I did 17-18 laps on one of them with no problems. In the race, after five laps, I could push no more.”
After the relative novelty of Brno, an old WSS and SBK favourite occupies the next place on the calendar – Brands Hatch. The second British-based event of the year is held at the historic and undulating Kent venue on August 7th
SUPERBIKE Race 1
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap 1 / T. CORSER / AUS / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 41'42.829 / 2 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Ducati Xerox / 41'49.421 / 6.592 3 / R. LACONI / FRA / Ducati Xerox / 41'50.306 / 7.477 4 / C.WALKER / GBR / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 41'51.889 / 9.060 5 / P. CHILI / ITA / Klaffi Honda / 41'52.012 / 9.183 6 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati SC Caracchi / 41'53.607 / 10.778 7 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 41'56.589 / 13.760 8 / C. VERMEULEN / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 41'57.898 / 15.069 9 / N. ABE / JPN / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 41'59.149 / 16.320 10 / A. PITT / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 42'02.505 / 19.676 11 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 42'04.651 / 21.822 12 / F. NIETO / ESP / Ducati SC Caracchi / 42'07.611 / 24.782 13 / K. MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 42'08.659 / 25.830 14 / M.NEUKIRCHNER / GER / Klaffi Honda / 42'10.315 / 27.486 15 / D. CHECA / ESP / Yamaha GMT 94 / 42'13.832 / 31.003 Fastest Lap 4° Troy Corser 2'03.812 157,099 Km/h
SUPERBIKE Race 2
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time / 1 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 41'43.525 / 2 / T. CORSER / AUS / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 41'46.758 / 3.233 3 / C. VERMEULEN / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 41'54.537 / 11.012 4 / N. ABE / JPN / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 41'55.793 / 12.268 5 / P. CHILI / ITA / Klaffi Honda / 41'55.886 / 12.361 6 / L. LANZI / ITA / Ducati SC Caracchi / 41'57.036 / 13.511 7 / R. LACONI / FRA / Ducati Xerox / 41'57.666 / 14.141 8 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Ducati Xerox / 41'59.964 / 16.439 9 / K. MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 42'00.345 / 16.820 10 / C.WALKER / GBR / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 42'03.262 / 19.737 11 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 42'08.302 / 24.777 12 / F. NIETO / ESP / Ducati SC Caracchi / 42'08.769 / 25.244 13 / I. CLEMENTI / ITA / Team Pedercini / 42'10.225 / 26.700 14 / D. CHECA / ESP / Yamaha GMT 94 / 42'11.644 / 28.119 15 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 42'25.607 / 42.082 Fastest Lap 6° Noriyuki Haga 2'03.747 157,182 Km/h Lap Record:Troy Corser 2'03.812 157,100Km/h 2005
Riders Championship Standings: 1 CORSER 299, 2 VERMEULEN 205, 3 LACONI 187, 4 KAGAYAMA 158, 5 TOSELAND 152, 6 HAGA 122, 7 CHILI 108, 8 WALKER 106, 9 ABE 83, 10 PITT 76, 11 MUGGERIDGE 75, 12 NEUKIRCHNER 52, 13 LANZI 50, 14 BUSSEI 46, 15 NIETO 32.
World Supersport: Charpentier And Honda Win First Brno World Supersport Race
Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) secured his fifth win of the season after a tough race around the magnificent environs of Brno in the Czech Republic. The Frenchman had some stiff competition from several quarters and was not able to the repeat the immediate front running adventures which have characterised much of his 2005 season. One by one his rivals fell, retired or dropped their pace, and he took the win by a clear 4.429 seconds, setting a new lap record of 2’07.316 to go with his pole position success in qualifying. He also extended his championship lead by a further 25 points over his injured team-mate, Katsuaki Fujiwara (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR), with his new total of 165 comparing favourably with Fujiwara’s 106.
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap 1 / S. CHARPENTIER / FRA / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 38'44.765 / 2 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / Italia Megabike / 38'49.194 / 4.429 3 / G.NANNELLI / ITA / Ducati SC Caracchi / 38'50.131 / 5.366 4 / R.HARMS / DEN / Stiggy Motorsports / 38'52.738 / 7.973 5 / J. FORES / ESP / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 38'54.354 / 9.589 6 / C. JONES / GBR / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 38'54.547 / 9.782 7 / S. CHAMBON / FRA / Gil Motor Sport / 39'03.579 / 18.814 8 / A. CORRADI / ITA / Ducati Selmat / 39'07.003 / 22.238 9 / W.DAEMEN / BEL / Van Zon Honda / 39'07.174 / 22.409 10 / B. VENEMAN / NED / Suzuki Nederland / 39'09.259 / 24.494 11 / J. STIGEFELT / SWE / Stiggy Motorsports / 39'10.211 / 25.446 12 / T. LAUSLEHTO / FIN / Klaffi Honda / 39'10.527 / 25.762 13 / C. MIGLIORATI / ITA / Lightspeed Kawasaki / 39'21.601 / 36.836 14 / M.LAGRIVE / BEL / Moto 1 - Suzuki / 39'23.271 / 38.506 15 / S. LE GRELLE / BEL / Le Grelle Dholda in Action / 39'26.674 / 41.909 Fastest Lap 3° Sébastien Charpentier 2'07.316 152,776 Km/h Lap Record: No previous race
Riders Championship Standings:1 Charpentier 165, 2 Fujiwara 106, 3 Curtain 93, 4 Foret 74, 5 Fabrizio 62, 6 Parkes 60, 7 Nannelli 56, 8 Chambon 55, 9 Fores 47, 10 Lauslehto 40, 11 Veneman 33, 12 Stigefelt 27, 13 Harms 18, 14 Corradi 16, 15 Le Grelle 15.
SUPERSTOCK 1000: Suzuki fights back
The series for standard 1000cc roadbikes has reached a very interesting stage with the halfway point of the series reached. Yamaha R1 bikes won the first three races of the series and looked to be running away with the series, but wins to Suzuki GSX1000R machines in the last two rounds have seen Australian Craig Coxhell’s EMS Racing Suzuki move into contention for the series win.
The BRNO race was won by Craig Coxhell (Suzuki), who passed long-time leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Yamaha) on the very last lap with Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha) taking third.
While no Honda FireBlades or Kawasaki ZX10s are entered in the series, three MV Agusta 1000s are in the mix with Italian Vittoria Iannuzzo’s MV running eighth in the series with a best place of third at the last round of San Marino.
Superstock 1000 Results: 1 Coxhell (AUS-Suzuki), 2 Sofuoglu (TUR-Yamaha), 3 Roccoli (ITA-Yamaha), 4 Van Keymeulen (BEL-Yamaha), 5 Solli (NOR-Yamaha), 6 Polita (ITA-Suzuki), 7 Chiarello (ITA-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra).
Riders Championship Standings:1 Roccoli 90, 2 Sofuoglu 86, 3 Coxhell 82, 4 Van Keymeulen 77, 5 Chiarelo 47, 6 De Angelis 37, 7 Polita 36, 8 Iannuzzo 30, 9 Martinez 28, 10 Dionisi 27