Lane News Editorial
Babes Builders Riders Racing News
Local wild card rider Shane Byrne (Ducati) scored the race win, from championship leader Neil Hodgson (Ducati) and regular SBK Brit Chris Walker (Ducati). Byrne’s best lap time is the new SBK lap record, 1:26.755.
In the second race Byrne was once more successful, but he had to fend off the attention of Reynolds on the final lap to take his second career Superbike win - a scant few hours after the first. James Toseland (Ducati) scored third place, for another all-British rostrum party.
improved his points gap over Xaus once more, 386 to 246.
It is not quite enough to give Hodgson the world championship
but with a gap of 140 points and only a possible 150 remaining,
the result is now almost a foregone conclusion.
German MotoGP of Sachsenring, Round 9
Steals win from Rossi
Max Biaggi (Camel Pramac Pons RC211V) looked to be the dominant force here this weekend after setting a pole time for the second successive race. He also set the fastest lap of the race before crashing out while chasing down the leading duo of Gibernau and Rossi.
Biaggi wasted his pole position with a dreadful start that sunk him to tenth on the first lap. Rossi howled into turn one ahead of the Ducati duo of Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss with Gibernau in close pursuit. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) made good early running, going as high as second momentarily after a robust double overtaking move that disposed of Gibernau and Capirossi. But he couldn’t make it stick.
By lap five
Rossi had pulled out a 2.5 second advantage over Gibernau who was
now in a solid second place with Bayliss third. Biaggi was moving
up the field with serious intent and by lap ten he was ready to
put Bayliss behind him and work on the leaders. But Bayliss had
other ideas and made it hard work for the Roman.
It was now down to Gibernau to take the challenge to Rossi and the Spaniard was more than up to it. At the halfway stage of the 30-lap race he had cut the deficit to 0.7 seconds and on lap 21 he made his move on the champ into the tight turn one at the end of the start/finish straight.
Rossi followed closely, seemingly getting the measure of his rival before making a decisive play for the lead at his leisure – but there was nothing at all leisurely about the way he had to ride to keep Gibernau within striking distance. Rossi left it until the last lap before he struck.
On the rapid downhill right approach to the penultimate turn, Rossi fired his RC211V around the outside of Gibernau and was then on the inside of the lefthand turn that followed – and ahead. There was only the final righthand corner to go and Rossi looked poised for victory. But he overcooked his entry, and with his machine out of shape, Gibernau seized his chance and squared off the turn to shoot his bike up the inside of the floundering Rossi and broach the line six hundredths of a second ahead of the Italian.
“That was hard race,” said a delighted Gibernau. “Both mentally and physically. I had no plan for the last lap because when you have a plan and it doesn’t work, you’re in trouble. I used a bit of dirt-track experience in the last turn – if you want to pass someone on the way out – do the work on the way in.”
Rossi was honest about his error. “I made a big mistake,” he said. “I try to go away at the start but it was impossible. So I stay with Sete and wait for the last lap. I don’t know why I went so tight into the final turn because it’s difficult to pass there. But I went in too tight, lost the front and had to wait too long before I could get on the throttle.”
The Ducati MotoGP Team made a breathtaking debut at the awkward Sachsenring circuit today, riders Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi finishing third and fourth in a sweltering, crash-strewn race. The results strengthen the pair’s World Championship positions: Capirossi is fourth despite a fiery crash in morning warmup that destroyed his primary bike, and Bayliss is fifth as the MotoGP circus heads into its brief summer break before next month’s Czech GP.
“I’m too happy!” beamed Ducati MotoGP Team technical director Corrado Cecchinelli. “To score a podium result at a track which we’ve never been to before and which everyone said would be bad for our bike is fantastic. I hope all our ‘bad’ tracks will be this good in the future! Troy rode a fantastic race. He had a great battle with Max (Biaggi) which pushed Max into a mistake. Loris was incredible. He was bruised everywhere after this morning’s crash and had to use his second bike. On paper there’s no difference between his two machines but maybe there’s a tiny difference and a slight psychological issue in racing your second bike. Also, he wasn’t in great physical shape for the race.”
Ducati MotoGP Team rider Troy Bayliss today scored a brilliant third-place finish in his first-ever race at the Sachsenring. The Aussie, riding with a shaved head, made a stunning start from the second row to muscle his way into third place. He protected that position from Max Biaggi with typical aggression, repassing the attacking Italian three times before Biaggi made the pass stick on lap 13, only to fall the very next lap. That left the Aussie in a safe third place, which he maintained to the chequered flag.
“It’s my first time here and my second MotoGP podium, so I’m very happy,” said a sweat-drenched Bayliss. “It’s been a very good weekend for us but it was a very difficult race around here. After Max went by and crashed I just tried to stay close to Sete (Gibernau) for as long as possible. I knew Max’s pace was really fast, so there wasn’t much I could do about him, then he crashed because he was pushing very hard. The last third of the race I was losing the back into turns off the throttle, so I just did my own thing and brought the bike home. I’m really happy for everyone in the team.”
Loris Capirossi finished a brave fourth place in Germany today, a remarkable result after a high-speed tumble in morning warm-up after which his Ducati MotoGP Team Desmosedici caught fire. The bike was badly damaged in the blaze, forcing the Italian to switch to his second machine for this afternoon’s race. Undaunted, Capirossi rode superbly, battling long and hard with a bunch of rivals, eventually defeating Nicky Hayden for fourth place.
“I had to ride a defensive race because my second bike was a tiny bit different from the machine I crashed in warm-up,” said Capirossi who hurt his neck and suffered all-over bruising in the 200kmh crash. “I was quite bashed about in the accident. I’d say I was only feeling 80 per cent before the race. So, all things considered, I’m satisfied with the result. These points are very important for the championship. I’m very happy for Troy and I feel sorry for Marco (Melandri, who crashed late in the race while racing with Capirossi) – he was riding really fast.”
final wins in 250cc with Roberto Folfo
the pack into the first turn at the lights and led from Sebastian
Porto (Telefonica Movistar Junior Team RS250RW) in the early laps
with Fonsi Nieto in close pursuit. But de Puniet was making ground
and by lap 6 the Frenchman was up to second place and sizing up
Rolfo for a pass.
Rolfo then muscled his way back into the lead on lap 24 and held it to the finish despite a huge slide three laps from the finish. “That was really hard,” said the delighted Italian. “Everyone raced really hard right from the beginning and the fast rhythm made me concentrate to the absolute maximum to avoid any errors. I knew I would be fighting for the win and this victory is the best feeling.”
Porto was understandably less happy with fourth. “The front tyre was completely destroyed by the end of the race,” said the Argentine. “Yesterday we did a whole lot of laps on the same tyre and it was fine. There was nothing I could do even though I was going well.”
The World Championship points standings now show Manuel Poggiali, who crashed out of the race, leading with 129 points, Nieto second on 126 and Rolfo third on 122.
and Aprilia back on top in 125cc
The race was run in searing heat and the leading riders all suffered accelerated tyre wear in the conditions. The four-rider breakaway that disputed the podium positions in the closing laps did their utmost to gain advantages as the final lap began, but they eventually finished in the order in which they began the last lap.
“Towards the end of the race the engine started sounding different,” said Danny. “I didn’t know what it was so I just kept going, but with three laps to go I lost speed and just had to settle for fourth. I did what I needed to do in terms of the championship.”
Andrea Dovisioso (Team Scot Honda RS125R) finished seventh after losing touch with the leading group at the halfway stage, Simone Corsi (Team Scot Honda RS125R) was ninth, Mika Kallio (Ajo Motorsports Honda RS125R) was tenth and Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) crashed out in the closing stages.
The World Championship points table now shows Pedrosa ahead on 137 points with Perugini on 117. Lucio Cecchinello (Aprilia) has 105 and Dovisioso is in close touch with 102.
AMA Superbike Championship, Round 9
Mladin Doubles Down at Mid-Ohio
Ohio, July 27, 2003: Looking set to clinch his 3rd AMA Superbike title, Mat Mladin scooped up his ninth Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike victory of 2003 this afternoon at Mid-Ohio, putting the finishing touches on his third double of the season. Unlike yesterday's contest in which the Yoshimura Suzuki ace was pushed until the final lap, he crossed the line with a 6.668-second margin of victory even after easing up in the final few laps.
The massive Ohio crowd was treated to a repeat of yesterday's stellar battle for the first half of the race, however. Kurtis Roberts took the holeshot and diced with Mladin spectacularly, but was unable to maintain the Aussie's pace for the entire distance. The title leader took advantage of a superior drive heading onto the front straight to slip up the inside of the Erion Honda rider in Turn 1 on lap 13 of 26. At that point Mladin eased out a gap on the charger, slowly building up an insurmountable lead. Mladin now has 23 career AMA Superbike victories, just three short of the all-time record. He could overtake current leader Miguel DuHamel yet this year with a perfect finish to the season.
"I wanted to see what Kurtis was up to," he said of his early race with Roberts. "I didn't get a very good start, but I got up behind Kurtis before long and wanted to see what he was doing. I went by him and stepped up the pace a little bit and we pulled a bit more of a gap on everybody. I let Kurtis back by because I couldn't get away from him. But when I let him back by he dropped straight back into the low-to-mid eights... I figured I'd better pass him and pick it a little bit. That's what we did and when we did, it put Kurtis in a little bit of trouble."
Mladin now has a 33-point championship advantage with four races remaining. "That's good. Should be a lot more though."
Team Erion Hond's Kurtis Roberts suffered another weekend of back luck - he was forced out with mechanical problems with less than two laps remaining while running a clear second. It has been a bitterly disappointing weekend for the Erion pilot -- he easily had the form to take a pair of top twos, but came away with a great deal less.
And like Saturday,
Jason Pridmore was the primary beneficiary of Roberts' misfortune.
The Attack Suzuki rider scored his second runner-up finish in as
many days, an amazing accomplishment for the factory-supported rider
and his team. Pridmore used the same strategy today that worked
so well on Saturday: stick with Mladin and Roberts as long as possible
and be pulled away from the rest of the field in the process.
"It's not the way I'd prefer to get third -- I'd like to be up there racing with Mat and Kurtis," Bostrom admitted. "Those guys did a great job both days. I'm just going to try to do better at the next one."
Saturday podium finisher Miguel DuHamel crashed out on the opening lap while running a close second to Roberts. The Canadian lost the rear in Turn 15, and his RC51 spit him off heading onto the start/finish straight. Jordan Szoke came out on top of a tight, race-long scrap for fifth with Ducati Austin's Italian recent import, Giovanni Bussei.
The Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike team now has a month off before heading to Virginia International Raceway for Rounds 15 and 16 August 29-31.