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FIM Superbike World Championship Brands Hatch, Round 9
Butt at the European Superbike Round in front of 120,000 fans!
WINS WET SUPERPOLE COMPETITION
Those riders who exited pitlane early generally had the best of the weather, with the rainfall steadily increasing in intensity until the final few minutes of the session. Reynolds, a previous Brands Hatch World Superbike race winner, was one of those who set his best time relatively early, but regulars and wild cards put in some outstanding displays of riding on a fully wet track. Second place man Chris Walker (HM Plant Ducati) slid and weaved all the way around the 4.197km track; British Championship leader Shane Byrne (Monstermob Ducati) was third, his time coming towards the end of proceedings.
Quick starter Regis Laconi’s early best looked to have scored Superpole as the rains built in intensity but Reynolds was first to overhaul him, followed by three other British attackers.
(Renegade Ducati) made it three wild cards in the top five at the
end of the session but a series of dramatic laps from Ruben Xaus
(Ducati Fila 999F03) on a sodden track, promoted him to sixth on
Imperfect timing of his quick laps and some seeming problems with corner exit traction prevented Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila 999 F02) from anything higher than 11th, but the youngest and oldest riders in the field - wild card Leon Haslam (Renegade Ducati) and veteran Pierfrancesco Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) - had better fortune, setting ninth and tenth best times respectively. Troy Corser qualified the Petronas FP-1 in 12th.
Ruben Xaus retired from race 1 with an oil leak but then battled for a hard-fought fourth place in the second race.“I was going to be second for sure,” he commented after race 1, “because Walker was slower than me in some parts of the circuit. It’s a real pity because I was feeling good and the bike was going really well. Race 2 was not bad even though I didn’t get as good a start. The only problem was that the tyres started losing grip six laps before the end when I was close to the lead and after that I was sideways all the time.”
In race two Byrne was pressurised by Reynolds all the way, winning by 0.5 seconds after 25-laps of hard action in warm conditions. Swapping results with his team-mate Walker, James Toseland scored third place in the second outing. Just off the podium Frenchman Regis Laconi was fourth in race one, escaping a suspected jump start unscathed, and Sean Emmett, who had worked himself into contention for a podium, was ultimately just ahead of James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati); Emmett fifth and Toseland sixth. Gregorio Lavilla (Alstare Suzuki) was the first four-cylinder rider on display, ahead of Michael Rutter’s wild card Renegade Ducati. Laguna race winner Pierfrancesco Chili could only manage to finish ninth at one of his best tracks, while the scent of competition was enough to take Yukio Kagayama (Rizla Suzuki) to tenth.
In the second
race the action behind the leading trio was tight, with Xaus racing
against tyre woes and brakes which had not quite bedded in properly.
He still held off his team-mate Hodgson, to keep his title dreams
alive. Lavilla scored sixth place in an ultimately lonely race,
with Chili seventh, 16 seconds behind Byrne.
World Championship leader Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda) took the fourth and last place on the front row, edging out top Yamaha rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh to fifth place. Sebastien Charpentier (Team Klaffi Honda) was sixth, Katsuaki Fujiwara (Alstare Suzuki) seventh. Christian Kellner (Yamaha Motor Germany) went eighth fastest, the last man to start from the second row. The top wild card rider proved to be Tom Sykes (Northpoint Yamaha).
In the World Supersport feature race Stephane Chambon ripped his way to an excellent win, easing up in the last laps to finish seven se conds ahead of Yamaha Belgarda rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh. The scheduled 23-lap race was cut to 21 when Stefano Cruciani crashed and went under the protective airfence with his motorcycle. Cruciani was unhurt, in spite breaking his back protector in half. Sebastien Charpentier took his Klaffi Honda to his first podium of the year, and Karl Muggeridge survived fading tyres to score fourth on his Ten Kate Honda.
Fabien Foret (Kawasaki
Racing Team ZX-6RR) followed up his Misano win with fifth place,
World Championship leader Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR)
taking sixth. With Katsuaki Fujiwara (Alstare Suzuki GSX-R600) only
ninth, Vermeulen’s championship lead is still impressive,
and van den Goorbergh moved into second place in the title race.
Vermeulen has a total of 141, van den Goorbergh 104 and Fujiwara
103. Chambon sits fourth on exactly 100.
In the final eight laps, it was Roberts who turned in the most inspired ride of the day. Pressuring race leader Mat Mladin (Suzuki) the whole way, Roberts took the lead on the final lap, losing it, and taking it back-the lead changed hands five times-only to slip off a few turns from his first Superbike win. Mladin went on to win from Jason Pridmore (Suzuki) and Duhamel.
Kurtis Roberts describe his problems on Saturday. "The race was good. Mat (Mladin) and I just pulled away. Mat is so strong - always. I had a little bit left, but I was saving it for the end. Then we got the red flag. After the red flag, the transmission was just... every lap I was missing a gear, except for the lap I drafted him - I don't know how I got it to go through. Even in the Thunder Valley over here it did it three or four times. It did on the last lap and he got me and I got him back on the brakes. I just screwed up after I passed him back. I went in there to protect the line a little bit, but I still went in there with corner speed - and bottomed the front and tucked the front.
You've got to fight for every position," saif Miguel. "It might turn out to be a podium position. Like we all said before, you never want to get a position by somebody else crashing, especially one of my teammates like Kurtis (Roberts), but I felt that (crew chief) Al (Ludington) gave me a better bike for the restart. We talked about it, we looked at the data. I was all over Ben (Bostrom) trying to get by. We're a team, but we're racing for position. I felt I had a strong enough bike to be on the podium and it just happened the way it happened, unfortunately. But I'm pretty pumped about tomorrow, for sure."
Kurtis described his second transmission failure of the weekend. "Early on, when I was in the lead in the beginning, it started to skip gears again. I thought Mat (Mladin) was going to run into me a few times and it finally just disintegrated. It was doing the same thing yesterday. Not quite as bad, but today it just came completely apart at the end. It would miss gears on the upshift and it would skip too. It was doing all kinds of weird stuff."
Robert's place on the podium was taken by Jason Pridmore, behind the winner Mladin, with Ben Bostrom third. The third place vaulted Ben Bostrom into third in the Superbike championship, leapfrogging his younger brother, Eric, who was forced out of the Mid-Ohio race by the injuries suffered at the World Superbike race at Laguna Seca two weeks ago.
That's not the way I want to finish third, obviously, " said Ben. "I would have liked to have been up there racing with Mat [Mladin] and Kurtis [Roberts] who were getting away and did a great job both days. I've got some time to make up and just get better at the next one. We'll try again at the next one in Virginia. It was warm out there today. It was a marathon. My left hand was falling asleep and I was getting that weird flushed sensation in your face and you don't realize how much water you're actually losing out there."
Miguel Duhamel found himself spit of his bike unexpectedly. I don’t know what happened there. I got on the throttle. The bike was working good. It’s not like it’s the first left hander, it’s the third left hander I believe. The tire had heat in it and it was gripping great. (Crew chief) Al (Luddington) said he thinks I hit the seam. The thing was hooking up. I was on the throttle and that thing just snapped sideways completely and I just got thrown off the bike. I think it’s kind of BS that that happens on a racetrack. Why do we have seams on the racetracks? Why do we have cement patches everywhere? Shouldn’t it just be one surface. It’s not Supermotard. I got to believe if it’s one surface I would have been fine.
With two rounds-four races-remaining, Mladin leads the points from teammate Aaron Yates, with Ben Bostrom third. Kurtis Roberts is fifth, and certain to move up, with Duhamel sure to move up from sixth.
takes 600cc SuperSport
Spies in Formula Extreame
It's fun racing Miguel (Duhamel), But it's more fun racing for the win and this obviously wasn't Daytona (where Honda finished 1-2-3) today. In the first race, nothing was keeping us from the front but myself. I was just getting faster as the race was going, but I started off really slow. In the second race, I was pretty fired up and I got a great start, but I was spinning the thing all the way around the track. It tried to spit me off a few times on the first lap. I thought maybe the tire was on the warmer too long, or I was too amped up and hard on the throttle, I don't know. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, really looking forward to tomorrow to try and redeem ourselves."