World Superbike - round 4

Today's World Superbike Championship round at Valencia saw Ruben Xaus (Ducati) win race one and James Toseland (Honda) win race two. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) took a fighting third place podium finish in race 1 at Valencia and a sixth position in the second despite clearly suffering from the aftermath of his Donington crash two weeks ago, Troy was quick to play down any idea that it had affected his performance at Valencia.

Noriyuki Haga was on the podium twice having battled to find the right set-up all weekend, Haga went out today and claimed second in race one, with Corser in fourth. He then had an excellent second race, finishing in third after a race-long battle with James Toseland.

In race one Corser made a good start and took the lead by the first turn until lap six when it became evident that he had a grip problem. He maintained as much pace as he could though, to stay in the four-way battle for top spot between Xaus, Haga, Bayliss and himself. Eventually Haga and Xaus dropped Bayliss and Corser and continued the battle, with Haga taking the fastest lap on lap eight before taking the race lead.

Corser and Bayliss fought for third place until Bayliss broke free to re-join the top two runners. A close race with Xaus, Haga and Bayliss saw all three of them dice for position but Xaus managed to take the win, with Haga second and Bayliss third. Corser held on to fourth with a decent margin back to Toseland in fifth.

In race two Nitro Nori, lived up to his name getting the hole-shot off the line to take the lead. Corser made a good start as well to follow up in second, with Xaus and Toseland again close behind. By the end of lap one Toseland and Xaus had both passed Corser and by the end of lap three Bayliss had managed the same move, pushing Troy back to fifth.

Ruben Xaus made it past Haga on lap four and Toseland and Haga touched fairings as the Honda rider also squeezed through. For the next ten laps all three riders swapped places at almost every turn until Bayliss ran briefly into the gravel after hitting the white line and dropping down to sixth. Haga and Toseland continued to fight for the win, with Noriyuki leading again from lap 19 until a mistake let James through on the penultimate lap.

Max Biaggi : "A mixed day but it is good to finish on an up with a podium in the second race. Valencia is a very difficult track to race at unless it is perfectly dry. When there are damp patches around it is very tricky and you have to concentrate 100% all the time. I didn't have such a good feeling in the first race - some of the problems that we've had all weekend and also some other minor ones. We made some changes to the bike for the second race - clutch feeling, a few clicks on the suspension - and put on a harder front tyre and certainly the tyres worked better, also possibly because the track was completely dry. Starting from the third row of the grid is always a challenge and I couldn't attack the first corner because of all the cement dust there from a crash earlier. That had left a lot of oil on the track and it had to be cleaned and then cement dust put down. That meant there was only really one line through the turn so I couldn't use a different line and pass a few people straight away. I got held up by traffic but I was pushing hard right from the start for sure. I kept up a good fast pace and at the end I felt I could get past Nori and that's what I did. I tried to catch James but just ran out of time and laps, but I am happy to get second today after starting from 12th place."

Noriyuki Haga : "In race two I had a good start, getting the hole-shot from the start line into first place. During the race I was looking for a good pace - I was not concerned if someone came past me, I was watching them (Xaus and Toseland). But they weren't carrying the same speed as me, and slowed down the pace. I was fighting side by side with Toseland but also looking to save my rear tyre to push in the last five laps. During the last two laps I had a good fight with Toseland for first place, and when I was planning to overtake James at the last corner I was not expecting Biaggi to be there, which prevented me from passing. For me, today was good but not perfect."

Troy Bayliss : "I'm a little bit disappointed actually because I've been feeling quite good all weekend. My injuries are not that big, they haven't hurt me all weekend and they haven't been a factor in me not doing so well. The first race was OK, but the second was a bit disappointing. We really struggled with the setting and it worked the tyres too much. I lost ten points on James but the whole plan was to make up points on him not to lose them. That's the way it is sometimes. In turn 1 I got in a little bit deep and I'd been wasting my front tyre. As soon as you touch the filler you just have to try and stand it up otherwise it's going to crash. Now I'm looking forward to going to Assen, it's a great track and it should be fun".

Troy Corser : "In race one I had a problem with our mapping choice, which is why I couldn't keep the pace with the front runners. But in race two the problem was different. I had exactly the same tyre as I had in race one, but I had absolutely no grip. I don't know why. I just can't believe my result today."

Unfortunately Troy had tyre problems in race two. His rear tyre didn't seem to work very well, giving him no grip at all. Otherwise, we are sure he would have been on the podium today. I am sure he will be up there in Assen. I'm looking forward to the next race, we are confident in good results there."

Circuit Length - 4005
Temp - 17 and cloudy
Crowd - 39,000

2007 WSB Valencia 15/04/2007
WSB Race 1 - 23 Laps
1. Ruben Xaus Ducati ESP 37'14.606
2. Noriyuki Haga Yamaha JPN 0'1.997
3. Troy Bayliss Ducati AUS 0'6.330
4. Troy Corser Yamaha AUS 0'8.780
5. James Toseland Honda GBR 0'17.040
6. Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati ITA 0'24.272
7. Michel Fabrizio Honda ITA 0'25.822
8. Max Biaggi Suzuki ITA 0'26.087
9. Joshua Brookes Honda AUS 0'28.778
10. Roberto Rolfo Honda ITA 0'32.754
11. Regis Laconi Kawasaki FRA 0'37.084
12. Max Neukirchner Suzuki GER 0'37.141
13. Giovanni Bussei Honda ITA 0'37.563
14. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0'38.544
15. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 0'53.049

WSB Race 2 - 23 Laps
1. James Toseland Honda GBR 37'35.825
2. Max Biaggi Suzuki ITA 0'0.287
3. Noriyuki Haga Yamaha JPN 0'0.375
4. Ruben Xaus Ducati ESP 0'6.637
5. Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati ITA 0'7.991
6. Troy Bayliss Ducati AUS 0'10.210
7. Joshua Brookes Honda AUS 0'10.861
8. Regis Laconi Kawasaki FRA 0'14.366
9. Troy Corser Yamaha AUS 0'15.511
10. Max Neukirchner Suzuki GER 0'19.716
11. Michel Fabrizio Honda ITA 0'25.287
12. Roberto Rolfo Honda ITA 0'26.437
13. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 0'34.992
14. Carmelo Morales Yamaha ESP 0'39.987
15. Giovanni Bussei Honda ITA 0'42.445
16. Shinichi Nakatomi Yamaha JPN 0'43.467

Best Lap - Noriyuki Haga - 1'35.746

Rider Standings 15/04/2007
1. James Toseland Honda GBR 151
2. Max Biaggi Suzuki ITA 138
3. Noriyuki Haga Yamaha JPN 124
4. Troy Corser Yamaha AUS 101
5. Troy Bayliss Ducati AUS 90
6. Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati ITA 87
7. Ruben Xaus Ducati ESP 83
8. Max Neukirchner Suzuki GER 55
9. Roberto Rolfo Honda ITA 46
10. Regis Laconi Kawasaki FRA 37
11. Michel Fabrizio Honda ITA 33
12. Joshua Brookes Honda AUS 32
13. Fonsi Nieto Kawasaki ESP 30
14. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 27
15. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 25
18. Shinichi Nakatomi Yamaha JPN 12

Manufacturer Standings 15/04/2007
1. Honda 160
2. Suzuki 138
3. Yamaha 134
4. Ducati 132
5. Kawasaki 53

World Supersport

Broc Parkes rode through the pain barrier today at Valencia to bring his R6 home in fifth place despite his recent collar bone injury. His team mate, Kevin Curtain, was not so fortunate, crashing out of the race on lap nine whilst battling for first place.

The wet conditions that had plagued much of the weekend's track sessions had cleared going into the Supersport race. With this in mind, both riders were confident of a good ride in the fourth round of the World Supersport Championship today but in the end they were to have quite different results. Kevin got off a good start and maintained his third place, moving quickly up to second on lap two.

Feeling comfortable with the bike and track conditions, he was able to put in a determined ride and was in a four-way battle for first place with Sofuoglu (Honda), Pitt (Honda) and Riba (Kawasaki). On lap five Kevin, showing no sign of discomfort from his broken collar bone, took the lead and temporarily set a new lap record. The battle continued until, on lap nine, Curtain and Riba collided catching Riba's brake lever and taking both riders out as well as Fujiwara

Parkes' race also got off to a good start with him climbing up to eighth place from his start position of 11th. His injuries though, pampered him throughout the race, with him straining to change direction in the twisty middle section of the circuit. He moved up to fourth position as a result of Curtain and Riba's accident and then found himself embroiled in the middle pack of riders for the remainder of the race. He fought on and finished the race in a very credible fifth position, considering the short recovery period he has had since Donington.

Massimo Roccoli, riding in the Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni squad, found himself alongside Parkes for much of the race, with the two riders swapping positions throughout. The dry conditions suited Roccoli's style more than the rain and he was able to much improve his start 16th start position to eventually finish in a solid seventh slot.

Following his crash Curtain was taken to hospital where it was confirmed that his collar bone injury has not been made worse. A long 20cm cut deep into his thigh, caused by his foot peg, has had to be stitched - it was close to an artery but missed it.

Following Curtain and Riba's collision the remaining to riders went on with Sofuoglu finishing in the top spot and ex-Yamaha WSB rider Pitt putting a good performance for second. Rounding up the podium positions was Nannelli (Ducati) who had a good fight with Pitt for second place and narrowly missed out.

Broc Parkes : "I was sore for sure during that race and when the pace picked up I had trouble keeping up because I couldn't change direction so easily due to my shoulder. I had a pack of riders around me for much of the race, which I didn't like as it would have been so easy to collide with one of them, like Kevin did. I'd rather have been in front of them, but I couldn't get past. At least I got some points, which I am happy about and kept it upright this weekend."

Massimo Roccoli : "I had a good start and jumped to sixth position. I was riding with the leading group and after a very difficult practice, I am pleased with my final result. I took some points and have saved the weekend."

2007 WSS Valencia 15/04/2007
Race 1 - 23 Laps
1. Kenan Sofuoglu Honda TUR 38'8.523
2. Andrew Pitt Honda AUS 0'4.911
3. Gianluca Nannelli Ducati ITA 0'5.200
4. Fabien Foret Kawasaki FRA 0'5.619
5. Broc Parkes Yamaha AUS 0'12.776
6. David Salom Yamaha ESP 0'14.913
7. Massimo Roccoli Yamaha ITA 0'15.178
8. Joan Lascorz Honda ESP 0'25.356
9. Vesa Kallio Suzuki FIN 0'28.454
10. Craig Jones Honda GBR 0'29.885
11. Gianluca Vizziello Yamaha ITA 0'30.422
12. Davide Giugliano Kawasaki ITA 0'30.810
13. Lorenzo Alfonsi Honda ITA 0'31.204
14. David Checa Yamaha ESP 0'35.273
15. Sebastien Gimbert Yamaha FRA 0'37.610

Best Lap - Katsuaki Fujiwara - 1'37.570

Rider Standings 15/04/2007
1. Kenan Sofuoglu Honda TUR 95
2. Fabien Foret Kawasaki FRA 51
3. Katsuaki Fujiwara Honda JPN 43
4. Robbin Harms Honda DNK 39
5. Gianluca Nannelli Ducati ITA 30
6. Broc Parkes Yamaha AUS 27
7. Massimo Roccoli Yamaha ITA 26
8. Craig Jones Honda GBR 25
9. Kevin Curtain Yamaha AUS 25
10. Pere Riba Kawasaki ESP 22
11. Andrew Pitt Honda AUS 20
12. Barry Veneman Suzuki NED 17
13. Yoann Tiberio Honda FRA 15
14. Davide Giugliano Kawasaki ITA 14
15. Lorenzo Alfonsi Honda ITA 13
20. Gianluca Vizziello Yamaha ITA 10
21. David Checa Yamaha ESP 9
22. Sebastien Gimbert Yamaha FRA 9

Manufacturer Standings 15/04/2007
1. Honda 95
2. Kawasaki 61
3. Yamaha 55
4. Ducati 30
5. Suzuki 24


Rookie Superstock rider Michele Pirro showed his race-winning potential today with a superb ride over a challenging two-part race to take second place. In contrast, team mate Corti had a difficult weekend, eventually finishing in 11th place. This result doesn't do credit to the actual first he got in the second half of the race - a bad first heat brought his overall finishing position down.

At the initial race start, Pirro got a good start to take the lead from his second qualifying place. He then proceeded to pull out a lead of almost six seconds by lap three before the rest of the pack regained their composure to attach back. British rider Mark Aitchison (Suzuki) took the lead on lap six but then the race was red flagged after Badovini (MV Augusta) crashed.

The race was re-started with a five-lap sprint to the chequered flag. Pirro once again got a good start, taking the lead briefly before Yamaha-shod rider Baiocco passed him. Corti came back from his first heat difficulties in the re-start to show the fighting spirit that got him second place in the 2006 Superstock Championship. A close battle ensued with van Keymeulen, Corti, Aitchison and Baiocco for the lead with Corti succeeding while van Keymeulen crashed out of second on the penultimate lap.

The final aggregate result, taking into account the re-start, put Aitchison in first place; Pirro in second and Canepa in third.

2007 Superstock Valencia 15/04/2007
Race 1 - 10 Laps
1. Mark Aitchison Suzuki AUS 18'4.561
2. Michele Pirro Yamaha ITA 0'0.566
3. Nicolo Canepa Ducati ITA 0'8.556
4. Matteo Baiocco Yamaha ITA 0'12.741
5. Ilario Dionisi Suzuki ITA 0'13.883
6. Xavier Simeon Suzuki BEL 0'14.606
7. Rene Mahr Yamaha GER 0'15.604
8. Matej Smrz Honda CZE 0'23.290
9. Cederic Tangre Yamaha FRA 0'25.773
10. Marko Jerman Suzuki SVK 0'26.178
11. Claudio Corti Yamaha ITA 0'26.428
12. Denis Sacchetti MV Agusta ITA 0'29.667
13. Sheridan Morais Ducati RSA 0'33.732
14. Marko Rohtlaan Honda EST 0'34.541
15. Arne Tode Honda GER 0'41.693

Best Lap - Ayrton Badovini - 1'38.369

Rider Standings 15/04/2007
1. Nicolo Canepa Ducati ITA 41
2. Mark Aitchison Suzuki AUS 38
3. Claudio Corti Yamaha ITA 25
4. Matteo Baiocco Yamaha ITA 24
5. Ilario Dionisi Suzuki ITA 21
6. Michele Pirro Yamaha ITA 20
7. Xavier Simeon Suzuki BEL 19
8. Didier Van Keymeulen Yamaha BEL 16
9. Rene Mahr Yamaha GER 15
10. Marko Jerman Suzuki SVK 11
11. Sheridan Morais Ducati RSA 10
12. Arne Tode Honda GER 9
13. Cederic Tangre Yamaha FRA 9
14. Matej Smrz Honda CZE 8
15. Marko Rohtlaan Honda EST 5

Manufacturer Standings 15/04/2007
1. Ducati 41
2. Yamaha 40
3. Suzuki 38
4. Honda 16
5. MV Agusta 4

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