Toseland Back on Form at Assen With a Win and a Second Place - Laconi Takes a Third and a Fifth
Assen (Netherlands), 5 September 2004: James Toseland (Ducati Fila) moved back on to the top of the points table with a win and a second place in front of 76,000 fans at a scorching Assen circuit in the Netherlands. Toseland's 45-point haul came in a superb day of racing which saw the top 5 championship contenders battle every inch of the way in the two 16-lap races. Team-mate Regis Laconi finished on the podium with a third in race 1 followed by a fifth place in race 2, when the win went to Chris Vermeulen (Honda).
Toseland declared: "It was great racing today, elbow-bashing with Nori and so close with Chris. I hate great races and finishing second but 45 points out of this weekend is what we need to do if we want to win this championship. There are a lot of people knocking on the door but I've just got to ride like this every week until the end of the season.
"There are a lot of British fans who come to Assen and I didn't want to let them down. Here it's such a fast flowing circuit and difficult to pull away, I only got a two second gap in the first race and the other guys were battling behind and slowed themselves down, Then in race 2 I knew they were on my tail, I could hear them at every curve. Fair play to Chris, it was disappointing I finished second but it was good for the championship."
"The second race was quite difficult" commented Laconi. "I didn't start very well and then I felt immediately I had movement at the front of the bike when I entered the corner and it got worse and worse. That made me go wide all the time, I tried to do my best to follow but I decided that it was best to settle for fifth and take the points. It's not the best thing, but it's better than nothing.
"I am sure that the two last races will be good for me because I always have good results at Imola and Magny-Cours. I am confident now, the bike is good, we still have two day's testing in Magny-Cours so all is not lost for the championship. This is a crazy season, very good for the fans but I'm not too worried about the points situation."
Four riders, separated by 14 points, are still in with a chance of the title as World Superbike heads to Imola on 26 September and then Magny-Cours one week later for its exciting finale.
No Luck For Lanzi (Ducati Breil) in Assen Supersport
Assen (Netherlands), 5 September 2004: Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Breil) completed a disappointing Assen weekend with 20th place in the Dutch Round of the World Supersport championship.
The 22-year-old Italian rider, starting 22nd on the grid, pitted half-way through the race with a front tyre problem and was classified twentieth, two laps adrift of the winner Muggeridge (Honda).
"I did quite a good start to get into the first corner well but on the opening lap I went wide onto the dirt to avoid another rider and finished lap 1 in 22nd position" declared Lanzi.
"I was recovering well but after four laps I began to have a problem with the front tyre and the steering was feeling strange, I almost fell a few times so I decided to come into the pits to change the tyre.
"We put a harder tyre on and I went back out again but by then I couldn't do much. With the new tyre I was lapping slower than usual because we didn't have the right set-up, but at least I wasn't crashing out at every corner. It was a disappointing weekend all round."
RESULT: 1. Muggeridge (Honda); 2. Charpentier (Honda); 3. Pitt (Yamaha); 4. Parkes (Honda); 5. VD Goorbergh (Yamaha); 6. Hanson (Honda); etc.
POINTS (after 8 of 10 rounds) : (Riders) 1. Muggeridge 157; 2. VD Goorbergh 119; 3. Parkes 95; 4. Charpentier 88; 5. Curtain 69; 6. Lanzi & Chambon 56; etc. (Manufacturers) 1. Honda 162 ; 2. Yamaha 154 ; 3. Suzuki 88; 4. Ducati 69; 5. Kawasaki 34; 6. Triumph 4.