Brands Hatch Michelin preview

World Superbike Championship - Round 10 Brands Hatch (United Kingdom) - July 29th 2001 Following in Carl Fogarty's footsteps Last year, Ducati bosses had a great idea: get Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) to replace injured world ...

World Superbike Championship - Round 10
Brands Hatch (United Kingdom) - July 29th 2001

Following in Carl Fogarty's footsteps

Last year, Ducati bosses had a great idea: get Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) to replace injured world champion Carl Fogarty. Since then, Bayliss has shown himself worthy of this incredible opportunity. He was on the podium at every one of the first five races of the year. He then went on to win four races at Monza (both legs), Lausitz and Misano. As a result, he goes into this week-end's Brands Hatch round with a whopping 53 point lead over world champion Colin Edwards, currently lying in second place, and 61 points ahead of Troy Corser. aAt the last round, in Laguna Seca, Bayliss was twice fourth. "The weekend didn't turn out too bad," he said. "I increased my lead over Colin but Troy gained some points on me. I'm pretty happy with the results, which were good for my position in the championship".

There are three rounds left after Brands. The next World Superbike event will be Oschersleben (Germany, September 2nd), then Assen (Holland, September 9th) and finally Imola (Italy, September 30th).

Bayliss' team-mate Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) was seventh in California two weeks ago. He's done better this year: he was fifth at Kyalami and sixth at Monza, Lausitz and Misano. "I think I rode quite well this weekend to get some more points," Xaus commented after the Laguna event. "The problem is I started from row 4 and that's really hard because you have to fight all the way. If I have a good qualifying and Superpole then I know I can be up there with the rest".

2000 Superbike world champion Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda-Michelin) left his home race a little disappointed. The Texan scored two sixth places. "I went out there in that second race to give it everything and more - even if it meant crashing, I wasn't bothered," he admits. "I did everything I could but I was sliding around. This has been a bad round for me and I'm desperate to get back to winning ways at Brands Hatch." Last year, on October 15th, Edwards won the second leg at Brands and that victory handed him the title."

Among the privateers Broc Parkes (Ducati NCR-Michelin) is the best placed man right now on 41 points. Giovanni Bussei (Ducati NCR) is next up in the non-official privateers' championship on 29 points while Robert Ulm (Ducati Gerin WSBK Team-Michelin) follows on 27 points.

Years of experience

Michelin's world superbike team knows Brands Hatch extremely well. The numbers speak for themselves with 14 out of a total of 16 world superbike races held at Brands having been won on Michelin tyres. Giancarlo Falappa (Ducati-Michelin) took the first two in 1993. Carl Fogarty (Ducati- Michelin) then did the double in 1995 and the same year, took the second of his four world superbike titles (all on Ducati and Michelin).

In 1996, Pierfrancesco Chili (Ducati-Michelin) and Troy Corser (Ducati-Michelin) won. The following year it was Chili's and Fogarty's turn, while in 1998, Colin Edwards rode to his first ever win with the Castrol Honda-Michelin and Troy Corser took his Ducati to the second race win. Edwards and his RC 45 took both wins in 1999, beating his team-mate Aaron Slight (Castrol Honda Michelin). Those wins came at just the right time to allow the Honda team managed by Neil Tuxworth to show off the trophies two days later, at the official opening of the team's new Fairfields Industrial Estate workshops in Louth (Lincolnshire), in the presence of Stirling Moss.

Last year, there were two rounds at Brands Hatch, the first on August 6th and the second on October 15th as a replacement for the Imola round which had been cancelled. In August, Troy Bayliss beat Neil Hodgson (GSE Racing Ducati) in the first leg but the order was reversed in the second race. In October, John Reynolds (Revè Red Bull Ducati) won the first race. His and Hodgson's wins the only ones to have been claimed by non-Michelin riders since world superbike racing started at Brands. The second leg was won by a title-claiming Colin Edwards. It was the 7th superbike world championship in a row for Michelin. <pre> World Superbike 2001 provisional standings (after 9 rounds) Pos # Rider Manufacturer Total 1 21 T. Bayliss Ducati 276 2 1 C. Edwards Honda 223 3 3 T. Corser Aprilia 215 4 155 B. Bostrom Ducati 197 5 100 N. Hodgson Ducati 177 6 4 P. Chili Suzuki 153 7 6 G. Lavilla Kawasaki 120 8 5 A. Yanagawa Kawasaki 118 9 8 T. Okada Honda 113 10 11 R. Xaus Ducati 92 11 55 R. Laconi Aprilia 87 12 24 S. Chambon Suzuki 84 13 19 H. Izutsu Kawasaki 63 14 52 J. Toseland Ducati 52 15 M. Tamada Honda 50 16 36 B. Parkes Ducati 41 17 35 G. Bussei Ducati 29 18 33 R. Ulm Ducati 27 19 99 S. Martin Ducati 22 20 E. Bostrom Kawasaki 22 21 A. Antonello Aprilia 21 22 A. Ryo Suzuki 20 23 S. Ito Honda 20 24 22 L. Pedercini Ducati 19 25 S. Hislop Ducati 16 26 T. Serizawa Kawasaki 16 27 A. Gramigni Yamaha 15 28 20 M. Borciani Ducati 15 29 46 M. Sanchini Ducati 13 30 J. Reynolds Ducati 11 31 51 M. Craggill Ducati 10 32 27 B. Stey Honda 7 33 7 J.B. Borja Yamaha 7 34 D. Chandler Kawasaki 7 35 W. Yoshikawa Yamaha 6 36 Y. Kagayama Suzuki 6 37 A. Maxwell Kawasaki 3 39 23 J. Mrkyvka Ducati 1 40 25 J. Rodriguez Honda 1 41 41 L. Holon Kawasaki 1 42 14 P. Goddard Benelli 1

Supersport

Twenty points between the first four

There are four races left in the World Supersport championship and the same number of riders are fighting for the lead. Paolo Casoli (Yamaha) leads on 100 points. He's followed by Jorg Teuchert (Yamaha) on 88, Kevin Curtain (Honda BKM-Michelin Pilot) on 81 and Andrew Pitt (Kawasaki) on 80. Last year, Paolo Casoli (at the time with Ducati Infostrada-Michelin Pilot) won the August race at Brands and Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda) the October event. Among the other Michelin riders in this year's championship, Vittoriano Guareschi (Dienza Ducati Racing-Michelin Pilot) is tenth, just ahead of Adam Fergusson (Alfa Technik Castrol Honda-Michelin Pilot).

Chris Vermeulen (Castrol Honda-Michelin), may very well be the man to watch at Brands this year. He was fifth at the last race, in Misano, a mere 3.6 seconds down on winner Jorg Teuchert. 19 year old Vermeulen has many fans in England. Last year, riding with Team Sanyo Honda, he won the Thruxton and Knockhill Superstock races as well as the European Superstock championship opener at Donington Park. <pre> World Supersport 2001 provisional standings (after 7 rounds) Pos # Rider Manufacturer Total 1 2 P. Casoli Yamaha 100 2 1 J. Teuchert Yamaha 88 3 11 K. Curtain Honda 81 4 8 A. Pitt Kawasaki 80 5 5 K. Muggeridge Suzuki 64 6 7 P. Riba Honda 53 7 6 I. MacPherson Kawasaki 49 8 69 J. Whitham Yamaha 47 9 12 P. Bontempi Yamaha 45 10 22 V. Guareschi Ducati 43 11 24 A. Fergusson Honda 40 12 14 C. Cogan Yamaha 40 13 37 K. Fujiwara Suzuki 37 14 9 F. Pirovano Suzuki 31 15 4 C. Kellner Yamaha 30 16 99 F. Foret Honda 27 17 21 C. Vermeulen Honda 21 18 15 W. Daemen Yamaha 13 19 16 C. Lindholm Yamaha 12 20 23 D. Thomas Ducati 10 22 18 C. Migliorati Honda 10 23 K. Harris Suzuki 9 24 A. Corradi Yamaha 9 25 26 I. Goi Honda 7 26 65 J. Hanson Yamaha 7 25 31 V. Iannuzzo Suzuki 5 27 25 M. Barth Honda 5 28 N. Russo Yamaha 5 29 33 R. Baird Yamaha 4 30 J. Ölschläger Suzuki 3 31 28 S. Le Grelle Honda 2 32 53 C. Mariottini Ducati 2 33 S. Smart Suzuki 1 </pre> Brands Hatch and tyres

Brands Hatch was opened in 1928 as a motorcycle race track. It is now owned by the Octagon Group, who also looks after television and marketing rights for the World Superbike championship.

In 1953, Brands was lengthened by taking advantage of the hill leading to Druid's Bend. In 1960, the Hawthorn and Westfield corners were added. That gave the track the required length (4.19 km) to get it homologated for international events. The first Brands Hatch Grand Prix was held in 1964. Ideally located only 32 kms from London, Brands is an extremely popular venue. In 1999, an unprecedented 120 911 spectators flocked to the circuit for the world superbike.

Michelin Superbike manager Jean Hérissé talks about the circuit. "The way Brands has evolved explains why there are two types of asphalt here. Grip on the Grand Prix track is not the same as that of the "small" circuit and that can take riders by surprise as they go from one to the other, especially in the wet. Grip is better in the Grand Prix section than on the part where the pits and the grandstands are."

Brands makes for a great show because the track rises and dives as it winds along the hills. It's also a track where tyres build up a lot of heat, mainly because the main straight is actually a very long, slightly off-camber, right-hander.

Michelin at Brands Hatch

Michelin brings a total of 2000 tyres, wet and dry, for this race.

Superbike riders can choose from: 19 / 67-420 (16,5 inch) rear slicks, rain and intermediate tyres. For the front, riders use 12 / 60-17 (17 inch) and 12/60-420 (16.5 inch) tyres. A total of 800 dry tyres, 200 rain tyres and 100 intermediates are brought for superbike Michelin riders.

900 Michelin Pilot Race tyres are brought for the Supersport class (120 / 70 ZR 17 fronts and 180 / 55 ZR 17 rears). Dry tyres are homologated for street use. Rain tyres don't have to be.

Michelin's on-site personnel includes one team manager, three technicians, eight tyre fitters and one press officer. <pre> Brands Hatch stats

Superbike

Official fastest lap (08 / 05 / 2000) 1'26.235 Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha WSBK), 176,212 kph average speed.

Superpole (08 / 05 / 2000) 1'26.381 Neil Hodgson (INS - GSE Racing Ducati), 175,914 kph average speed.

Lap record (fastest race lap 06 / 08 / 2000) 1'26.910 Neil Hodgson (INS - GSE Racing Ducati), 174,843 kph average speed on lap 8 of race 2.

First race results on August 6th 2000 1. Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin), 25 laps (105,525 km) in 36'35.753, 173,011 kph average speed. 2. Neil Hodgson (INS - GSE Racing Ducati) at 0.235 3. Chris Walker (National Tyres Clar. Suzuki) at 8.782 4. John Reynolds (Revè Red Bull Ducati) at 11.737 5. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha WSBK) at 12.516 Second race results on August 6th 2000 1. Neil Hodgson (INS - GSE Racing Ducati), 25 laps (105,525 km) in 36'33.880, 173,159 kph average speed. 2. Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) at 0.732 3. Pierfrancesco Chili (Suzuki Alstare) at 4.759 4. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha WSBK) at 7.081 5. Akira Yanagawa (Kawasaki Racing) at 7.917

First race results on October 15th 2000 1. John Reynolds (Revè Red Bull Ducati), 25 laps (105,525 km) in 40'09.855, 157,640 kph average speed. 2. Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) at 0.458 3. Chris Walker (National Tyres Clar. Suzuki) at 3.556 4. Neil Hodgson (INS - GSE Racing Ducati) at 13.963 5. Juan Borja (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) at 20.547 Second race results on October 15th 2000

1.  Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda-Michelin), 25 laps (105,525 km) in 36'37.860, 172,845 kph average speed.
2.  Pierfrancesco Chili (Suzuki Alstare) at 1.016
3.  Troy Corser (Aprilia Racing) at 4.766
4.  John Reynolds (Revè Red Bull Ducati) at 6.862
5.  Gregorio Lavilla (Kawasaki Racing) at 15.680

Supersport

Official fastest lap (August 2000) 1'29.822 Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda), 169,175 kph average speed.

Lap record (fastest race lap in August 2000) 1'30.129 Iain MacPherson (Kawasaki Racing), 168,598 kph average speed on lap 18.

Race results ­ August 2000 1. Paolo Casoli (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin Pilot) 23 laps (97,083 km) in 34'58.073, 166,581 kph average speed. 2. Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda) at 0.224 3. Iain MacPherson (Kawasaki Racing) at 0.288 4. Jim Moodie (V & M Racing Yamaha) at 1.883 5. Pere Riba (Castrol Honda-Michelin Pilot) at 2.871

Race Results ­ October 2000 1. Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda) 23 laps (97,083 km) in 35'29.946, 164,088 kph average speed. 2. Jörg Teuchert (Alpha Technik Yamaha) at 0.563 3. James Whitham (Yamaha Belgarda-Michelin Pilot) at 0.659 4. Christian Kellner (Alpha Technik Yamaha) at 0.775 5. Paolo Casoli (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin Pilot) at 3.449

World Superbike Championship round 11 : September 2nd at Oschersleben (Germany).

-Michelin-

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