After a three week break, the WSBK teams moved from technical Laguna Seca in the United States, to the European round at Brands Hatch in Great Britain. Much as he did in the previous round, Steve Martin sat on pole position ready to take the lead.
After a three week break, the WSBK teams moved from technical Laguna Seca in the United States, to the European round at Brands Hatch in Great Britain. Much as he did in the previous round, Steve Martin sat on pole position ready to take the lead. But Noriyuki Haga stole it from Martin as he led Martin, Regis Laconi, Chris Vermeulen and Troy Corser.
By lap two, Laconi went to work on Martin; overtaking him into turn one. But second place was not enough for Laconi, and he wasted no time fighting with Haga for first. The fox of the field, Pier-Francesco Chili, sat back waiting to pounce, and as Haga and Laconi battled for the lead, he drafted past the two into first place.
Vermeulen may be riding in his maiden WSBK season, but he makes up his lack of experience with skill. After sitting fifth for a couple of laps, the Australian put a drafting maneuver on Martin to take over fourth place on his chase for Haga.
By lap seven, within two corners, Chili went from first to third; Laconi leading. Laconi's lead only lasted a few more corners, after he made a mistake and gave first to Haga.
Making all of his FP-1 fans proud, Corser managed to stay at the back of the leading group in sixth place. This was quite an accomplishment, considering the pace being set at the front by Laconi and Chili.
For the next few laps Chili sat behind Laconi. But with only seven laps to go, Chili made his move, drafting past Laconi for first. His team's excitement was soon crushed after Chili got on the power a bit too early, causing his Pirelli to lose grip, which in turn resulted in a spectacular high-side. To everyone's relief (or surprise) he got up and walked away, but the damage to his championship had been done.
Chili's accident left the field open for Laconi and Haga to battle over, and the two put up an excellent show for the British fans. With only one lap to go, Haga stuck to the rear of the French, but as soon as Haga saw the white flag the must-win-at-all-costs switch came on. The two riders exchanged first place too many times to count. The victor was Haga, but the real winners were the British crowd.