TOSELAND TAKES FOURTH IN RACE 1 FOR DUCATI XEROX TEAM AT IMOLA - RACE 2 CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN, LEAVING CORSER CHAMPION
Imola (Italy), Sunday 2 October: James Toseland scored a fourth place finish for the Ducati Xerox Team in race 1 at Imola today, but the second race of the day was cancelled by race direction due to the appalling weather conditions. The decision means that Australian Troy Corser becomes the World Superbike Champion for the second time, nine years after winning his first title for Ducati in 1996.
Toseland was fighting with Haga for third place behind leaders Vermeulen and Corser when he strayed onto the wet line at the Acque Minerali on lap 16, an error that left him in fourth. "I deserve a good kicking from Tardozzi for that mistake!" declared Toseland. "Just when I changed direction the bike snapped slightly and went just two metres wide where it was wet. The front went away and I couldn't do anything. If I'd tried to make the corner I would have crashed, but I rode hard and was competitive and that's the main thing for me".
"For me the race was a tough one" declared Laconi. "I started well but it took me five or six laps to find the right rhythm, but by then it was difficult to pass. At the finish I had pins and needles all down the left side of my body because I was riding with one arm and both legs!"
Both Ducati Xerox Team riders agreed that conditions for the second race were far too unsafe to ride in. "Chris, Troy and myself were in agreement that racing in these conditions would have been too dangerous" commented Règis afterwards. "I am sorry but we cannot risk our lives and safety out there. I am sorry also for the fans but today we were just unlucky to have such bad weather".
"When we got to the grid maybe the race could have started" added James. "It was a bit borderline but the race would have been stopped anyway afterwards. We cannot race in two inches of rain on this track, it's too dangerous. It's just disappointing that Troy came away with the title in this way".