Imola: Ten Kate race report

Ten Kate Honda and Fabien Foret ­ World Champions! Fabien Foret showed his maturity today by riding to a sensible fifth place finish to clinch the World Supersport Championship in front of 97,000 fanatical motorcycle racing fans at the...

Ten Kate Honda and Fabien Foret ­ World Champions!

Fabien Foret showed his maturity today by riding to a sensible fifth place finish to clinch the World Supersport Championship in front of 97,000 fanatical motorcycle racing fans at the historic Imola circuit in Italy.

³In the race the only thing on my mind was the championship,² explained Foret. ³It made it difficult for me because I knew I could match the pace of the leaders but I just didn¹t want to take risks ­ the title was more important than the race win. The last few laps were agony, I heard all sorts of noises coming from the bike and felt all sorts of wobbles and vibrations ­ none of which were actually there! I was so relieved to see the chequered flag!²

The entire team were obviously delighted at the outcome of what has been a very tense weekend for everyone involved; ³The atmosphere in the pit box during the race was really intense,² confirmed Team manager Ronald Ten Kate. ³Although Fabien had the advantage, this is racing and anything could have happened to ruin our day. But it all came good and now we¹re all over the moon! It¹s the perfect end to a perfect season. Now our mission has been completed ­ we are the champions!²

The result is a culmination of a year of hard work by everyone involved, the team, the sponsors and of course the riders.

³I want to thank everyone who played a part in making this happen for me,² said Foret. ³Pirelli tyres, Laser exhausts, WP Suspension, Honda and all the rest of them - they know who they are. But, above all, I have to mention the Ten Kate Honda team who have all worked so hard all year - I really can¹t thank them enough.²

Foret¹s team mate Iain MacPherson made a point of congratulating Foret; ³I take my hat off to Fabien,² said MacPherson. ³He¹s ridden really hard all year, he¹s been completely dedicated to getting this title and he deserved it above all others.²

Although Foret finished the race in fifth, fourth place finisher James Whitham was excluded for a technical infringement after the race. This lifted Foret up an extra place to fourth.

World Supersport race result (revised)
1 Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 40m 15.186s,
2 Stephane Chambon, France (Suzuki) 40m 18.847s,
3 Chris Vermeulen, Australia (Van Zon Honda TKR) 40m 19.746s,
4 Fabien Foret, France (Ten Kate Honda) 40m 24.336s,
5 Jorg Teuchert, Germany (Yamaha) 40m 26.036s,
6 Antonio Carlacci, Italy (Yamaha) 40m 33.051s,
7 Iain MacPherson, GB (Ten Kate Honda) 40m 40.547s,

James Whitham, GB (Yamaha) 40m 23.246s, (finished fourth but excluded due to technical infringment)

Final world championship points:
1 Foret 184,
2 Fujiwara 181,
3 Chambon 162,
4 Paolo Casoli, Italy (Yamaha) 162,
5 Andrew Pitt, Australia (Kawasaki) 126,
6 Christian Kellner, Germany (Yamaha) 94,
7 Whitham 93,
8 Vermeulen 90,
9 Teuchert 89,
10 MacPherson 82.

-tkh-

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