WINSTON RIDERS HEAD FOR SEASON'S CLIMAX
Winston Ten Kate Honda riders Sebastien Charpentier and Katsuaki Fujiwara head to the famous 4.9km circuit of Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola in northern Italy this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2005 World Supersport championship.
Charpentier secured his champion's crown at round nine in Assen, Holland but is looking to make amends for slipping out of the following week's tenth round race at Eurospeedway Lausitz in Germany. The Frenchman has already beaten 2004 champion Karl Muggeridge's tally of eight pole positions and is looking for victory in the final two rounds to beat Muggeridge's seven wins last season.
Charpentier's Winston Ten Kate Honda team-mate Fujiwara slipped from second place in the championship last time out in Germany and is relying on a solid Imola performance to secure another one-two series finish for his Dutch team.
Ronald ten Kate -- team manager:
"The last two rounds in Assen and Lausitz were a real roller-coaster for the team. After winning the title at our home round in front of a fantastic crowd and all the team's guests, we came back down to earth with a bump the following weekend. Sebastien crashed out uncharacteristically at Lausitz and Kats struggled to find a good set-up, allowing Kevin Curtain to take second place in the championship. We've made some small changes to the CBR600RR and the whole team is really fired up to show our real strength at Imola and then, the following weekend, at Magny-Cours. Sebastien wants more wins and Kats is very motivated to re-take that second place in the championship."
Sebastien Charpentier -- championship position 1st, 210 points (World Supersport Champion 2005):
"I have already forgotten Lausitz because it was a very bad weekend for me and the team after all the elation of the previous week in Assen. It has been an amazing time since I won the title with a lot of coverage in France and posters all over my departement of La Charente! But the job is not finished because I have not yet won a race as world champion. I like Imola and finished third in the race here last year. But of course I am still hungry to show that I'm strong and that I have the best team and the best bike; this is why I won the championship and I want to prove it by winning at Imola this weekend."
Katsuaki Fujiwara -- championship position 3rd, 140 points:
"Lausitz was not a very good weekend for the team so I am very keen to put that right in Imola. It is a circuit I like and I won the Supersport race in 2002 but the last two years have not been so good for me. With the Honda CBR there is no reason why I cannot do well -- the bike has been amazing since I first rode it before the season started. I have won two races this year but not since Monza in May, so it is time to win again and secure second place again in the championship. First and second place with Sebastien and me is nothing less than my team deserves because they have worked so hard all season."
World Supersport Championship points after 10 of 12 rounds: 1 Sebastien Charpentier FRA (Winston Ten Kate Honda) 210, 2 Kevin Curtain AUS (Yamaha) 147, 3 Katsuaki Fujiwara JPN (Winston Ten Kate Honda) 140, 4 Fabien Foret FRA (Honda) 126, 5 Michel Fabrizio ITA (Honda) 109, 6 Broc Parkes AUS (Yamaha) 89, 7 Stephane Chambon FRA (Honda) 86, 8 Javier Fores ESP (Suzuki) 60, 9 Gianluca Nannelli ITA (Ducati) 56, 10 Tauto Lauslehto FIN (Honda) 56.
Imola World Supersport event schedule: Friday 30 September -- 09.35-10.20 free practice, 13.15-14.00 qualifying; Saturday 1 October -- 10.00-10.45 free practice, 13.45-14.30 qualifying; Sunday 2 October -- 09.50-10.10 warm-up, 13.20 race (21 laps -- 103.593 km).