Kyalami: Yamaha Sunday report

Toseland and Crutchlow battle for championship points at Kyalami Pole position starter Cal Crutchlow and team mate James Toseland were among many of the riders today struggling to find adequate grip levels on the abrasive Kyalami circuit as they...

Toseland and Crutchlow battle for championship points at Kyalami

Pole position starter Cal Crutchlow and team mate James Toseland were among many of the riders today struggling to find adequate grip levels on the abrasive Kyalami circuit as they battled for valuable championship points in the two World Superbike races. Race one saw Crutchlow initially drop to ninth off the line, while team mate Toseland battled it out in the top three, pursuing Michel Fabrizio and Carlos Checa and fighting off the attack of Leon Haslam from behind. As the grip levels dropped dramatically he gradually dropped over a number of laps, eventually crossing the line in seventh with team mate Crutchlow just two tenths of a second behind in eighth place.

Race two saw the riders again struggling to maintain a competitive race pace as their grip levels suffered early on. Despite a less than perfect start Crutchlow battled up to take fourth position, taking race one winner Fabrizio and Ducati rider Checa in the process. Crutchlow held his fourth position to the line, taking the chequered flag just under a second behind race leader Haslam. Team mate Toseland also dropped back several positions from the start but battled up to then enjoy a relatively quiet run to a sixth place finish at the line.

The riders now head to round seven of the World Championship at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, with Toseland holding on to fifth place in the standings on 125 points, just 16 points off Jonathan Rea in third. Team mate Crutchlow moves up to ninth position in the championship, just nine points adrift of Fabrizio in eighth.

Cal Crutchlow Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (8th, 4th)

"We did the best job we could today at a track that the bike is not best suited to. Like a lot of riders today I seemed to lose a lot of grip very early in the races making it a struggle to keep on the pace. Having said that I was pleased overall with the second race, we were battling for a win and showing good pace throughout to hold on for points. It's a difficult circuit and we've done well, the team did a really good job and we're looking forward to getting to Salt Lake City. The track at Miller will suit our bike a bit better so I'm confident we can achieve some good results."

James Toseland James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (7th, 6th)

"The team are a bit bewildered after today, we lost grip on the tyres so quickly in the two races it was a challenge to keep up race pace. Considering I had my big crash only a week ago, getting a sixth and seventh finish is not bad for the championship for me. The differences that people have had today in grip level is incredible, some riders seemed to lose performance dramatically between the two races. I am a little frustrated but I certainly haven't had as bad a day as some riders. Over the weekend my neck got better and better, it was a bit sore still on Friday but it was fine today. A big thank you to the team who did a fantastic job this weekend, we're looking forward to a rest now before Salt Lake City in a couple of weeks."

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager "We had a very strange weekend here in Kyalami. We had all good practices and then some problems during the races with grip level with both riders. We are a little disappointed and for sure we need to try and understand the reasons why the tyre behaviour changed so much today. Having said that, the team and the riders worked really hard all weekend, so we will head to the next round in America and look to improve on this weekend with better results."

-source: yamaha

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Carlos Checa , James Toseland , Michel Fabrizio , Leon Haslam , Cal Crutchlow