Podium and a crash for Troy. A fifth and fourth for Yukio.
The tenth round of the 2005 Superbike World Championship at the EuroSpeedway Lausitzring was a dramatic one for Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra. The first of the two 24-lappers was red-flagged (due to rain) four laps from the end, with Chris Vermeulen (Honda) running out the winner ahead of Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) and Troy in third place. Yukio ended fifth behind reigning champion James Toseland (Ducati). Troy led the second race until lap two, when he crashed in turn one. He remounted, fired the bike up and carried on, but by then he was last by some considerable margin. Nevertheless he put his head down and managed to pick off fifteen riders before finishing in thirteenth place. The race was won by Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati), who was deputising for the injured Regis Laconi. Second was Vermeulen, with Haga third and Yukio fourth.
I was happy to take third spot in the first race after the problems with chattering during the race. We had changed our rear tyre on the start line, and were running the same as Chris and Nori, but the tyre affected the set-up and along came the chatter. I also ran in a bit hot going into turn one early on and then had to get my rhythm settled again. That little mistake allowed Chris and Nori to pull out a small gap and it was impossible to catch them again, so I settled for third and a podium.
I really believed another podium (or a win) was on the cards for race two, because I had ben enjoying the bike again this weekend. At Assen we had some problems, which were never fully resolved, but here at Lausitz I just felt more comfortable. The crash in race two came as a big surprise as I felt I had not done anything different at that turn before. I lost the front and rear together and went down without warning. I cradled the bike as I went down and then picked it up again as soon as I could. The bike fired up first time, but the gear lever was a bit bent, so I spent some time finding a gear. I couldn't use the clutch (the lever was bent upwards) and one of the bars was crooked. All in all, it handled pretty well really. I know I could've pulled in when I crashed, but I just wanted to get back on the track and try and grab some points and that's what I did.
I am much more happy today with my fourth and fifth because I feel that I am getting back into it after a few average races. The results today have given me my confidence back and now I can think about the next two races very positively. My real problem today has been trying to find a good rhythm right from the start of the races. In both races it took me about four or five laps and by then the leaders had gone! If I can get that sorted out, I feel I can be in the leading group instead of chasing them from a distance. I have got four races left and I am determined to get more podiums and maybe some more race wins!