Bayliss SBK World Champion for the third time! Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) clinched the FIM Superbike World Championship for the third time today after finishing third in race 1 at Magny-Cours in front of 78,000 spectators. The Australian...
Bayliss SBK World Champion for the third time!
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) clinched the FIM Superbike World Championship for the third time today after finishing third in race 1 at Magny-Cours in front of 78,000 spectators. The Australian rider then celebrated his title in the best possible way by winning race 2. Victory in race 1 and second place in race 2 went to Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), who moves into second place in the table, with just the final round at Portimao (Portugal) remaining on November 2.
The race was dominated by Haga, with his third win in a row, the Japanese rider finishing 6" ahead of Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare), who had a good race to finish runner-up, and Bayliss, who stayed out of trouble to take the title. Fourth went to Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), who came on strong towards the end. Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki) was sixth, followed by Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia) and Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who faded with tyre problems after a good early part. Three laps from the end Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) crashed out while fighting for a podium place with Nieto and Bayliss, while Frenchman Regis Laconi took his PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki to a respectable eleventh place.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): "It's a great result, the bike is working very well. During this weekend the weather was not so good but my team made a good set-up on the bike for me and I had a very comfortable feeling riding it. I want to say thanks to Yamaha, congratulations for Nieto and of course Troy for winning the title."
Fonsi Nieto (Suzuki Alstare): "For sure it was a really hard race with these conditions, it was very cold on the track. I tried to push at the beginning on a full fuel tank, but I had a lot of problems. In the end I came past Troy, I didn't want to make him crash because he was fighting for the championship. I love this track and it's great to be on the podium again."
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox): "This last championship has been up and down the whole year, everyone has been fast but a little bit inconsistent and that made it easier for me. Half-way through the year we were very confident but it was a case of not losing the title rather than winning it. I did what I set out to do and win three titles on three different Ducati machines, so that's a great achievement. Finally it's done and I can go out and relax a bit more and see if I can win race 2!"
Bayliss and Haga thrashed out a duel for the entire second race, but two laps before the end the newly-crowned champion made his attack and went on to conclude a triumphant day with the win. Third place on the podium went to Corser, who also rode an attacking race, with Checa finishing fourth. There was a terrific scrap for fifth between Sterilgarda team-mates Ruben Xaus and Max Biaggi, with the Spaniard getting the edge in a sprint finish with the Italian. The second race was not so good for the Suzuki riders, with Yukio Kagayama, Nieto and Max Neukirchner finishing in that order behind Biaggi. Roberto Rolfo (Honda Althea) and Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati RG) both finished in the points, but it was a race 2 to forget for Fabrizio, who only finished 14th.
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox): "It was a great race in the end, we made one change and put on a harder front tyre for the second race. The grip was similar but more consistent during the race. I was struggling on the exits to the tight corner, losing a bit to Nori, but it's always like this. You lose some and gain some. I gave it my all, there wasn't much to lose, I put three good laps together at the end and it was a great win."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia): "In the last five laps my rear tyre started to go off and I could not open the gas, but Troy and I had a great fight. Once again a big thanks to the team, they did a great job all weekend."
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia): Starting from the third row meant that it was going to be a tough race for me, but I managed to get a good start and get through the first few laps. I had a bit of a tussle with Rolfo and Checa, and then when the rain started to come, I thought this is my chance to make up some time. I caught these guys but couldn't go any further. The front tyre was almost finished on the right side and I almost took Troy out. Shame I was so far back, but now we'll see if we can win one at the next round."
FIM Supersport World Championship
The Supersport title was also assigned immediately after the SBK race, and it went to another Australian, Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who took the win. Pitt, who won the same title seven years ago, benefitted from a contact between Robbin Harms (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda), Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport), which eliminated two of his rivals for the title, even though Rea remounted to finish tenth. In the race, Pitt was followed home by a fast improving Barry Veneman (RES Software Suzuki), who held off a late attack by Joshua Brookes (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda) and Matthieu Lagrive (Intermoto Czech Honda). Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni) and Gianluca Nannelli (Honda Althea) took the next two places, with Roccoli getting the edge on the last lap. Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport), returning to the track after his crash at Brno, ran well to finish in eighth place.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup
First win of the season for Matej Smrz (MS Racing Honda), the Czech rider getting the better in a hectic final few laps over Frenchman Freddy Foray (Coutelle Suzuki) and Claudio Corti (Yamaha Motor Italia Junior Team), who scored his first podium this year. There were upsets for the four riders fighting for the title, which will now go down the wire in Portimao. The best finisher was Alex Polita (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati), who finished fourth, ahead of the new points leader Xavier Simeon (Suzuki Alstare). Out of the points was Brendan Roberts (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) with gearbox problems, while Maxime Berger (Hannspree IDS Ten Kate Honda) could only finish 11th. All four are separated by nine points and still have a chance of taking the title.