Toseland leads the championship after another race win HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland secured his second victory and the lead in the 2007 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island today - proving that he is fitter than ever. The...
Toseland leads the championship after another race win
HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland secured his second victory and the lead in the 2007 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island today - proving that he is fitter than ever. The second round of the series was billed across Australia as "The battle of Troy" - what they didn't count on was British rider Toseland stepping in to break up the fight. He leaves Phillip Island at the head of the championship standings with 90 points - 16 points clear of second place contender Max Biaggi.
An impressive early move in race one saw Toseland pass Biaggi, Troy Corser and Troy Bayliss on the outside of turn two to storm into the lead. He held fast for the majority of the race, keeping the two Troys at bay for a full 17 laps. By lap 18 Corser had given way to Biaggi for third position, leaving Toseland and Bayliss to battle it out for first. The current world champion stole the advantage on the eighteenth lap and pulled away to cross the line ahead of Toseland. The HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider picked up 20 points and a second place podium finish.
Mirroring his achievements in Qatar the week before, Toseland refused to settle for second best in race two. He took the lead on lap three and made it stick for the remaining 19 laps. Despite the constant threat of attack from Bayliss, the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider proved that he's a true championship contender as he refused to let the Australian take a double home win. Toseland's display of inch-perfect riding took him to victory - securing 25 points in style.
Team-mate Roberto Rolfo continued to improve aboard the Honda CBR1000RR despite a technical problem in Superpole, which resulted in a fourth row grid start position. This major handicap did not deter the Italian in his race performances. Race finish positions of eleventh and tenth respectively ensure that Rolfo remains inside the top ten of the championship standings. He heads to round three of the series at Donington Park with the aim of demonstrating his top six potential.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"It's been a great weekend for us. Everything went well for James in the first race until the man of the Island came up behind him! Troy Bayliss is very fast around here and it was a great race to watch. Of course, second place isn't what James wants so he really gave it 110 per cent in the second race and brought home the win. He's been giving big compliments to the machine over the weekend and I have to give big compliments to him and his technical crew. For Roby, we were hoping for a little more from this race because Phillip Island is one of his favourite tracks. Unfortunately it didn't happen, so we will be evaluating all the data to see how we can improve for Donington. Roby has a big talent and he should be further up the ranks. We are leaving Phillip Island leading both championships - it's been a great start to the season for the Ten Kate Honda team and our new sponsor HANNspree."
"Race one was a tough one. I was going hell for leather and I was expecting to open up the gap between Bayliss and myself but it never happened - he stuck to me like glue. It's his home track but that makes no difference - Troy ran a fantastic race so fair play to him. I was pleased for him, but I wasn't so pleased to be in second. In race two, I tried to preserve the tyre and I managed to keep Bayliss behind me. I knew it would be hard but I just kept going and I got the win. It's an honour to be riding with such great competition and to hear Bayliss complimenting me is very flattering. It's a great feeling to be going to Donington as the Championship leader. I feel like I am getting better and better and I can't wait to race at home."
"I had a difficult first race. The biggest problem was that I was too far out on the second corner and it gave other riders the chance to overtake me. It was then difficult for me to get back up to the position I lost. I had a bit of problem with the front of the bike and it felt quite heavy to ride. We made some changes for race two and immediately the bike was much better. I maintained my position and overtook three riders. I had five good laps, but then I had a sliding problem in the rear and it was very difficult to control. I picked up a few points and I am joint tenth in the standings now, so I just hope for better luck at Donington in a few weeks time."