Qatar: Ten Kate Honda race report

FIRST AND FOURTH FOR TOSELAND AFTER SECOND RACE PHOTO FINISH James Toseland (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) scored his first win for his new team at the very first time of asking after a closely fought contest with second place finisher,...

FIRST AND FOURTH FOR TOSELAND AFTER SECOND RACE PHOTO FINISH

James Toseland (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) scored his first win for his new team at the very first time of asking after a closely fought contest with second place finisher, Troy Bayliss, at Losail. The 5.380km circuit, in the desert near Qatari capital Doha, was a challenge for Toseland at some points over race weekend, but the 2004 World Champion came good on raceday, after qualifying fourth on the grid. He had to fight his way up from tenth on lap one to take his victory, and did not have to battle for the win with the two-long time leaders, who crashed in front of Toseland on the last lap. A second podium finish looked probable for Toseland, who was awarded an eventual fourth in race two, but only after a photo finish with Noriyuki Haga. Toseland leaves Qatar for the next round in Australia in joint second place in the championship standings, having shared first and fourth places with race two winner, Troy Corser.

After some outstanding performances in qualifying, Karl Muggeridge (Winston ten Kate Honda) could only take a 12th and ninth place finishes, after his number one machine did not respond as expected in race conditions. Residual damage from a crash in Superpole was deemed the likely cause, and Muggeridge now sits overall ninth in the championship.

Ronald Ten Kate -- Team Manager

"Race one was a wonderful reward for everyone involved and shows that James is a great signing for the team. The result of race two was not what we wanted it to be, and it is never going to be easy to win a race in this current Superbike field. We thought we got third so we were all almost cheering. But when we saw the photo finish picture, it seems James was beaten by about a centimetre. We took a very good result for James here, but a bit of misfortune for Karl, who showed good pace earlier in the weekend. He got into trouble with his number one bike. There has been some damage after he crashed on yesterday, but something we cannot see. For Phillip Island we will change the chassis and everything else to make sure everything is OK. If he did not have that difficulty I'm sure he would have had a couple of good top five finishes."

James Toseland -- SBK Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Race 1: 1st position -- Race 2: 4th position -- WSBK Position: 2nd with 38 points)

"Not a bad start. It had been quiet for me this winter, with everyone talking about Barros and Bayliss and so on, so it was nice that in the middle of a change of team, bike and everything I was allowed to work away in the background. I came with an open mind and we didn't start out being so fast but the team has worked hard and we've got the first reward. It was a shame to miss out on a podium in race two, but when you see the photo-finish I lost by about a centimetre. Even with this disappointment I'm still happy with our opening race day."

Karl Muggeridge -- SBK Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Race 1: 12th position -- Race 2: 9th position -- WSBK Position: 9th with 11 points)

"It was no good really. I struggled from beginning to end. Something is wrong with the bike and we daren't change to the second, as we hadn't run that other one yet. So to say I am disappointed is an understatement. Every time I entered a corner, right or left, it was chattering, and I was so sideways. It has to be the bike, because James and I have such a similar race set-up, it's just not funny. "

-wtkh-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Bayliss , Noriyuki Haga , James Toseland , Troy Corser , Karl Muggeridge , Phillip Island