Podium for Curtain in tough Qatar opener It was a day of mixed emotions, and results, for the Yamaha World Supersport team in Qatar but overall it was a good day for Kevin Curtain, grabbing 20 important points after finishing second in today's...
Podium for Curtain in tough Qatar opener
It was a day of mixed emotions, and results, for the Yamaha World Supersport team in Qatar but overall it was a good day for Kevin Curtain, grabbing 20 important points after finishing second in today's opening round of the 2007 Supersport World Championship.
Starting from pole position, Curtain was able to quickly build up a lead. However the Australian was unable to shake off the attentions of Sebastien Charpentier and Kenan Sofuoglu (both Honda) and was involved in a three-way battle for the lead in the opening half of the race.
The Yamaha man pushed his rivals hard but was unable to quite keep his rivals in touch as an incorrect rear tyre selection caused his machine to spin up and lose fractions of a second. Curtain rode a lonely but sensible race to maintain a podium finish and was rewarded when world champion Charpentier crashed out of the lead two laps from the end, moving the Yamaha man up to second place at the flag.
Similar tyre selection problems meant that team-mate Broc Parkes' bad luck at the Losail circuit continued when he was forced to retire after five laps, his second retirement at this venue in as many years. The Australian had seemingly solved the chatter problems that plagued him during qualifying as he moved up from seventh on the grid to fourth place at the end of the first lap. However he suffered severe tyre degradation and, unable to maintain race pace, he was forced to retire for safety reasons.
Yamaha Motor Italy Lorenzini by Leoni racer Massimo Roccoli had a good day in Qatar. Coming from the third row, the 22-year-old from Rimini made a rocket propelled start and was as high as fourth on the opening lap. He settled into a race-long battle with Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati) in the lower half of the top 10, holding off his fellow Italian to take seventh place by one tenth of a second.
Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda) took third place to join Curtain and Sofuoglu on the podium. With just one race gone, the championship standings are as per today's results: Sofuoglu leading the way on 25 points with Curtain five behind in second place.
Kevin Curtain (Yamaha World Supersport team)
"Second place is a good start in terms of the championship, although I'm disappointed I didn't have a chance to fight for the lead. In the end we used the wrong tyre and the bike was spinning up everywhere, so in the circumstances it's a good result. We've made some good progress with the bike over the winter and I'm looking forward to racing at my home circuit next week. Phillip Island is a place I know like the back of my hand and I'll be giving it 200 percent to try and go one better than we have today."
Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Motor Italy Lorenzini by Leoni)
"Not such a bad start to the season. I made a very good start and was able to have a good battle with Nannelli and a few others. I said yesterday that top 10 would be a good result so seventh is a pleasing start to the season for me."
Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport team)
"I'm really disappointed but when the tyre went off my lap time dropped by around three seconds and I just couldn't continue. We've had a tough weekend as we couldn't seem to get as good a set-up or lap time as we did in testing, although I was confident we could get some decent points today. I made a good start but after a few laps the tyre was gone and I had to pull in because it was too dangerous to stay out."