<pre> World Superbike Championship - round 3 Phillip Island Australia - 22nd April 2001 </pre> Australian Superbike fans and the organisers of this week-end's Phillip Island round have a lot to thank Troy Corser (Aprilia Axo) and...
<pre> World Superbike Championship - round 3 Phillip Island Australia - 22nd April 2001
Australian Superbike fans and the organisers of this week-end's Phillip Island round have a lot to thank Troy Corser (Aprilia Axo) and Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) for Corser currently leads the championship with 82 points, only two more than Bayliss who is in second place. Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) is third, with a 28 points deficit on Corser. World Champion Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda-Michelin) lies 34 points behind the leader. It's just as tough in the constructor's championship, with Ducati on 85 points and Aprilia on 82.
Colin Edwards won the first leg of the last round, at Kyalami in South Africa. During the second leg, Carl Fogarty's (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) old lap record of 1m43.224 was broken four times. Edwards started the assault, teammate Tadayuki Okada (Castrol Honda-Michelin) followed and brought the official lap record down to 1m42.943. Edwards had a 1m42.934 answer to Okada's efforts but Bostrom had the last word with an impressive 1'42.928. Troy Bayliss was involved in the record fight but continued his love affair with the number two. Second fastest during the Superpole, Bayliss has now finished second in each of this season's four races. That's put him second in the provisional standings, two points behind Corser. But Bayliss is looking dangerous. He wears race number 21 on his Ducati... that's a number two stuck right next to a number one!
World Superbike newcomer Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) continues to learn and is up there in the championship's top ten. The top three privateers are Giovanni Bussei (Ducati NCR-Michelin) 12th after Kyalami, 19 year old Australian Broc Parkes (Ducati NCR-Michelin) 13th and Robert Ulm (Ducati Gerin WSBK Team-Michelin) 14th.
Michelin and Australian World Superbike races.
24 World Superbike races have been run in Australia and 17 of those have been won by local riders, 9 of them on Michelin. In 1988, the Championship's first year, the Australian round was held at Oran Park and both legs were won by Mick Doohan (Yamaha-Michelin). Peter Goddard (Yamaha-Michelin) and Michael Dowson (Yamaha-Michelin) won in 1989. The races moved to Phillip Island in 1990 where Rob Phillis (Kawasaki-Michelin) took the wins. Corser won once in 95 and twice in 99 on his Michelin Ducati. Last year, Anthony Gobert (MVR Bimota Experience-Michelin) won the first leg.
It's worth noting that after winning both Superbike races in 88, Mick Doohan and Michelin continued their fruitful partnership with the Australian ace going on to win five 500 World Championships. The Honda 500cc NSR rider set a new record for the number of wins during a single season in 1997 by taking twelve victories. That year, he also set a new record (for all Grand Prix classes) for the most number of points scored in a single season with 340 points. Michelin is also proud to have helped Wayne Gardner take the 1987 500cc World Title. All the six 500 GP World Titles claimed by Australian riders were achieved using Michelin and Honda products. In World Superbike, the only Australian to have won the championship so far is Troy Corser, with Ducati and Michelin, in 1995.
<pre> WSB 2001 provisional standings
Pos. Riders Bikes Points Pt Pt Total SPA RSA 1 T. Corser Aprilia 82 50 32 2 T. Bayliss Ducati 80 40 40 3 B. Bostrom Ducati 54 16 38 4 C. Edwards Honda 48 23 25 5 G. Lavilla Fuchs 45 27 18 6 P. Chili Suzuki 36 18 18 7 R. Laconi Aprilia 31 13 18 8 A. Yanagawa Fuchs 29 18 11 9 R. Xaus Ducati 26 8 18 10 S. Chambon Suzuki 24 12 12 11 N. Hodgson Ducati 24 11 13 12 G. Bussei Ducati 12 12 13 B. Parkes Ducati 12 3 9 14 R. Ulm Ducati 11 4 7 15 M. Borciani Ducati 9 8 1 16 J. Toseland Ducati 9 7 2 17 H. Izutsu Kawasaki 7 7 0 18 L. Pedercini Ducati 7 5 2 19 S. Martin Ducati 5 5 0 20 J. Borja Yamaha 4 4 0 21 M. Malatesta Kawasaki 3 3 22 J. Rodriguez Honda 1 1 0 23 B. Stey Honda 1 1
Championship points 1st 25 points 6th 10 points 11th 5 points 2nd 20 points 7 9 points 12 4 points 3rd 16 points 8 8 points 13 3 points 4 13 points 9 7 points 14 2 points 5 11 points 10 6 points 15 1 point
Supersport : watch out for Curtain and Vermeulen
Michelin riders currently hold the World Superbike lap records at Phillip Island with Carl Fogarty setting the fastest lap in practice last year and Troy Corser setting the Superpole and lap record in 1999. But Michelin's Supersport riders are also record beaters. Last year, fastest time in practice went to Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin Pilot) while James Whitham (Yamaha Belgarda-Michelin Pilot) set the lap record. This year, Xaus has moved up to the Superbike class and Whitham no longer rides Michelin.
There's only been one Supersport race so far this year, in Valencia (Spain). The best Australian finisher was Kevin Curtain (Honda BKM-Michelin Pilot). He ended the race in 5th, one place ahead of fellow Aussie Carl Muggeridge (Suzuki Alstare). Pere Riba (Honda Ten Kate) leads the championship. For Phillip Island, expect Brisbane-born Chris Vermeulen (Castrol Honda-Michelin Pilot) to go well. Vermeulen, who now lives in Yandina (Queensland), set the sixth fastest lap during the Valencia race. Best wishes to Adam Fergusson (Alfa Technik Castrol Honda-Michelin Pilot) who fractured his pelvis last winter.
<pre> World Supersport provisional standings Pos. Riders Bikes Points Points TOTAL SPA 1 P. Riba Honda 25 25 2 P. Bontempi Yamaha 20 20 3 C. Kellner Yamaha 16 16 4 K. Fujiwara Suzuki 13 13 5 K. Curtain Honda 11 11 6 K. Muggeridge Suzuki 10 10 7 C. Cogan Yamaha 9 9 8 V. Guareschi Ducati 8 8 9 F. Pirovano Suzuki 7 7 10 W. Daemen Yamaha 6 6 11 A. Pitt Kawasaki 5 5 12 P. Casoli Yamaha 4 4 13 C. Lindholm Yamaha 3 3 14 J. Hanson Yamaha 2 2 15 F. Foret Honda 1 1
Michelin teams in Superbike and Supersport Superbike DUCATI Team InfoStrada Ducati T. Bayliss - R. Xaus HONDA Team Castrol Honda C. Edwards - T. Okada
Private teams DUCATI TEAM N.C.R DUCATI G. Bussei -B. Parkes YAMAHA TEAM PANAVTO J. Borja DUCATI GERIN WSBK TEAM R. Ulm
Supersport (600) DUCATI Team Ducati Motorola V. Guareschi - D. Thomas HONDA Team Castrol Honda C. Vermeulen HONDA Team Honda BKM K. Curtain - I. Goi HONDA Team Honda Alpha Technic A. Fergusson - M. Barth - R. Waldmann
Phillip Island and tyres
Back in the twenties, the roads around Phillip Island were very popular with local speed freaks. In 1928, the first Australian car Grand Prix was held at the Island on a 6.5 mile course. 1931 was the year motorcycles first raced at the Island, on a twelve mile course. Phillip Island's current circuit was opened in 1956.
Phillip Island is a varied and demanding 4.445 kms with everything from hairpins to fast turns. There are many more left-handers than right-handers. There are only two of those: Honda Corner and Turn 10. In the fastest of the left-handers, like the one that leads onto the start/finish straight (Turn 12), tyres run hotter than usual. A rear slick normally heats up to above 80 degrees but at Phillip Island, they get far hotter than that. That's why dual compound tyres are used. "The left and right sides of the tyre are made of different compounds," explains Jean HÈrissÈ, Michelin Superbike Manager. " We use a harder compound for the left hand side because most of the turns on this track are left-handers."
"Making a duel compound tyre isn't much harder than making a standard tyre. You need the right tooling and know-how of course. Matching the two types of compounds properly is the difficult part."
"To be fast at the Island, a rider needs to take care of his tyres. Precise throttle control is what's required to keep the tyres as fresh as possible over full race distance."
Tyre numbers and staffing
Michelin brings a total of 2000 tyres, wet and dry, for this race.
Superbike riders have three sizes to choose from : 19 / 67-420 (16,5 inch) rear slicks, rain and intermediate tyres. For the front, riders can choose between 12 / 60-17 (17 inch) tyres and 12 / 60-420 (16,5 inch). A total of 800 dry tyres, 200 rain tyres and 100 intermediates are brought for superbike Michelin riders to choose from.
900 Michelin Pilot Race tyres are brought for the Supersport class (120 / 70 ZR 17 fronts and 180 / 55 ZR 17 rears). Dry tyres are homologated for street use. Rain tyres don't have to be.
Michelin's on-site personnel includes one team manager, three technicians, eight tyre fitters (three Australians) and one press officer.
<pre> Benchmark Lap times Superbike :
Fastest official practice time (2000) 1m33.159 Carl Fogarty (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin), 171.771 kph average speed.
Superpole record (1999) 1m32.193 Troy Corser (Ducati Performance-Michelin), 173.570 kph average speed.
Lap record (fastest race lap 1999) 1m33.019 Troy Corser (Ducati Performance-Michelin), 172,029 kph average speed.
First race results (2000) 1- Anthony Gobert (MVR Bimota Experience-Michelin) 22 laps (97.790 km) in 40m48.406, 143.785 kph average speed. 2- Carl Fogarty (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin) at 29.542 3- Vittoriano Guareschi (Yamaha WSBK Team-Michelin) at 41.205 4- Lucio Pedercini (Pedercini Ducati-Michelin) at 52.174 5- Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda-Michelin) at 56.985
Second race results (2000) 1- Troy Corser (Aprilia Racing) 15 laps (66.675 km) in 25m45.786, 155,280 kph average speed. 2- Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha WSBK) at 1.994 3- Pierfrancesco Chili (Suzuki Alstare) at 4.330 4- Gregorio Lavilla (Kawasaki Racing) at 23.592 5- Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda-Michelin) a 23.604
Supersport: Fastest official practice time (2000) 1m36.995 Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin Pilot), 164,978 kph average speed.
Lap record (fastest race lap 2000) 1m37.752 James Whitham (Yamaha Belgarda-Michelin Pilot), 163,700 kph average speed on lap 8
Race results (2000) 1- James Whitham (Yamaha Belgarda-Michelin Pilot) 21 laps (93,345 km) in 37m39.549, 148,721 kph average speed. 2- Paolo Casoli (Ducati Infostrada-Michelin Pilot) at 8.383 3- StÈphane Chambon (Suzuki Alstare) at 10.177 4- Adam Fergusson (Mobil Honda Racing) at 12.108 5- Pere Riba (Castrol Honda-Michelin Pilot) at 14.136