Pitt fifth in race one, battered and bruised in second Australian Andrew Pitt experienced a wild mix of emotions in round two of the 2005 Corona Extra Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island (Vic) on April 3 -- as well as picking up a...
Pitt fifth in race one, battered and bruised in second
Australian Andrew Pitt experienced a wild mix of emotions in round two of the 2005 Corona Extra Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island (Vic) on April 3 -- as well as picking up a few bruises along the way.
The 29-year-old, competing in his first year of world Superbike competition, completed race one in fifth place on his Yamaha Motor Italia YZF-R1, before crashing out of the second 22-lapper on the rain-lashed grand prix circuit.
However, in a bizarre set of circumstances, Pitt's bingle was actually his second in the same race, after the outing was initially red-flagged on lap 13 when the skies opened. At that juncture, Pitt, who was circulating in fourth, was caught out at Turn Three on dry-weather tyres -- leaving deep bruising under his left eye.
Pitt didn't have too long to mull over his misfortune though, because he was then allowed to take his place on the grid for the re-start, because officials deemed that results from part one would only be taken after 12 laps. Pitt, the 2001 world Supersport champion, completed 12 full circuits, so he made his way back to the pits to collect his second YZF-R1 for another shot at proceedings.
That proved to be a short-term boon, as Pitt then crashed at Turn Eight on lap one of the re-start -- seconds after compatriot Garry McCoy (Petronas FP1) in the same spot.
Pitt's race two despair was in complete contrast to his measured performance in the opener, which saw him circulating in third position for the first 11 laps.
"What can I say about today that won't take me a few hours," mused Pitt. "In race one, I was going great at the start, but then the tyres hit the wall around lap seven. I then fell back in the clutches of the group behind, but I managed to stay with them.
"I passed (Norick) Abe with three laps to run, and I finished less than a second from a podium position.
"Between races, I then made a few little changes, and I was having a better run of it in the dry before the rain started.
"I was still going hard, because I didn't see the red flag until the damage was done. The worst part was that my visor came off as I was ploughing through the gravel, which caused all this mess under my left eye.
"Then in the re-start, the right side of the tyre didn't feel right, and down I went. I reckon there must have been something on the track at Turn Eight, because it caught a lot of riders out."
After only collecting 11pts in round two, Pitt now lies seventh in the 12-round world championship on 31pts, just two behind sixth-placed Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France, 33).
Both of today's 22-lap races were won by new championship leader Troy Corser (Alstare Corona Suzuki GSX-R1000), ahead of his teammate Yukio Kagayama. Another Australian, Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000), shared third and fourth places with young German Max Neukirchner (Klaffi Honda CBR1000RR).
Round three of the 2005 Superbike World Championship will be held at Valencia in Spain on April 24.