Toseland maintains lead at Vallelunga Round 12 of the 2007 World Superbike Championship concluded today with HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland maintaining his series lead. The British rider now holds a 29-point advantage over new ...
Toseland maintains lead at Vallelunga
Round 12 of the 2007 World Superbike Championship concluded today with HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland maintaining his series lead. The British rider now holds a 29-point advantage over new closest rival Max Biaggi ahead of the final round at Magny Cours next week.
Race one saw one of Toseland's toughest battles of the season so far. Following a strong start from eighth of the grid, he settled into fourth place after narrowly avoiding the aftermath of Troy Corser crashing out. He maintained station for most of the race, gradually closing the gap on third place rider Noriyuki Haga. Toseland caught his rival on the penultimate lap, and in a nail-biting display of skilled riding, kept him at bay until the finish line. With Biaggi in first place and Troy Bayliss in second, Toseland extended his lead to a 44-point advantage.
The second race of the day was more difficult, with Toseland experiencing problems with the traction control on his CBR1000RR and crashing out on lap nine. He quickly re-joined the race to battle for a points-scoring position, eventually finishing in 11th to collect five points. With Bayliss, Biaggi and Haga securing the podium spots, Toseland now lies 29 points ahead with two races remaining.
Team-mate Roberto Rolfo also had a day of mixed results. He was forced to retire from race one with a burst tyre after being shunted from behind during Corser's crash. Race two was more successful as he battled from ninth on the grid to finish in fifth position. The Italian maintains eighth place in the standings with 177 points.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Obviously, this wasn't the result we were hoping for today. All the practices went really well and we'd done some good race distances. You can never be sure of a win, but we were confident that we could get two podiums today. After warm-up we decided to go with the newly-built number one machine, which we reconstructed overnight after the Superpole crash. There was a problem in race one when we found an issue with the traction control on the bike and it didn't improve for race two. We have lost some points today but we are still going into the final round with a decent advantage and we have to be happy with that."
"We've gone from a really dominant and strong position on Saturday to struggling today. The guys made a great job of rebuilding my number one bike after the Superpole crash and I chose to ride it. This was my decision and maybe it wasn't the best decision because we struggled to get the traction control working. There was no improvement from race one to race two and race one was bad enough - definitely the hardest of the season so far. Having said all that, we've come out of today with a 29 point advantage. If someone had told me at the start of the season that that would the case I'd have been happy with that so it's not that bad."
"Race one was not so great for me. I got a good start but I got caught up in Corser's crash and somebody went into the back of me. This made a hole in my tyre and I had to retire. The second race went much better - I found a good rhythm and kept in the top five for most of the race. I am going to Magny Cours with a good feeling and I'm looking forward to the race."