World Superbike Championship leader Troy Corser raced his Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra GSX-R1000 to a sensational double victory at today's third round in Valencia, Spain as team mate Yukio Kagayama scored hard-fought third and seventh places.
Corser led the first race from start to finish and took the chequered flag over nine seconds ahead of Chris Vermeulen (Honda) as Kagayama climbed from seventh to a rostrum third position.
But Corser had to work a bit harder in race two after Andrew Pitt (Yamaha) got the holeshot and led the first lap. On lap two, the Suzuki rider made his move and from then on in the result was never in doubt. This time the margin of victory was less - just over five seconds - but the demoralising effect on his rivals was just the same.
Vermeulen took runner-up spot after a terrific battle with Chris Walker who finished third.
Troy Corser - Race 1: 1st, Race 2: 1st:
"It's been a perfect weekend and I want to thank the whole Alstare team for making it all possible. Conditions were very variable today - due to the change in track temperature - but we had done all the groundwork in qualifying and were ready for anything. I used the same rear tyre for both races but it didn't work as well in race two because the temperature was higher.
"The first race was pretty comfortable for me and I just controlled things right from the start and left the rest to sort themselves out. In race two, I was a bit surprised to see Andrew Pitt get off the line ahead of me and lead into turn one. I wanted to pass him as soon as possible because I wanted to run my own race, so I overtook him on lap two. I then pushed quite hard for about eight laps and made a bit of a break, but in doing that, I think I must have worn the rear tyre out a bit. So I eased the pace, conserved the tyres and kept and eye on my pit-board.
"The wind in race two was a bit of a problem because it was different in different parts of the circuit. But it was great to do another double and extend my lead in the championship to 31 points."
Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 3rd, Race 2: 7th:
"Today I am a lucky man or maybe double lucky. In the first race, I had moved up to fourth with Norick Abe in third but too far away. Then he crashed two laps from the end and suddenly I was third and on the podium! I was also lucky in the second race because I didn't crash! I had very little feeling in my tyres - maybe because of the high track temperature - and I overshot one turn because I had no grip. I recovered OK, but the leading group was too far to catch. After that I had to go more slowly because I knew I would crash if I went faster. I am happy for Troy-san and our team and I am still second in the championship so I think I am lucky."
World Superbike Results:
Race 1: 1 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 2 Vermeulen (Aus-Honda), 3 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 4 Walker (GB-Kawasaki), 5 Haga (J-Yamaha), 6 Gimbert (F-Yamaha), 7 Chili (I-Honda), 8 Toseland (GB-Ducati), 9 Fuertes (E-Suzuki), 10 Checa (E-Yamaha).
Race 2: 1 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 2 Vermeulen, 3 Walker, 4 Haga, 5 Abe (J-Yamaha), 6 Bostrom (USA), 7 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 8 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha), 9 Checa (E-Yamaha), 10 Chili.
World Superbike Points (after 3 rounds): 1 Troy Corser 141, 2 Yukio Kagayama 110, 3 Vermeulen 90, 4 Laconi 54, 5 Abe 44, 6 Neukirchner 41, 7 Haga 40, 8 Pitt 39, 9 Walker 38, 10 Toseland 30.
Lack of grip prevented Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Javier Fores chasing the top-six finish he was looking f or at Valencia today.
He made a good start to the 23-lap race and was in seventh at the end of lap one, moved into sixth on lap five, but then grip problems began and he was forced to ease the pace or risk crashing, eventually crossing the line in 11th position.
Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) led from start to finish but was chased and hustled by his team mate Katsuaki Fujiwara for the major part of the race.
A lap or so from the end they tangled and Fujiwara's brake lever was bent upwards, causing him big problems on the last lap and the Japanese rider finished eight-tenths-of-a-second behind with Aussie Kevin Curtain (Yamaha) a distant third.
Javi Fores -11th:
"I am very disappointed today because I expected to do so much better, especially as this is my home race and I have many fans here. My start was quite good and when I moved into sixth place I was happy. But soon afterwards I began experiencing big grip problems - front and rear - and I had to stop pushing so hard.
"I couldn't use the right race lines and soon I was being overtaken by many riders. I kept going as hard and as fast as I could but I didn't want to crash, so I just had to ride to the end and get as many points as I could."
World Supersport Results: 1 Charpentier (F-Honda) , 2 Fujiwara (J-Honda), 3 Curtain (AUS-Yamaha), 4 Fabrizio (I-Honda), 5 Foret (F-Honda), 6 Parkes (AUS-Yamaha), 7 Veneman (NL-Suzuki), 8 Nannelli (I-Ducati), 9 Chambon (F-Honda), 10 Stigefelt (S-Honda). 11 Javier Fores (E-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra).
World Supersport Points (after 3 rounds): 1 Charpentier 70, 2 Fujiwara 58, 3 Curtain 49, 4 Foret 38, 5 Fabrizio 29, 6 Parkes 29, 7 Chambon 24, 8 Javier Fores 18, 9 Stigefelt 16, 10 Nannelli 15.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office