World Supersport and Superbike Championships 2005
Round 4 Monza - Italy
Temperature: 25C Air, 45C Track
Spectator Attendance: 90,000
Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR riders Sebastien Charpentier and Katsuaki Fujiwara once more dominated proceedings in the Supersport class, with the Japanese rider taking the win, his second of the season, after 16 laps of intense and exciting Supersport action. Having fought for most of the race with the Ducati of Gianluca Nannelli, Charpentier (on pole) and Fujiwara (second fastest in qualifying) ended up in a two-rider fight, with an audacious attempted final pass by Charpentier,up the inside at the Parabolica, causing him to run marginally too wide. Fujiwara dived to the inside, causing Charpentier to adjust his line once more, and with the finish line so close to the final corner, Fujiwara held on by only 0.036 seconds.
Second row qualifier Michel Fabrizio (Team Italia Megabike Honda CBR600RR) handicapped himself with a dreadful start after selecting the wrong gear, but battled through to 11th by the end of lap one. He finished fourth, unable to reach the slowing Nannelli, and also unable to get clear of the fifth place rider, Kevin Curtain (Yamaha).
One small error from Tatu Lauslehto (Team Klaffi Honda CBR600RR) was not enough to take the shine off of another excellent day of high speed education for the class rookie, as he finished seventh out of 20 finishers and was then promoted to sixth after the exclusion of Alessio Corradi. Monza was yet another track Tatu had not seen before qualifying.
Fabien Foret (Team Italia Megabike Honda CBR600RR) was excluded from the race for practicing and racing at Monza, in an Italian Championship race, one weekend prior to the Monza World Supersport event. The rider was unavailable for comment after the exclusion, which saw him black-flagged from the first timed qualifying session on Friday.
In the championship battle, Charpentier has had his margin of advantage cut to seven points over Fujiwara, 90 to 83, With Fabrizio now fourth overall, on 42. Foret is fifth, with an unchanged total of 38, while Lauslehto advances to ninth, on 24 points.
Fujiwara, punching the air in unbridled joy at his hard taken win, now knows he did his championship charge a huge favour at Monza, but was lost in the moment after another classic battle.
"The team has been working very hard throughout the season and they deserve this as much as me. Congratulations to Sebastien and Gianluca for a great race. It was not so easy to pass either of them today but my CBR600RR was perfect the engine was very strong and the tyres were fantastic. It was very close with Sebastien on the last lap and we touched a few times but its a world Supersport race and its sometimes like that!"
Charpentier admitted to a small error that maybe cost him the race, but knows he still has the upper hand in the points totals.
"I think we put on a very good show today, for all the spectators and fans watching at home on TV. Katsuaki was very strong and I tried very hard to take the race win on the final lap. But I shifted down one too many gears going into the Parabolica for the last time and ran a little bit wide, which allowed Katsuaki to pass me. Second place is good for the championship."
Fabrizio, had a bizarre start to what could have been a glorious home race for the lone Team Italia Megabike in the starting line-up.
"I rolled up to the line for the start and somehow forgot the gear order. So I tried to start with sixth gear selected. Seeing the rhythm of the raceI knew I could probably stay with the Ten Kate bikes if I had got a better start. I had a six second gap to make up from the first lap and was down in 22nd position at one stage. I arrived late to the leading group after passing almost everyone in the field. So in different circumstances I could have run a fantastic race. I lost more time trying to get free of Curtains Yamaha, because he knew that he could take some of my speed in the slipstream."
Lauslehto, the reigning European Supersport champion who qualified a lowly 13th, was in much more pugilistic form in race conditions.
"I got a start to about where I qualified and then I started passing people. I raced with Broc Parkes and Stephane Chambon, then went by them. Then I made a mistake at the fast chicane and ran on, so I had to fight to get past them again. This is a very fast circuit and this was my first visit so I think our season is back on course again. It was very good."
World Superbike Round 4 of 12
VERMEULEN TAKES FIRST HONDA WIN OF THE 2005 SEASON
The first CBR1000RR Honda win of the season was particularly welcomed by Chris Vermeulen and the Winston Ten Kate Honda team after a technical stoppage in race one threatened to derail their weekend. Having seen Karl Muggeridge go fastest in regulation qualifying, the team had high hopes for the races, and Muggeridge was to back up Vermeulens win with two strong rides, one against extreme adversity.
Pierfrancesco Chili (Klaffi Honda CBR1000RR) had two tough races himself, but battled to seventh on each occasion, after the drama of a leaking bike on the startline in what was a shortened race two. His team-mate Max Neukirchner (Klaffi Honda CBR1000R) could not start the event, due to a recent thumb operation.
Ben Bostrom (Renegade Honda Koji CBR1000RR) had an encouraging Valencia weekend in round three, but found Monza a tough nut to crack, with a pair of 18th place finishes and one race affected by a ride through penalty for a jump start.
In race one, a technical problem demoted Chris Vermeulen a non-finisher, while a bad start from Karl Muggeridge, after being hit from the side by another rider, losing his clutch lever immediately, pushed him down to 20th place at one stage. He battled his heart out, finishing top Honda rider, in sixth, despite the obvious handicap of running with no lever for all 18-laps. The race was won by Troy Corser (Suzuki) from his team-mate Yukio Kagayama and James Toseland (Ducati).
In race two Vermeulen was part of an eight rider leading group, which eventually condensed to a chase between him and long time leader Regis Laconi (Ducati). Vermeulen swept past on the last lap at the Variante della Roggia, holding a 0.582 second advantage at the flag. His team-mate Muggeridge narrowly missed a podium finish, taking fourth behind championship leader Corser.
Vermeulen was understandably delighted with his day, despite race one.
"That win feels so good. We've all been working a very long time for that first win of the year, and it has been hard work. Two second places at Valencia were a step forward but we've made an even bigger one here at Monza. Once I got past Troy in race two I just put my head down and tried to get to Regis, who had been at the front for a long time. I caught him just at the right time on that last lap and managed to hang on. It certainly makes up for the disappointment of not finishing that first race, so overall it has been a very positive weekend."
Muggeridge's small error in race two was a contributing factor to missing out on the podium, but he too can take a lot more than just points from his Monza experience.
"I would have so liked to have got on that second podium, but I made a small mistake exiting the first chicane on the last lap and Troy managed to make a gap. I should have beaten him but it wasn't to be. The bike is much better and it's been a good weekend for us. There is still heaps of work to do but we really have something now that can take us forward for the rest of the season.
Chili encountered some technical issues with suspension and drive, in comparison to the other top riders.
"In the second race I had a better start and I could see the leaders and stay on the back of them for a while. I was riding behind Toseland and I only then I noticed that there was a little difference between my bike and the rest. The general problem is that there is not enough grip on the back and that is stopping us driving off the corners better.
For Bostrom, the race pace at Monza was too much for his current package to match and he missed out on points in both races.
"I was hoping to do better but I just couldn't. I was riding at my limit on every lap but this is just where we belonged this weekend. We've just got to stick with it and give it everything at Silverstone Its disappointing after Valencia because after that the bike felt good.
On May 27 29 at Silverstone round five of both Supersport and Superbike classes takes place.
RACE : (Laps 16 = 92,688 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap
1 / K. FUJIWARA / JPN / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 30'15.930 /
2 / S. CHARPENTIER / FRA / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 30'15.966 / 0.036
3 / G.NANNELLI / ITA / Ducati SC Caracchi / 30'18.656 / 2.726
4 / M.FABRIZIO / ITA / Italia Megabike / 30'23.973 / 8.043
5 / K. CURTAIN / AUS / Yamaha Motor Germany / 30'24.093 / 8.163
6 / T. LAUSLEHTO / FIN / Klaffi Honda / 30'42.496 / 26.566
7 / B. PARKES / AUS / Yamaha Motor Germany / 30'42.562 / 26.632
8 / S. CHAMBON / FRA / Gil Motor Sport / 30'42.870 / 26.940
9 / I. GOI / ITA / Bike Service / 30'53.427 / 37.497
10 / S. LE GRELLE / BEL / Le Grelle Dholda in Action / 30'53.616 / 37.686
11 / J. FORES / ESP / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 30'53.873 / 37.943
12 / B. VENEMAN / NED / Suzuki Nederland / 31'00.128 / 44.198
13 / J. STIGEFELT / SWE / Stiggy Motorsports / 31'03.884 / 47.954
14 / T. MIKSOVSKY / CZE / Intermoto Czech Republic / 31'13.492 / 57.562
15 / M.BAIOCCO / ITA / Lightspeed Kawasaki / 31'21.888 / 1'05.958
Fastest Lap 15° Sébastien Charpentier 1'52.726 185,004 Km/h
Lap Record: 2003 Chris Vermeulen 1'52.635 185,150Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 CHARPENTIER 90, 2 FUJIWARA 83, 3 CURTAIN 60, 4 FABRIZIO 42, 5 FORET 38,
6 PARKES 38, 7 CHAMBON 32, 8 NANNELLI 31, 9 LAUSLEHTO 24, 10 FORES 23,
11 STIGEFELT 19, 12 VENEMAN 13, 13 VD GOORBERGH 11, 14 LE GRELLE 9,
15 MIKSOVSKY 9.
Race 1: (Laps 18 = 104,274 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /Gap
1 / T. CORSER / AUS / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 32'40.906 /
2 / Y. KAGAYAMA / JPN / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 32'41.891 / 0.985
3 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Ducati Xerox / 32'41.946 / 1.040
4 / R. LACONI / FRA / Ducati Xerox / 32'42.663 / 1.757
5 / A. PITT / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 32'49.515 / 8.609
6 / K. MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 32'53.341 / 12.435
7 / P. CHILI / ITA / Klaffi Honda / 32'53.534 / 12.628
8 / C.WALKER / GBR / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 32'57.562 / 16.656
9 / G.NANNELLI / ITA / Ducati SC Caracchi / 33'01.387 / 20.481
10 / N. ABE / JPN / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 33'02.025 / 21.119
11 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 33'04.075 / 23.169
12 / M.BORCIANI / ITA / DFXtreme Sterilgarda / 33'20.780 / 39.874
13 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 33'20.986 / 40.080
14 / M.SANCHINI / ITA / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 33'22.390 / 41.484
15 / I. CLEMENTI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 33'22.861 / 41.955
Fastest Lap 8° Yukio Kagayama 1'48.082 192,953 Km/
Race 2 : (Laps 17 = 98,481 Km)
Pos /Rider /Nat. /Team / Time /
1 / C. VERMEULEN / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 30'49.758 /
2 / R. LACONI / FRA / Ducati Xerox / 30'50.340 / 0.582
3 / T. CORSER / AUS / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 30'52.216 / 2.458
4 / K. MUGGERIDGE / AUS / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 30'53.137 / 3.379
5 / J. TOSELAND / GBR / Ducati Xerox / 30'59.659 / 9.901
6 / A. PITT / AUS / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 30'59.834 / 10.076
7 / P. CHILI / ITA / Klaffi Honda / 31'00.874 / 11.116
8 / C.WALKER / GBR / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 31'01.345 / 11.587
9 / N.HAGA / JPN / Yamaha Motor Italia WSB / 31'16.694 / 26.936
10 / G.NANNELLI / ITA / Ducati SC Caracchi / 31'23.217 / 33.459
11 / G.BUSSEI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 31'24.942 / 35.184
12 / N. ABE / JPN / Yamaha Motor France-Ipone / 31'25.370 / 35.612
13 / M.SANCHINI / ITA / PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse / 31'26.575 / 36.817
14 / L. CONFORTI / ITA / Guandalini / 31'35.231 / 45.473
15 / I. CLEMENTI / ITA / Kawasaki Bertocchi / 31'37.108 / 47.350
Fastest Lap 14° Chris Vermeulen 1'48.233 192,684 Km/h
Lap Record: 2002 Troy Bayliss 1'47.434 194,120Km/h
Riders Championship Standings:
1 CORSER 182, 2 KAGAYAMA 130, 3 VERMEULEN 115, 4 LACONI 87, 5 PITT 60,
6 TOSELAND 57, 7 WALKER 54, 8 ABE 54, 9 HAGA 52, 10 CHILI 44, 11 NEUKIRCHNER 41,
12 MUGGERIDGE 38, 13 BUSSEI 31, 14 GIMBERT 26, 15 BOSTROM 19.
Source: Honda Motor Company, Ltd - Motor Sports Division