Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Troy Corser took a tremendous win and a hard-fought third place at Monza today and extended his lead in the World Superbike Championship to 52 points over his nearest rival - team mate Yukio Kagayama.
Kagayama took runner-up spot in the first race and was in the hunt for a podium in the second when he ran off the track and tipped over at slow speed in the gravel and was unable to restart.
In race one, reigning World Champion James Toseland (Ducati) took third to record his first podium of the season.
The second race featured a terrific scrap between Regis Laconi (Ducati), Chris Vermeulen (Honda), Corser and Karl Muggeridge (Honda) and went right down to the wire. But although Laconi led on the last lap, Vermeulen passed him on the approach to the second chicane and then held on to take the chequered flag as Corser got the better of Muggeridge in the closing stages to take his second podium of the day.
Suzuki continue to lead the Manufacturers Championship with their GSX-R1000 K5 racers on 191 points - 53 clear of Honda.
Troy Corser - Race 1: 1st, Race 2: 3rd:
"Race one was good and I had no problems at all really. I got off the line well and then made a bit of a break after a couple of laps. But, it is always close here and as the race wore on, the pack closed in on me. Yukio passed me on the last lap, but I went under him and overtook him. We touched briefly, but it was only a minor touch and there was no danger at all. After that I just put my head down and ran to the flag to win by nearly a second.
"In race two, I had some problems with the front brakes almost from the start. There was a bit of vibration when I braked hard and then they began to get hot when I was behind Regis and Chris. I think my Alstare Suzuki was as fast as them but I couldn't brake as hard as I did in the first race. I couldn't do much about Regis and Chris but I was determined not to let 'Muggas' beat me to the podium, so I braked as hard as I dared and managed to hold him off. I had already seen Yukio go off the track so I knew that I had extended my series lead. For us, it is not about winning every race - it's the championship that counts."
Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 2nd, Race 2: DNF:
"I enjoyed the first race very much - it was good fun. My team gave me a good bike and I was able to keep with Troy-san without any problems. I went past him going into a chicane but then I ran a little wide and he came past under me and maybe we touched - I don't know. Then I tried to catch and pass him but he was too strong for me. I am happy because this was my first race at Monza and I was second. After Superpole yesterday, it was a good birthday present for me.
"The second race was not so good for me. After 10 laps, I made a little mistake when I missed my braking point in one of the Lesmo corners and then went into the gravel. The bike fell over at slow speed and the engine cut out. I tried to restart it but I think some small stones had got in to the airbox because the engine made a funny rattling noise. I knew then it was impossible to carry on. But, I am still second in the championship and one of my favourite circuits - Silverstone - is coming up next."
World Superbike Results:
Race 1: Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 2 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 3 Toseland (GB-Ducati), 4 Laconi (F-Ducati), 5 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha), 6 Muggeridge (Aus-Honda), 7 Chili (I-Honda), 8 Walker (GB-Kawasaki), 9 Nannelli (I-Ducati), 10 Abe (J-Yamaha).
Race 2: Vermeulen (Aus-Honda), 2 Laconi, 3 Troy Corser, 4 Muggeridge, 5 Toseland, 6 Pitt, 7 Chili, 8 Walker, 9 Haga (J-Yamaha), 10 Nannelli. Yukio Kagayama - DNF.
Superbike Points: 1 Troy Corser (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 182, 2 Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzu ki Corona Extra) 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.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Javier Fores finished 11th in both timed qualifying sessions and in today's 16-lap race at Monza.
He was thirteenth at the end of lap one but was never able to get any higher than 11th during the race due to suspension problems.
Honda riders Katsuaki Fujiwara and Sebastien Charpentier battled for the lead with Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati), but in the end Fujiwara stole victory from Charpentier by just thirty-six-thousandths of a second.
Javier Fores - 11th:
"I was hoping for a much better result than this today but I had problems with the suspension right from the start and I couldn't push hard at all. The front was going away from me when I braked and in the end I decided that I wanted to finish the race instead of crashing, so I did what I could. It is disappointing and a bit frustrating but that's how racing is sometimes. I am hoping for better things in the next round at Silverstone."
Supersport Results: 1 Fujiwara (J-Honda), 2 Charpentier (F-Honda), 3 Nannelli (I-Ducati) 4 Fabrizio (I-Honda), 5 Curtain (Aus-Yamaha), 6 Lauslehto (SF-Honda), 7 Parkes (Aus-Yamaha), 8 Chambon (F-Honda), 9 Goi (I-Yamaha), 10 Le Grelle (B-Honda). 11 Javier Fores (E-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra).
Supersport Points: 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 Javier Fores (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 23.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Riccardo Chiarello finished just off the podium in the second round of the European Superstock 1000 Championship at Monza today.
He made a superb start and led into the first chicane but was then swallowed up by eventual winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Yamaha) before the first lap was out. Although Sofuoglu was pressurised by Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha) in the closing stages of the 11-lapper, he held on to take his second win of the season.
Third went to Craig Coxhell (Suzuki) with Chiarello close behind.
Riccardo Chiarello - 4th:
"I am disappointed not to have been on the podium today because I feel that my bike had the measure of the Yamahas. But, today I found it was difficult changing direction and so I just could not get to the front at all. The tyres worked ok except in the Parabolica, but they were not the problem. If we can get the bike to work ok, then I am confident that I can be on the podium and maybe beat those Yamahas."
Superstock 1000 Results: 1 Sofuoglu (Tur-Yamaha), 2 Roccoli (I-Yamaha), 3 Coxhell (Aus-Suzuki), 4 Riccardo Chiarello (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 5 Van Keymeulen (NL-Yamaha), 6 Martinez (E-Yamaha)
Superstock 1000 Points: 1 Sofuoglu 50, 2 Roccoli 36, 3 Van Keymeulen 31, 4 Coxhell 27, 5 De Marco 14. 6 Riccardo Chiarello 13.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office