SBK > 2008 Round 02: Australia > Race Results
SBKQatarMarch 2, 2008
World Superbike and World Supersport 2008
Round 02 Phillip Island Circuit – Australia

Checa Scores First Podium For New CBR1000RR Honda

Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) took only four races of his World Superbike racing career to secure a podium finish, missing out on a win in the second 22-lap race at Phillip Island by only 1.127 seconds. It was his and his 2008 specification Honda CBR1000RR’s first visit to the podium, and came after he had qualified on the front row in Superpole on Saturday, with the fourth best qualifying time.

Carlos Checa  Riyuichi Kiyonari

Carlos Checa

Riyuichi Kiyonari

Checa had been knocked off his number one machine on the first lap of the first race, although the race was restarted from the beginning in any case, because of a dramatic crash on the starting grid. Despite suffering from a sore ankle, foot and leg, Checa used his spare machine for the restarted race and battled hard to secured a sixth place finish, and then go on to take the best Honda finish of the 2008 season so far in the second outing.

With the Honda riders on either new machines with little development time behind them or on 2007 machines, there were still some strong performances from most CBR1000RR competitors in Australia.

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) only qualified 19th, and out of Superpole, but recovered in race one to take ninth, then went on to charge through almost the entire 25-rider field to secure a career best sixth in race two.

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Jr CBR1000RR) also missed Superpole, only going 21s in qualifying, and in race one he was struggling to get into the top positions, going 14th. In race two he was more effective in his early laps, and took 11th place.

Race one was delayed for some time, causing disruption of the following Supersport race as well, after a crash between Michel Fabrizio (who had stalled his machine on the startline) and two following riders. One hit him a glancing blow, the other a more severe one, and with stricken rider Vittorio Iannuzzo lying trackside, the race was red-flagged. Iannuzzo broke his left hand, but is otherwise only battered and bruised.

Before the remaining riders had made it back to the pits for the restart, Checa and fellow Honda rider Russell Holland (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) had collided at the entrance to Lukey heights. Both riders made the restart, Holland on his spare bike, a 2007 model machine. Holland had qualified for his home race 9th, and repeated that result in race two; like Checa, it was his fourth ever SBK race.

In race two a long delay in the start lights caused five riders to suffer a jump-start penalty, one of them being 13th place qualifier Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Althea Honda CBR1000RR). He had been tenth in race one, but was without a point in race two, in 16th place.

Gregorio Lavilla (Vent Axia VK Honda CBR1000RR) made a breakthrough on a 2007 bike in Australia, qualifying 14th but improving in each race, with 11th in race one and a truly battling eighth in race two, only 12 seconds from the winner.

Karl Muggeridge (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) enjoyed his home races for periods in each contest, and finished 12th and tenth, using his 2008 machine.

Shuhei Aoyama (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR) qualified 24th and was 18th in race one, a non-finisher when he entered the pits in race two. His team-mate Luca Morelli (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR) did not finish either race, after being hit by another rider in the first lap of first contest, and suffering a muscle injury to his leg.

Checa now sits fifth and top Honda rider in the points, with 45, while Lavilla is just in the top ten, on 18. Kiyonari’s turnaround puts him 11th equal on points with his team-mate Sofuoglu. Rolfo and Muggeridge have double digit points scores, 12 and ten respectively.

“We are still new to this, a new rider on a new bike but at one stage of race two I thought I could win. Then I realised that Bayliss, like in race one, had a bit in reserve. Second is a good result for this stage of the season. My pace was enough to pull away from Xaus and Nieto, but there are still areas of the bike to improve. I didn’t have a lot of time to get back from the medical centre after the crash in race one, but we just made it for the restart. I didn’t feel ready to race right then and considering this we did OK in sixth.”

“I am too slow at the start of the race but every time I go out our settings get better and I am more and more comfortable. I am very happy with my result, but not happy with the beginning of the race. I will have to improve my qualifying in order to get a better position at the start. But I will continue to work hard. The feeling with the bike is getting better, the machine feels good and the set up was fine, I just need to go faster.”

“During the first laps of race one I was very fast, but starting from the seventh lap I felt some vibrations coming from my rear wheel. Race two was really strange. I made a big mistake, starting too early. When I saw some riders opening in front of me I also released the clutch lever, but it was a jump start.”

“The beginning of the second race was all right. If I am relaxed on the bike I can join the guys up front in the fight. But in the second part of the race I’m just losing physical power and control. I don’t know how to control the power of the bike yet but am improving day-by-day.”

“I thought my front tyre was going to be no good in the second race but I just rode through it, adjusted my style a bit and found I was catching some other riders. We get our 2008 bikes soon and that should allow us to make even greater steps.”

“This weekend we improved comparing to Qatar, but here it was much harder. We are in the same ranking position that we were in Qatar, even with the improvements we had. We worked a lot for the races and I think I could learn and get more experience. All I can say is that we are going better and certainly moving towards our targets.”

 Gregorio Lavilla Andrew Pitt

Gregorio Lavilla

Andrew Pitt

World Supersport Championship

Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) followed up his fastest ever qualifying lap of Phillip Island with a battling race win in Sunday’s 21-lap Supersport race. He leaves his home track with the new WSS track best of 1’34.592, set in qualifying.

A three rider Honda civil war at the beginning of the race became a six rider fight at one stage, but the trio of Pitt, second place qualifier Josh Brookes (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsports Honda CBR600RR) and Robbin Harms (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsports Honda CBR600RR) were the top-finishing trio after an all-time classic Supersport race. They swapped the leading positions time after time, with Pitt attempting to slow the pace to conserve his tyres, allowing other riders to join the fray until the very last lap, when the top three moved ahead again.

They had been joined by first Fabien Foret, then Garry McCoy on the three-cylinder Triumph and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) who could not start as fast as his main rivals. He ended up fifth, equalling his qualifying performance after looking like he could take a podium at one stage.

Gianluca Nannelli (Hannspree Althea Honda CBR600RR) made it seven Honda riders in the top ten places, with privateer riders Joan Lascorz and Gianluca Vizziello taking seventh and eighth places respectively on their Honda CBR600RRs.

Qatar podium finisher Craig Jones (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) struggled in Australia, qualifying 12th and dropping to 16th in the race itself, struggling for traction. Andrea Antonelli (Hannspree Althea Honda CBR600RR) qualified 19th and suffered a DNF.

In the championship itself, Brookes leads with 33 points, Lascorz is second on 29, with Pitt third, thanks to his 25 Phillip Island points. Harms also has 25 points, and is credited with fifth after a three way tie in the championship table. Jones is sixth, on 16.

“The guys in the team have worked very hard to make it all work this weekend. We came here very determined after the first race in Qatar. We had to bounce back and we’ve done so in the best possible way. It was a tough race, with a big group of guys battling at the front, but I was confident I could work it out in the last laps. I did, and I’m very happy with the result.”

“It wasn’t as good as 2004, when I won, but it was a fantastic and very close race. I would like to thank the team for believing in me and for doing a great job this weekend. It was a very tough, hard race but great fun at the same time. I’m sure all my friends, family and fans really enjoyed the race and they must have been biting their nails at the end. Pitt and I put our heads down and charged for the line, but in the end he got it - by just sixty-two hundredths of a second!”

“I am very, very happy because it’s been tough recently, what with my injuries. I felt very strong in the race and although it must have seemed a crazy race, I felt totally in control. I was actually a bit frustrated with Pitt sometimes because in some places he was holding me up. I’d like to say thank you to the team for doing a great job and hope we can carry on this way.”

“I am happy enough. We scored a fifth today; I rode very hard but still struggle to understand the tyre when it’s brand new. The last 10 laps I can be as fast as the front guys, but in the opening laps when the tyre is new, I still have to learn to push it harder.”

“My natural style is to use a lot of front brake and a lot of throttle opening when exiting corners. So up to half race distance, no problem. After that, I had a lot of spinning from the rear, so I had to work hard to finish in the top ten.”

World Superbike and World Supersport 2008
Round 01, Phillip Island Circuit – Australia

Superbike Race 1
1 T. BAYLISS (Ducati Xerox Team)
2 T. CORSER (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB)
3 M.FABRIZIO (Ducati Xerox Team)
4 R. XAUS (Sterilgarda Go Eleven)
5 F. NIETO (Team Suzuki Alstare)
6 C. CHECA (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
7 M.NEUKIRCHNER (Team Alstare Suzuki)
8 N.HAGA (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB)
9 R. KIYONARI (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
10 R. ROLFO (Hannspree Honda Althea)
11 G.LAVILLA (Ventaxia VK Honda)
12 K. MUGGERIDGE (D.F. Racing)
13 L. LANZI (R.G. Team)
14 K. SOFUOGLU (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
15 S. NAKATOMI (YZF Yamaha)
Superbike Race 2
1 T. BAYLISS (Ducati Xerox Team)
2 C. CHECA (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
3 F. NIETO (Team Suzuki Alstare)
4 R. XAUS (Sterilgarda Go Eleven)
5 M.NEUKIRCHNER (Team Alstare Suzuki)
6 R. KIYONARI (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
7 N.HAGA (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB)
8 G.LAVILLA (Ventaxia VK Honda)
9 R. HOLLAND (D.F. Racing)
10 K. MUGGERIDGE (D.F. Racing)
11 K. SOFUOGLU (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
12 D. CHECA (Yamaha France Ipone GMT)
13 S. GIMBERT (Yamaha France Ipone GMT)
14 M.TAMADA (Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse)
15 S. NAKATOMI (YZF Yamaha)
 Carlos Checa

Carlos Checa
1 A. PITT (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
2 J. BROOKES (Hannspree Stiggy Motors.)
3 R.HARMS (Hannspree Stiggy Motors.)
4 F. FORET (Yamaha World Supersport)
5 J. REA (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
6 G.MCCOY (Triumph - SC)
7 J. LASCORZ (Glaner
8 G.VIZZIELLO (Berry Racing)
9 M.ROCCOLI (Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni)
10 G.NANNELLI (Hannspree Honda Althea)
11 I. CLEMENTI (Triumph Italia BE1 Racing)
12 M.AITCHISON (Triumph Italia BE1 Racing)
13 G.GOWLAND (Benjan Racing Team)
14 C.WALKER (Kawasaki Gil Motor Sport)
15 V. KALLIO (Benjan Racing Team)

Related Links

· SBK - FIM World Superbike Championship and World Supersport Championship
· Australia

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