A pair of exciting races at Brno provided superbike racing fans from the Czech Republic their money's worth on Sunday afternoon. Max Biaggi
and James Toseland split wins with the Hannspree Honda rider taking race one and Biaggi earning victory in the second.
Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki's Max Biaggi moves into second place in the champinship race following an impressive 2-1 finish at a difficult Brno circuit.
Championship leader James Toseland
came out on top of a race-long duel with Max Biaggi that saw the two riders swap positions a half dozen times over the course of the 20-lap race. Suzuki's Max Biaggi grabbed the early lead on the first lap but Toseland bullied his way past before the freight train crossed the finish line at the start of the second lap. The two riders battled back and forth throughout the race while the Japanese pair of Haga and Kagayama did their best to keep things interesting in the battle for third.
On lap 11, Toseland overtook Biaggi for the final time, leaving the Suzuki pilot to fight with his teammate Kagayama and Yamaha Italia's Noriyuki Haga
for the final two spots. Eventually Biaggi pulled away and actually reeled Toseland in during the closing stages of the race but it was too little too late and the Honda ace picked up the sixth win of the season.
"After Misano these two races were pretty big," said championship leader James Toseland. "We had fallen behind on electronics, but we knew what the problems were and we sat down and figured out what we needed to do. Since the tests things have just got better and better. Thanks to the team and the PI people - it's meant going from third and fifth place to second and third. I feel like we are back in the game again and it's nice to draw a line under it all."
Kagayama went on to finish third, extending his streak of podium finishes at Brno to three.
Ducati Xerox's Troy Bayliss
saw his championship hopes take a serious hit when, on lap 12, he was taken out when Alto Evolution Honda's Karl Muggeridge and PSG-1 Kawasaki's Regis Laconi came together. Muggas and Bayliss went down but Laconi managed to stay upright.
"It was exactly the same here as last year - a crash and a poor finish - but this time I'm happier with the result in race 2," mused Bayliss. "We made a mistake in the first race putting the soft tire on but for the second race we put in a harder front tire and it made a huge difference. We started to get good confidence back because it's a tire I normally like anyway. My start was good and I was in second place at the first corner but then I got beat up. Someone came at me on the inside, somebody hit me on the outside and I got knocked back down a long way. I came back pretty strong, but anyway the best thing I can do now is forget about this place and move on to Brands Hatch."
Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki's Max Biaggi moves into second place in the championship standings after his huge victory in race 2. This race was held under threatening skies and even suffered a delay following the warm-up lap when a light rain moistened up the circuit as the riders were taking up their positions on the grid. The race was reduced to 19-laps as a result.
Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland enjoys a 43-point lead over Biaggi in the 2007 championship. A win in race one and a runner-up in race two combined with some bad luck by Bayliss leaves the former World Champ looking good heading down the stretch.
"Brno loves me and I love Brno," exclaimed Biaggi. "It's incredible to think of how many good memories I have of this place and today continued that pattern. It's a fantastic track because there is such a good variety of turns - some fast, some not so fast. Tires were always going to be a bit of a problem today, but the second race was better for them because it was a bit cooler. I didn't change anything to the bike from the first race to the second, except put fresh tires in of course. I want to thank the whole Alstare Suzuki squad for these great results today; it's been a while since I won a race, but to win one today and finish second in the other makes me very happy."
Biaggi got a great start again but as was the case with the first race, lost the lead before the end of the first lap. Nori Haga took over the lead at the start of the second lap and set the pace until lap 14 when what appeared to be tire troubles forced his lap times to drop off.
"Everything was feeling good for race one but I made a small mistake at the start, which is why I went backwards briefly," said Haga. "My big issue today though was my tire life, particularly in race two. I did some long runs yesterday and the day before and I didn't have the problem that I had today - the front tire was finished after ten laps. We need to look at the geometry of the bike to see if we can do anything there to help the tires."
First Biaggi made his way past then Toseland did the same. DFX Corse Honda's Michel Fabrizio shuttled Haga back another position as the CBR rider earned his first podium finish of the season.
Roberto Rolfo was a surprise in fifth place ahead of defending champ Troy Bayliss in sixth. Things didn't go well for fellow Australian Troy Corser who was forced to retire on lap 6 due to mechanical problems shortly after setting a new lap record.
Toseland now leads Biaggi 305 to 262 with Haga close at 260 points.
Race 1 Results:
1. James Toseland (Honda)
2. Max Biaggi (Suzuki)
3. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki)
4. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)
5. Robby Rolfo (Honda)
6. Michel Fabrizio (Honda)
7. Troy Corser (Yamaha)
8. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati)
9. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki)
10. Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha)
Race 2 Results:
1. Max Biaggi (Suzuki)
2. James Toseland (Honda)
3. Michel Fabrizio (Honda)
4. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)
5. Robby Rolfo (Honda)
6. Troy Bayliss (Ducati)
7. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati)
8. Fonsi Nieto (Kawasaki)
9. Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha)
10. Ruben Xaus (Ducati)