The Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki duo of Troy Corser (11) and Yukio Kagayama (71) dominated the opening round of the 2005 WSB series at Qatar.
Team Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki dominated the first round of the 2005 Superbike World
Championship held at the Losail circuit in Doha, Qatar. For the first time in Suzuki's history, they won both races on the same day. Corser took the win in race one and Kagayama won race two.
The first race was stopped due to rain ten laps in. Aggregate time was used to decide final position with Corser coming out on top. In race two, conditions were much better and Kagayama was able to exploit the horsepower of his new GSX-R1000 and take the first win of his WSB career.
Rider & Team Quotes:
Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki) - 2nd - 1st
"Today I am a very happy man. I did not dream that I would win a World Superbike race so soon or that I would be leading the Championship after the opening round. I want to thank my team for all their help and support and this win is for all of us. I was happy to be on the podium in the first race, so after the win in the second, I am twice as happy! I think I was a bit lucky in the first race when it was stopped because for the re-start, I was able to make some small adjustments and my GSX-R1000 felt much better.
"In race two, the track temperature was lower and I felt that my bike would work better and it did! When Troy ran wide, I passed under him and took the lead and from then on I was able to pull out an advantage. Troy had gone wide because of some oil on the track and nearly lost control and I also felt a bit of a slide, but I carried on ok. At the end, I just had to watch my pit board and keep steady for the win."
Troy Corser (Alstare Suzuki) - 1st - 3rd
"I found it pretty easy in the first race and felt relaxed and comfortable up front. The bike was working great and the only problem was when it started raining. I knew that we would have to stop because we were all on slicks, so I put my hand up and the race was red-flagged. By the time we got going again, the track was dry again so I think we were all on slicks once more. Yukio made the break and I just hung with Regis Laconi knowing that I didn't have to beat him to take the win. It's been a long time since my last win in 2001, but I hadn't forgotten the winning feeling.
"In the second race I was leading and then the oil flags came out on the approach to turn one so I ran a bit wide and eased off the throttle. I still nearly crashed, but Yukio dived underneath. I tried to catch him straight away, but he'd pulled out a bit of a gap. My front was a bit chewed up and I knew I couldn't stay ahead of Regis, so I let him past. It's great to win and it's great to be on the podium with a perfect start for our team. The only thing that would have been better is if I had won both races! But my favorite circuit, Phillip Island, is next so maybe I can do a double there."
Regis Laconi (Ducati Xerox) - 3rd - 2nd
"I made a so-so start (in race 1) and just tried to pass the guys in front of me immediately because I was fourth on the first lap. It feels tough to finish second in both races and end up third overall but those are the regulations and I am just happy to be on the podium.
"I tried to catch Yukio in the final laps (of race 2) but it wasn't easy and when I saw it was easy to slide I told myself to just ride and settle for second and that's what I did. I did the best that I could do today and it was important for me to start the championship with two results, unlike last year, and get my season off to a good start."
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia) - 4th - 9th
"Race one was good for the result but in race two my front tire felt like it was finished too early. I fought as hard as I could to keep other riders behind me but I had a couple of big front-end pushes and I really didn't want to crash. The speed of the bike is not too bad, pretty much on par with most other bikes. It's a good result though. We always said that we might have to settle for solid points in the opening rounds and that's what we achieved today."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) - 5th - 11th
James Toseland (Ducati Xerox) - 6th - 6th
"So far so good but we have some set-up difficulties. The rain interfering in race one was good for us. The front tire did not seem so suitable in the second race, for us at least. I had a good start in both races, but I was not able to keep positions. This is only the first race so I hope to improve the set-up in the coming tests and to challenge for top positions in the next round."
"I got two good starts and we hung in there. I was two-tenths off getting fifth in the aggregate but considering everything that's happened this week, it's a solid start. The confidence is coming again, I needed some dry time and I can only get that in the races.
"Two sixths from thirteenth place is OK, as far as the championship goes I'm joint fifth, which is not what I wanted but at least it's solid. Towards the end of the race I was lapping as quick as the leaders. After Sunday's crash I needed some dry time and I just didn't get it. We haven't been able to try everything we wanted and that made the whole weekend difficult for me. I'm disappointed but I know I could have been out for a couple of rounds with last week's crash, so I'll take these results any day."
Chris Vermeulen (Winston Ten Kate Honda) - 8th - 4th
"The bike was so much better in race two. We changed the rear suspension to try and get the front working a bit better because we are still getting used to the new front forks. As race two went on, I just got more and more comfortable. With a couple of more laps I could have been on the podium and with more time to test properly, who knows."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France IPONE) - 10th - 7th
"I think today I did not have good luck, especially in the first race. I went fourth then the next lap it started to rain. Afterwards the electronics on the quickshifter broke and I needed to make a pitlane start. In the beginning of race two the start was not bad but the engine was not quite as fast as normal. I finally passed some other riders but if I had more speed I would have taken many more top riders."
Karl Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda) - 9th - N/A
"It's been a week to forget. Not a lot of time on the bike and then a small component failed, making me start race two from pit lane. I was happy with the way I was riding and the bike even though I'm still lacking energy due to my illness. At least I got a few points from the first race and I'm going to treat my home race in Australia as the start of my season."
Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France IPONE) - DNF - 10th
"It's a real shame because I got taken out by another rider in race one, and in race two I burned the clutch a bit on the start and could not use all the engine power. It was OK to ride on my own but not to pass, as I could not run out of the slipstream on my own."
Frankie Chili (Klaffi Honda) - DNF - 5th
"In the last two or three laps of race two I had a drop in power from my braking arm, or for sure I would have caught Troy. I have finished my body! In the last laps I made a mistake three times so I told myself to relax and finish the race."
Steve Martin (Foggy Petronas Racing) 15th - DNF
"At the restart I got behind a train of guys and was then stuck behind Nieto, who made it very difficult for me to get past. Once I passed him I was able to close the others down but not able to get past Garry. I am pretty happy that we have the bike handling all right but I had to work for that point.
"It was a shame not to finish the second race (mechanical DNF) as I really earned that point but I am really happy with the way the bike is handling. I can't really say that it has been a bad weekend and I am really looking forward to our next two tests. I got a great start and was carving through people on the first lap of the second race. I got into a good rhythm and was then fending them off for the whole race. At the restart of the first race I got behind a train of guys and was then stuck behind Nieto, who made it very difficult for me to get past. Once I passed him I was able to close the others down but not able to get past Garry."
Ben Bostrom (Renegade Koji Honda) - 16th - DNF
"You could see how my weekend was from the points table. It's a bummer. We had a small bike problem right from the start and so it was a tough weekend. But this was really like us testing at our first race so we will have two bikes and more parts at the next tests, new motors as well. We are down at the bottom this weekend but we will be accelerating up at a rapid rate from now on.
"Overall, it's so nice to be back in World Superbike. The competition level is great, there are 20 guys out there really going fast. And being back here with them had me smiling. Even when we were having a tough day, I was happy."
Garry McCoy (Foggy Petronas racing - 17th - 16th
"The first part of the race was really difficult. The clutch was slipping way too much and I had to brake without any engine braking. I went in a different direction for the restart and knew I would have too much grab, which tends to lock up the rear wheel. But that was better than having no engine braking at all. I also suffered chatter at the front and couldn't really keep any corner speed. But it was good to go out and mix it with the guys and find all these things from pushing harder."
"I am pretty happy because at least we got to finish both races and gather as much information as possible. I am sure we will have a forward direction on the bike with the new things that we have to test in Valencia. It's hard to get a good start with so many guys in front of you and I pretty much sat where I was after that in the second race. I still had a little bit of a clutch problem and that upsets the chassis. The first part of the first race was really difficult. The clutch was slipping way too much and I had to brake without any engine braking. I went in a different direction for the restart and knew I would have too much grab, which tends to lock up the rear wheel. I also suffered chatter at the front and couldn't really keep any corner speed. But it was good to go out and mix it with the guys and find all these things from pushing harder."
Max Neukirchner (Klaffi Honda) - DNF - 8th
"Race two was really good, but in race one I had a little crash. I had a real good start in the second and the conditions were fine. The engine cut out sensor was a problem in race one and then the other riders braked a little earlier than usual and that caught me out, and we collided. But race two was a lot of fun."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)
"The only thing we can do is say that we are paying for some delays in testing, in terms of set-up. Andrew knows this bike a little bit better than Noriyuki, and the bike set-up is not yet perfect. But we had four finishes and some good points. At this track we have had some problems so we expected some difficulty today."
Martial Garcia (Team Manager - Yamaha Motor France IPONE)
"Sebastien made the best lap time and he said he had very good tires and good chassis settings. We wanted to get a fine start in the first race and except for our bad luck we have had an encouraging first couple of races. We took some points and showed our power - and we have another 22 races."
Carl Fogarty (Foggy Petronas Racing Director)
"I thought it would be a struggle to gain points here as the boys haven't had too much time on the bike and because of the new depth to the championship. It was a bit of a dampener for Steve to break down because to have scored points in both races would have been okay, although it's not where I want us to be. We now have a lot of good things to test at Valencia and Phillip Island and I am looking forward to the next round. I was also pleased to see Troy win the first race, although it was no real surprise."
Race 1 Results:
1. Troy Corser (Suzuki)
2. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki)
3. Regis Laconi (Ducati)
4. Andrew Pitt (Yamaha)
5. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)
6. James Toseland (Ducati)
7. Silva (Yamaha)
8. Chris Vermeulen (Honda)
9. Karl Muggeridge (Honda)
10. Norick Abe (Yamaha)
Race 2 Results:
1. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki)
2. Regis Laconi (Ducati)
3. Troy Corser (Suzuki)
4. Chris Vermeulen (Honda)
5. Frankie Chili (Honda)
6. James Toseland (Ducati)
7. Norick Abe (Yamaha)
8. Max Neukirchner (Honda)
9. Andrew Pitt (Yamaha)
10. Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha)
1. Kagayama, 45
2. Corser, 41
3. Laconi, 36
4. Vermeulen, 21
5. Pitt, 20
6. Toseland, 20
7. Haga, 16
8. Abe, 15
9. Chili, 11
10. Silva, 10
World Supersport Results:
1. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda)
2. Sebastien Charpentier (Honda)
3. Fabrizio (Honda)
4. Kevin Curtain (Yamaha)
5. Fabien Foret (Honda)
6. Brock Parkes (Yamaha)
7. Boris Chambon (Honda)
8. Javi Fores (Suzuki)
9. Gianluca Nanelli (Ducati)
10. Lauslehto (Honda)