what a fantastic day of racing in the desert!!! so many things to cover…
ducati’s 1098rs faired fairly well in its debut. no engines self-destructed and they somewhere between more-than-competitive and dominant.
former wsbk champ troy bayliss on the factory ducati took race 1 (on the last lap no less) with max biaggi and troy corser rounding out the podium. this was a great result since this is the only track that ducati hasn’t won at. in race 2, alstare suzuki rider fonsi nieto captured his first wsbk win followed by a trio of ducati’s (ruben xaus, biaggi, and bayliss, respectively).
3 out of the top 4 bikes were italian in both races. will these results give officials a reason to penalize the duc’s? probably not. but if we see them dominate phillip island next week we could see the bologna bullets get a pack on some pounds.
i was surprised to see the suzukis battling at the sharp end. in both races, an alstare suzukis was was leading the race at one point. they looked incredibly fast down the 1200m main straight besting both the ducati’s and yamaha’s.
the yamaha’s got off to great starts in both races but faded at the midpoint. corser managed a disappointing 3rd in race 1 but couldn’t muster anything in the second. haga, in race 1, uncharacteristically overreacted to biaggi’s hard pass and duffed it as a result. just get on with it. he was an also-run in race 2.
speaking of also-runs… honda and kawasaki made no impression on me this weekend. they looked to be struggling with setup as soon as they took the bikes off the trailer. i guess i shouldn’t be surprised. for some reason both manufactures delivered bikes late which impeded testing.
best moment: bayliss staring down biaggi’s desperate counterattack in the last corner. priceless.
what can i say, supersport is unpredictable. there’s always plenty of action!!!
the factory r6’s were 1-2 for the most of the race with a hodgepodge of bikes behind. fabien foret had a commanding lead until he ran out of petrol on final lap. talk about frustrating. then it was a dash to the finish between foret’s teammate broc parkes and honda rider joan lascroz. parkes narrowly took the win with an incredible draft pass down the main straight. craig jones took the final podium position.
an incredible crash on the 2nd lap between hannspree ten kate teammates jonathon rea and andrew pitt. rea’s rear tire stepped out as he was exiting turn 3 (i think) and consequently viscously flicked him off. pitt was closely following and there was no way to avoid the carnage. he was punted over the bars and looked in bad shape.
it wouldn’t be a proper moto-vation article if there was no mention of the 675. briefly, triumph scored their first wss points with be1 racing’s ivan clementi’s 12th place finish. garry mccoy on the factory bike looked impressive climbing his way up to a best 5th position but subsequently suffered engine failure (overheating???). in addition, mark aitchison was doing well until he crashed out. all in all, the 675 is race-worthy but it’s still in the early stages of development.
best moment: parkes pipping lascroz on the last lap.
next week is phillip island. can’t wait. the motorcycling season hath begun which means spring is right around the corner!!