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Fujiwara stalls to WSS victory

26 February 2005

Katsuaki Fujiwara has led a Winston Ten Kate Honda one-two in the opening round of the 2005 World Supersport season at Qatar – despite stalling at the start.

When the race began the second on the grid Japanese dropped back several rows as his engine died and he was left frantically pressing his restart button.

Fortunately his CBR 600RR fired back into life and the former Alstare Suzuki rider was able to start what would be a long chase to catch race leader, and team-mate, Sebastian Charpentier.

The Frenchman, who had started from pole and led the field from turn one onwards, looked likely to dominate the event as he steadily stretched his lead over Italia Megabike rider Michel Fabrizio, but then hit problems from the midway point onwards and began to drop off the pace.

Charpentier's lull - later attributed to front tyre problems - helped Fujiwara, by then up to second after a superb comeback, close rapidly on the race leader's four-second plus lead.

After being caught, Charpentier would defend his position firmly for a few laps, but the Japanese wasn't to be stopped and eventually slipstreamed alongside on the home straight and then outbraked the Frenchman into turn one. Fujiwara's only scare after that would involve a high speed leg waving wobble as he celebrated taking the chequered flag first.

Fabrizio would join the victorious Ten Kate pair on the all Honda podium while Kevin Curtain took fourth for Yamaha ahead of former champion Foret and Broc Parkes.


Qatar WSS result – top 10:

1. Fujiwara
2. Charpentier
3. Fabrizio
4. Curtain
5. Foret
6. Parkes
7. Chambon
8. Fores
9. Nannelli
10. Lauslehto


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