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Kagayama takes triumphant race two

26 February 2005

Alstare Suzuki's Yukio Kagayama took a triumphant victory in the second race from the first round of World Superbikes in Qatar – his second ever WSBK race.

He took the win over Xerox Ducati's Regis Laconi and Alstare team-mate Troy Corser.

From the start Yamaha France's Andrew Pitt led the field into the first corner closely followed by his team-mate Noriyuki Haga, Yukio Kagayama and Troy Corser.

Corser did not waste any time making his way to the front, taking his team-mate on the first lap. Kagayama and Laconi followed Corser through past Haga on the second lap and the trio chased down Pitt's small advantage to be on his rear tyre by the third circuit.

Corser then breezed past Pitt towards the end of the third lap to take a commanding lead as Kagayama also passed Pitt on the second corner of the fourth lap.

It would be the fifth circuit before Laconi had managed to get pass Pitt and then had a small deficit to make up to Kagayama.

It was at this point that Corser stated backing off.

Another riders engine blew-up down the start-finish straight leaving a small amount of oil on the first turn which caught out some of the riders. Troy was one of these, and although managing to stop him himself from falling, he was unable to stop Yukio from passing him on the following corner.

It was at this point that Corser started getting warning signs from his rear tyre.

“My rear tyre wasn't doing what I want it to,” commented Corser to Crash.net following the race. “This meant I had to push the front a bit too much and I think it went off towards the end.”

Laconi then reeled him in over the next few circuits, to finally get past the ailing rider on lap 10.

Corser seemed to find pace again, perhaps as he started pushing the front tyre more, and hung on to the back of Laconi for a few laps before admitting defeat and assuming a more comfortable pace.

Meanwhile a battle raged for fourth place between Andrew Pitt, Max Neukirchner, Pierfrancesco Chili, Norick Abe, James Toseland, Chris Vermeulen and Sebastien Gimbert, who had all broke away from the rest of the field by the 11th lap.

Vermeulen and Chili moved up the pack during the race and by the 14th lap were battling for fourth. Vermeulen managed to power past Chili on the Start-finish straight after they crossed the line to finish the 15th lap. Here he would stay until the chequered flag, with Chili coming home close behind in fifth.

James Toseland also managed to make a notable improvement in speed over the first race and made his way up from 13th on the grid to a final position of sixth and take some valuable points as he defends his World Superbike title.

Chili's Klaffi team-mate Max Neukirchner had a strong race battling with the other six riders for fourth place for much of the race to finally finish a strong eighth on a machine with a great deal more development in store for it before the next race in Philip Island.

Race two top ten
1. Kagayama
2. Laconi
3. Corser
4. Vermeulen
5. Chili
6. Toseland
7. Abe
8. Neukirchner
9. Pitt
10. Gimbert


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