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Corser, Kagayama on top in first race down-under
3 April 2005
Alstare Suzuki's Troy Corser won the first race in Australia nearly 9 seconds ahead of his World Superbike team-mate Yukio Kagayama who crossed the line in second.
Corser led from the first lap to the end, unchallenged by any other rider as he took his second win of the season.
“To tell you the truth I was trying not to push too hard and I was still pulling away just slightly,” commented Corser after the race. “I was just trying to save the tyres to get the most life out of them. I was taking a bit of care on the corners because of the wind too.
“Everybody is in the same conditions. I've probably got a bit more experience in these conditions so I know what lines to use,” he concluded.
Team-mate Kagayama looked comfortable in second, also not being challenged throughout the race.
“My target this weekend is podium,” he said. “I want podium and I get podium, I am happy now. I keep no crash and I keep bike in safe riding. It was very hard race. Bike had bit of movement, but it was every lap full gas. But cannot catch Troy san. he is much strong.”
Andrew Pitt on the Yamaha Italia machine held third for much of the race only to drop back through the field after half race distance.
Chris Vermeulen and Max Neukirchner battled their way up the field to third and fourth on the final lap, where they were involved in an almighty battle for the last place of the podium. Vermeulen managed to starve off the 22 year-old German WSBK new-comer to take the position.
“There were a lot of riders out there pushing me, but at the end Max was pushing me hard!” exclaimed Vermeulen. “He was going really well. I just had to push so hard early on that my front tyre wasn't in the best condition and with the wind it was hard work. I just had to try and hold him off and that is what I did.”
Young Neukirchner had the race of his life, swapping paint with Vermeulen on a number of occasions. Both riders had marks on their leathers from where the racing had been so close.
“It is unbelievable!” commented Neukirchner. “But he is Australian guy and it's his track. I am very happy for the fourth place.”
Noriyuki Haga and Gary McCoy both suffered with engine failure.
It is believed Haga's Yamaha Italia machine sucked in water during the wet warm-up leading to failure in the race.
Gary McCoy's Foggy Petronas motor lost out at the high-speed circuit with being underpowered and 100cc smaller then all its competitors engines.
The FPR team hope to have a new engine specification at Valencia once a new exhaust system has been made to cope with the extra heat generated by the higher revving and more powerful engine.
The Xerox Ducati pairing of Regis Laconi and James Toseland both complained of tyre troubles at the end of the first race.
Laconi managed to salvage a seventh place after repeatedly losing the front of his F05 machine, Toseland on the other hand struggled throughout to finish a disappointing 15th.
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