WSBK » 28 December 2007
Crash.net's WSBK season review – Part 2.
From the 25 races, Toseland took 8 wins, 14 podiums and 2 pole positions, making him a worthy winner, while Haga's haul of 6 wins, 15 podiums and 2 poles at least helped Yamaha lift the manufacturers' crown.
Biaggi's 17 podiums from 25 races marked an incredibly high level of consistency for a WSBK rookie, while Bayliss still claimed a highly competitive 7 wins, 13 podiums and 6 poles.
The only other rider to win a race was Ruben Xaus, whose race one triumph at Valencia was also the only win by a non-factory rider and marked the spectacular Spaniard's first victory since 2003, when he finished title runner-up to team-mate Neil Hodgson on a factory Ducati.
Xaus also took a third place at Assen, but still finished 95 points behind a winless Troy Corser, whose first season at Yamaha ended with a solid fifth in the points and nine podium finishes.
Italians Lorenzo Lanzi and Roberto Rolfo were left firmly in the shadow of team-mates Bayliss and Toseland, costing them their seats for 2008, and they finished exactly equal on points - Lanzi getting the nod for seventh due to a single podium finish, something Rolfo was cruelly denied when he ran out of fuel at Monza.
Max Neukirchner completed the year ninth on the 'satellite' Alstare Suzuki, but impressed enough on the full factory machine at Magny-Cours to keep the ride for 2008, when he will be joined by Fonsi Nieto and retained factory favourite Yukio Kagayama.
Nieto finished twelfth for Kawasaki in 2007, two places behind team-mate Regis Laconi, as the green machine disappointingly failed to take a single podium. Laconi will be joined by former double MotoGP race winner Makoto Tamada next season.
DFX Honda's Michel Fabrizio finished the year sandwiched between the ZX-10Rs, during a tough 2007 for all the non-factory riders, but the Italian will get his big chance alongside Bayliss in the factory Ducati team next year, riding the new 1098R during what could well be Troy's final season of racing.
The forthcoming arrival of the 1098 caused significant controversy this season, with Ducati threatening to quit if it was not allowed to run the 1200cc racer - which had already replaced the 999 model in the showroom - while some rival teams declared a similar intention if the big-capacity machine did race.
Ducati was prepared to surrender the v-twin's previous tuning advantage in return for the extra 200cc and a compromise was eventually reached that will see the 1098 start next season 6kg heavier than the 1000cc four-cylinders and with 50mm air restrictors fitted. Both those limits will be 'updated, if needed, during the championship by a system analysing the race points obtained'.
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