Alstare Suzuki today finished the first race of the 2005 World Superbike championship form Qatar in the form they had been hinting at so far this season.
In the two part race, stopped due to a heavy shower, Troy Corser
led Yukio Kagayama
– by aggregated time – to take the first win of the season.
At the start of the first part of the race the damp track did little to deter the riders with all of them choosing to go out on slicks.
DFXtreme Yamaha rider Jose Luis Cardoso, who had shown so much promise so far, was unable to start his R1 and join the field in the warm up lap. With the bike back in the pits his team were still unable to start the machine meaning Cardoso had to sit out the race.
From the green light Yukio Kagayama
started well from fourth on the grid to be the early leader closely followed by Sebastien Gimbert, Laconi and Corser - who took the Ducati rider to move up into third on only the second corner, as Gimbert made a mistake and fell back down the order.
Corser then out-braked his Japanese team-mate at the first corner of the second lap to take the lead, where he quickly established himself a healthy buffer that he increased up until the stoppage on lap ten.
Kagayama meanwhile became a victim to Laconi for second position on lap six after the Frenchman had beat off a challenge from Yamaha riding Andrew Pitt.
In the overtake for second place Kagayama and Laconi had exited the final corner side-by-side but Kagayama managed to use the four-cylinder grunt to out pace the Ducati by the end of the 1km start-finish straight.
Laconi then muscled his way through only for the pair to ride side-by-side again through the first set of corners. Laconi then had the advantage of the racing line into a fast sweeping left-hander, although this didn't seem to deter Yukio who still tried to ride round the outside despite being on the 'dirty' part of the track. Laconi edged through despite Kagayama's best efforts.