WSBK » 25 June 2000
Corser eases to Race One victory.
Just after half distance, the battle for second lost Chili who pulled into the pits with a problem at the rear of the bike. Almost simultaneously, Ben Bostrom moved past both Kawasaki's to take up sixth, the Californian finally racing on a circuit where he has some experience. Infact, over the next few laps Bostrom dragged Yanagawa closer to the tail of fifth placed Fujiwara who was now keeping a safe distance between himself and those ahead.
Judging by the way Bayliss, Borja and Haga were going at it, Fujiwara looked to be in the safest place of all and had a grandstand seat as the two Ducati's and the lone Yamaha battled on ahead.
On lap 16 Borja went too deep into turn one as he tried to pass his tem-mate. The Spaniard kept the bike out of the gravel but fell to fifth, now only three seconds ahead of the advancing Bostrom. Fujiwara meanwhile saw this as the perfect opportunity to make his move and was soon crawling all over the back of Haga.
Coming down the back straight on lap 18, Borja braked impossibly late into Tramonto and cut across the front of both Haga and Fujiwara. In an effort to avoid a collision, Haga picked the Yamaha up which allowed Fujiwara to sneak through on the inside of the turn to take third.
This was Bostrom's signal to make his move on Haga, who looked to be struggling on his heavily worn rubber, however he was beaten to the punch by Yanagawa who passed the American going into the first turn on lap 21 and then Haga on the back straight. Bostrom also succeeded in passing the ailing Yamaha at the Variante Arena chicane a lap later and quickly set off in pursuit of Yanagawa.
As Corser entered his final lap, his lead was a shade over nine seconds and he was visibly cruising around the final 2.5 miles. Bayliss now had a small breathing space over Fujiwara who came home to score his first podium result for the factory Suzuki team. Juan Borja stayed on his bike to claim a good fourth place while Yanagawa was equally pleased with fifth after a poor start.
Ben Bostrom scored his best result of the year with a fighting sixth place on the NCR Ducati while Haga could only struggle home in seventh with his tyres in pieces. Haga was fifteen seconds behind Corser at the end of the race while behind him there was a long gap before Goddard led home the remaining points scorer's.
Somewhat surprisingly, the race had been one of attrition with only 20 of the original 33 starters running at the end. Amongst the other significant retirees was the second factory Yamaha of Vittoriano Guareschi which had shown so well in qualifying and Giovanni Bussei on the Bertocchi Kawasaki who was on course for a top ten placing. The carnage continued until the very final lap when Mauro Sanchini and Jurgen Oelschlaeger eliminated themselves from 13th and 14th places at the infamous Tramonto turn.
Haruchika Aoki made a successful return on the satellite R & D Bieffe Ducati finishing in ninth place, just edging out the second Aprilia of Alessandro Antonello and the surviving Gerin Ducati of Andy Meklau. Alessandro Gramigni took a lonely twelfth place while thanks to Sanchini and Oelshlaeger eliminating themselves, Lucio Pedercini was promoted to13th while Frederic Protat and Lance Isaacs were the two lucky riders who inherited points finishes on the last lap.
With this win, Corser now moves within a single point of Haga for third in the championship, less than 20 points behind the second placed Chili. If the Aprilia performs in the same manner in race two as it did in race one, Colin Edwards could have a new face behind him in the championship.
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