James Toseland took a dominant race one win at round three of the Corona Extra Superbike World Championship at Donington Park in the UK.
He had been running in second place on his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda behind Xerox Ducati's Troy Bayliss who crashed out at Coppice. Bayliss has sustained a lot of damage to his little finger on his right hand and has been taken to hospital for further checks. He is out of race two but his team hope he will be fit in two weeks time for round four at Valencia.
Toseland commented on Bayliss' crash, “I saw him go right in front of me. You don't high side at Coppice and not hurt, so I had a bit of a grimace for him.” He admitted that Bayliss was on a charge saying, “I was concentrating so hard to keep with him, he was running a really hot pace and we got a gap to the next group. So when he fell the gap was there and I just kept up the pace.”
“I was lucky that Bayliss crashed but I'll take what I can. To win in from of you guys (referring to crowd of race fans) is the icing on the cake,” said a very pleased Toseland.
Second place went to Yamaha Italia's Troy Corser who got off to a bad start from row two of the grid. The windy conditions continued through race day and it was the wind that had caused Corser's crash in Superpole, “Turn one was very gusty on some laps and the wind caught me a few times on the final corner and pushed me to the outside of the curbs,” he said, “I pushed hard at the beginning as I didn't get a great start. It is hard to make up ground here when we are all so close. I pushed hard and made some aggressive moves. James and Troy were pulling away but once Troy crashed James settled the pace. I settled for second as I didn't want to screw my tyre up. Just wanted to bring it home.”
The final podium step went to Alstare Corona Extra's Max Biaggi who, like Corser had to work his way through the field from a very poor start. “Good result, I didn't expect it but I had good pace on the bike and the machine felt ok,” said the Italian, “I am a little surprised; I am now looking to the second race. I will make no changes of race two just new tyres.”
Off the line it was Bayliss that got the hole shot with Regis Laconi slotting into second place, however Toseland wasn't letting anyone get away from him and he soon took second spot.
Further back Corser was cutting his way through the field taking Fonsi Nieto and Lorenzo Lanzi on the opening lap. Ruben Xaus was also making his presence felt by ousting Laconi from his third place. Corser continued his push and took Laconi putting him into fourth place behind Xaus.
At the front Bayliss was doing his best to check up but it wasn't happening as Toseland wasn't letting go. However disaster struck for the Ducati rider on lap five when he high sided out of the race.
Toseland now had a 2.892secc lead over second place man which was now Corser. They held this formation right to the flag. By lap seven Biaggi was starting to whittle down the competition dispensing with Lanzi and followed that up by taking Nieto. Lap ten he took Xaus and put himself onto the podium. Sadly for Xaus he crashed out at Craner with only two laps to go.
The rest of the Brits came home in fifteenth and eighteenth, with Ellison scoring a point for his fifteenth place. Zanotti recovered from his fast off during warm-up when he lost the front at Starkeys to finish eighteenth.
WSBK race (1) results – Donington Park:
1. James Toseland
2. Troy Corser
3. Max Biaggi
4. Noriyuki Haga
5. Lorenzo Lanzi
6. Fonsi Nieto
7. Regis Laconi
8. Max Neukirchner
9. Roberto Rolfo
10. Jakub Smrz