Championship leader James Toseland showed the rest of the field what he is made of by romping home with the race one win at his home round of Brands Hatch for round ten of the Corona Extra Superbike World Championship.
He was greeted by rapturous applause from the huge crowd of fans as he took the chequered flag.
The Brit was joined on the podium by Troy Corser on the Yamaha Italia machine and the final step of the podium went to Max Biaggi on his Brands Hatch debut.
“About bloody time!” exclaimed Toseland, “Sorry about that guy's it only took me ten years. I've been close in the past, I've had seconds and thirds but there is nothing like a win round here.”
“The last five laps were hard trying to concentrate and not think about winning,” he continued, “This is Max's first time here and he is on the podium - that is no mean feat. It is great to be up here with the likes of Corser, Biaggi and usually Bayliss. It has done my riding a lot of good racing with these guys.” With his imminent move to MotoGP, Toseland wants the title for his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team as he went on to say, “Winning this championship is more important to me than going to MotoGP. This is for my team and I wish them all the best for the future. It was an emotional win but we are not finished yet, there is another one to go. I'll be emotional after that.”
Australian, Corser was complaining about the high temperatures, “I think this is one of the hottest races we've had and it is really humid too - this track works you hard.”
He was thrilled with his result first time here on his new steed, “We've been having problems in the race but practice and qualifying always go good. Warm-up was good, we made some change to the bike for the race although I did struggle a little bit with the tyres. This is my first time here on the Yamaha so I'm happy to have a podium. As it gets hotter we lose side grip but my bike is working well so a big thanks to my guys. I hope to go one better in race two.”
The Roman Emperor impressed everyone with his podium finish first time out at Brands, “This place is special and it is almost impossible! When I first ride here I think it is unbelievable, it is up and down, bumps, off camber, blind corners…it is the most difficult track I have ever raced. I'm looking forward to race two as it is more practice, more laps, more confidence and more chance. Well done to James and Troy it was a good race, I'm very happy with my podium.”
The race got off to a dramatic start as Troy Bayliss surged forward in what looked like a jump start. He took the lead initially but Toseland wanted it and muscled by at the start of lap three. Once Bayliss dropped to second place it was Noriyuki Haga who pounced on him. Swapping places four times in as many corners, Haga did bump him wide and had to wave an apology to him as he pushed him back to third place. Haga's team-mate Corser decided to follow his lead and took his fellow country man for third place.
Just as Bayliss was trying to regain the lost places he tucked the front at Druids. As it turned out it was the “jump start” that was on his mind, “I was looking for the flag to come in every lap, I just wasn't focused in the early laps. I pushed too hard and lost the front at Druids,” he said.