Monday, October 09, 2006

WSBK Magny Cours - Toseland and Bayliss win

The French crowds needed to be cheered up on Sunday, since they were crying over their pain au chocolat after their once-mighty football team were crushed 1-0 by Scotland the previous evening.
The spectators got what they needed: some breathtaking racing.
Corser started from pole position in his final race weekend for Suzuki. (He has signed to be Haga's teammate at Yamaha next year, displacing Andrew Pitt.) Alongside him on the grid was Toseland's Honda, Lanzi's Ducati and Muggeridge on the second Ten Kate Honda. Usual suspects Haga, Bayliss and Kagayama were relegated to the second row. This was a bonus for Toseland, who was fighting over second place in the championship with Nori Haga.
Race 1 lasted for only 1 lap before being red flagged after a back-marker had fallen on spilled oil, or some other slippery fluid.
Second time out, race 1 turned into a 3-way battle between Toseland, Haga and the rejuvinated Corser, who was back to his old self after a poor weekend last time out. Toseland and Haga in particular were simply amazing, with some very hard racing before Tose took the win from Haga then Corser, giving him an 8 point advantage over Nori in the championship.
Race 2 was even better, with a 4-way scrap between Toseland, Haga and the two Troys, Bayliss and Corser. All 4 were on devastating form, very fast and very aggressive. It was only in the last lap that the leaders settled down, with Bayliss winning from Corser, then Toseland, then Haga. This gave Toseland 2nd place in the championship.
Overall, there was some fantastic racing at Magny Cours. All of the top riders were on great form. After one incredible overtaking move by Haga, Neil Hodgson, guesting in the British Eurosport commentary box, said "You can't do that! If I did that, I'd run off the track and end up in 20th place!"
Hodgson seems to have settled his differences with Carl Fogarty. There might be a small chance that Hodge will ride for Foggy's team next year, if Foggy can secure bikes and sponsorship, although it seems that Hodgson would settle for nearly any ride. He complained that everybody in the paddock is waiting for Alex Barros to choose a team, a strange situation when the Brazilian has won just 1 race in WSBK. Hodgeson would be a valuable addition to the championship, being a former champion as well as a very media-friendly personality.
The rumours about Max Biaggi dumping Suzuki's WSBK team for a move to MotoGP have been strongly denied by Alstare Corona Suzuki. However, I believe that Max would find a way to wriggle out of his contract if a genuine chance at MotoGP came up, even if it meant paying off the WSBK team (his private sponsors have very deep pockets.) It's not clear yet whether that MotoGP chance has really arisen or if it is just a rumour.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

jimmy, I think that I read about the possibility to see Barros in the official Ducati team. Is that true? or, in other words, what is going to happen to Toseland, Pitt, and the rest of the crowd? Also who is going to be the lucky cinderella to couple with the Roman Emperor? I am not following WSBK for lack of time, but I think the next year I am going to be due for a double shift