Losail (Qatar), Saturday 24 February: It was a difficult start to the year for the Ducati Xerox Team at the Losail circuit in Qatar. In the opening round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship, Troy Bayliss and Lorenzo Lanzi could only manage one podium between them in the two races as Max Biaggi (Suzuki), making his Superbike debut, and James Toseland (Honda) took the first two wins of the year. Lorenzo clinched the final podium place in race 1 with a superb pass on Kagayama on the penultimate lap, and finished seventh in the second race, while Troy took a fifth and seventh.

“We knew that this weekend was going to be difficult for us but it turned out to be tougher than expected” declared Troy. “All weekend I’d been doing quite well on the race tyre so I was feeling quite confident, and was quite happy with the way race 1 went. I could have done a lot better but I would have had to put my life on the line so I settled for points. In the second race we thought we couldn’t do any worse and tried something different, we put the hardest tyre in the front which we used last year and we made a change to the rear suspension. The biggest problem we had was at the rear however because we had no feeling at all. It’s a long year ahead, it wasn’t a good start but that’s racing! For sure I’ll feel much more confident at Phillip Island, where the track is normally pretty constant and I’m looking forward to that.

“In race 1 I succeeded in scoring a great podium finish” commented Lorenzo. “It was a good, hard-fought result because in the last few laps I had a great battle with Kagayama. For race 2 we changed the suspension a bit and my 999 worked a lot better. Unfortunately I got off to a bad start, which lost me a lot of time in the early laps. I am sure I could have finished fourth quite easily had the tyre not started to turn on the rim half-way through the race which created some ‘chattering’ problems. Now that the Qatar race is over, we look forward immediately to Phillip Island, where we should go better.”

RACE 1: 1. Biaggi (Suzuki); 2. Toseland (Honda); 3. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox); 4. Kagayama (Suzuki); 5. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox); 6. Neukirchner (Suzuki); 7. Rolfo (Honda); 8. Haga (Yamaha). RACE 2: 1. Toseland; 2. Biaggi; 3. Corser (Yamaha); 4. Haga; 5. Nieto (Kawasaki); 6. Kagayama; 7. Lanzi; 8. Bayliss.

POINTS (after 1 of 13 rounds): 1. Toseland & Biaggi 45; 3. Lanzi 25; 4. Corser & Kagayama 23; 6. Haga 21; 7. Bayliss 19; 8. Neukirchner 16. Manufacturers: 1. Honda & Suzuki 45; 3. Ducati 25; 4. Yamaha 24; 5. Kawasaki 11.



Speak Your Mind