Round: 6 – Misano
Circuit: Misano
Date: 25 June 2006
Crowd: 61000
Temp: 30ÂșC
Weather: Sunny

Andrew Pitt took his first ever win in the Superbike World Championship at Misano today as team-mate Noriyuki Haga gave the Yamaha Motor Italia squad its first ever double podium finish in the class.

After colliding with another rider and failing to score in the opening race, the Australian rode intelligently to win race two while many top riders crashed out behind him. Making his intentions clear from the start, Pitt set the fastest lap of race two as he pulled away from the pack with world champion Troy Corser (Suzuki). When Corser crashed out on lap eight, Pitt found himself out in front of former world champions James Toseland (Honda) and Troy Bayliss (Ducati). When both Toseland and Bayliss made mistakes the Yamaha Motor Italia rider was able defend a five second lead over the battle for second, contested by Haga, Alex Barros (Honda) and Chris Walker (Kawasaki). Pitt rode sensibly to finish over two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Barros to give his team their first win of the season.

Barros eventually took second place in what was a ferocious race long battle, with Haga getting the final podium spot from Walker on the last lap. Earlier in the day Haga finished fifth, his 27 point haul moving him up to second place in the championship.

There were more mixed fortunes in the Yamaha Motor France camp. Norick Abe turned around a horrific qualifying session to score tenth and 13th place finishes from 22nd on the grid. Team-mate Sebastien Gimbert was 12th in race one but retired in race two, while Shinichi Nakatomi was unable to capitalize on his 13th place qualifying. The Japanese rookie crashed out of the opener and finished outside the points in the second heat.

With half of the season gone, Bayliss continues to lead the championship, 94 points ahead of Haga. Pitt’s win sees him remain sixth in the championship but moves Yamaha into third place in the manufacturers standings.
Round seven of the series takes place at Brno in the Czech Republic on July 23.

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
“It feels incredible to get that first win. I saw that Troy (Corser) was making some mistakes so I tried to keep the pressure on him. When he went down I saw that the lead was about 1.3 seconds over the next guy. For all I knew there was a big line of guys behind me so I tried to concentrate as there were a lot of laps to go. When I went past and saw ‘six seconds’ on my pit board I thought the mechanics had made a mistake and it was 0.6 seconds. Then, when we got down to the last five laps I knew that I could take it easier and enjoy things a bit more. It’s a great feeling and I really have to thank my team. We did a lot of testing on used tyres because we knew that it was important to be consistent throughout the race. In the first race the bike was running wide on a full fuel load but for the second we completely changed the front end and run harder springs which made a big improvement.”


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