Haga unusually rode a very good SuperPole to be no. 1 on the grid for the 1st race and went on to win – that’s 3 on the trot now. But the big story of race 1 was Troy Bayliss’ clinching of the 2008 championship with a 3rd place in that race, and that on the 3rd model of Ducati in his career. Nieto came good at the end of the season with a well-fought 2nd place. Corser who could’ve come closer to Bayliss only made 6th; as a result Haga has taken over 2nd position in the championship.
The 2nd race ran in a similar vein but Bayliss managed to get the lead from Haga a few laps from the end. Haga, with worn tyres, had no response. So nearly the end of this season and we’re all looking forward to next year already. There’s some talk about Yamaha’s active Ohlins being disallowed for next year – something to look out for.
For the second race in a row, Casey Stoner has bit the dust after leading the race, leaving Rossi to clean up and take 1st place. Fact is, Stoner is just pushing to hard ( or something about a scrubbed in tyre? – excuses, excuses ). The Ducati GP08 is a great bike, but at some point, the laws of physics come into play ( even if these guys are brilliant at what they do ). So, the race happened behind Rossi, with Toseland a creditable 6th, Lorenzo getting back to form in 2nd and Elias showing up a well-ridden 2nd podium in a row ( 3rd ). Somewhat of a surprise is Pedrosa’s immediate switch to Bridgestone after the race. The meeting with Michelin must have been very interesting … And pick of the 250cc race was Mikka Kallio hitting the back of his team mate, Aoyama. Bet he’s popular now.
The pressure was on Casey Stoner to produce in this past weekend’s race as Rossi was leading the championship; pressure or not, Stoner went down after a few laps from the leading position of the race. Rossi went on to win easily from an 11s cushion over the rest of the field. The rest of the field had an exciting race with the Suzuki’s and Pramac Ducati of Toni Elias duking it out. Tony Elias’ 2nd place is a great achievement considering that Stoner has been the only performing Ducati in the field this year.
Hudson Kennaugh finished in 10th position in the WSS600 race on Sunday as a wildcard rider. Riding the Yamaha R6 in changeable conditions, he kept his position well until spotting rain caused the front 3 riders to raise the hands as indication of unsafe conditions. However it was only when Smrz slid off the track ( and fellow rider Holland ) that the race was red flagged. It was restarted as a wet race although most riders went with a dry road tyre ( not quite a slick ) and Hudson managed to keep his 10th position until the tragic crash of Craig Jones a few laps before the end of the race. The race was red flagged for a 2nd time as a result and Hudson kept 10th place as his finishing position.
Sheridan Morais faired even better in the SS1000 race by finishing a fantastic 2nd, the first podium for any Kawasaki rider this year. Shezza, as he is known in SA, has already won last years SA SuperBike Championship and is leading this years too. He qualified 8th, but managed to work his way up to 4th in tricky conditions with Antonelli close on his heels. First Smrz went down in front of the pair and then fellow Kawasaki rider Baiaccho, leaving Shezza in 2nd place, which he kept until the finish.
… has sadly passed away this weekend past as a result of head injuries sustained during a crash at Brands Hatch in the UK. Craig was in 2nd position contesting the SuperSport 600 race when he came around onto the main straight and lost rear traction. He fell into the path of Andrew Pitt ( currently leading the WSS600 championship ) who tried to take avoiding action but unfortunately clipped Craig’s head. Craig was taken to Royal London Hospital but succumbed to his injuries early Monday morning.
… at Killarney this Sunday past was eventful. A very full event with a lot of members from the Ulysses group made for a somewhat delayed start to the day. In addition, the oval drivers had laid oil ( as per usual ) on the track in various places leading to the marshals delaying the start so they could pop cement dust down. 1st and 2nd sessions were slow as the temps were low and the track a bit treacherous but 3rd started out quite well with the sun picking up the temp of the tar. However halfway into the session, someone wiped out on the main straight – not sure how, as this is not normally a place you’d think of for accidents. The marshalls brought the session to a halt and the ambulance and track assistants helped out with the injured. So for a day that was starting to get going, a bit of a let down. Let’s hope all are ok.
WPMC held a successful track this Sunday past at Killarney. A lot of rubber was melted and pads burnt as the temperatures hit 30 deg c during the day. Boland bikes in conjunction with WPMC will be hosting track days on the last Sunday of every month during 2008.
Sunday 16th December 2007, R250, 8a -2p
Bolandbikes/RST Adv Riding School Sun 21/10 @ 8am
Beg/Ladies, Med, Fast
On Sunday 26th August at Killarney – R250 entry fee