Race day – Misano
Both Race 1 and 2 at the Misano World Circuito saw a hard fought battle between several of the Ducatis, both factory and privateer, the two factory Yamahas and the Suzuki of Neukirchner, with Ducati Xerox factory rider Troy Bayliss eventually taking two third places on the podium.
Bayliss and Corser dominated the first half of Race 1 until Neukirchner managed caught them both to ultimate pass and take the win ahead of the two Australians. A run-in during lap eleven of the same race between Fabrizio and Max Biaggi saw the premature end to Fabrizio’s race, an unfortunate finish after making such a strong start.
In Race 2 Fabrizio suffered a technical problem on the second lap but the race was then almost immediately red-flagged due a technical problem for Muggeridge also, which left oil on the track, and led to a restart of the race, a fortunate outcome for Fabrizio allowing him to make the restart too.
Bayliss made a flying start to the restart and the first nineteen laps saw him and Corser swapping between first and second positions, before Xaus and then Biaggi too picked up the pace to overtake, with Bayliss struggling to keep up due to his soft tyre choice.
Ducati took all three podium places as a result, with the two Ducati Sterilgarda Go Eleven riders eventually finishing ahead of Troy Bayliss. Michel rode in seventh place for most of the race before tyre wear meant he lost a few places to finish in eventual eleventh place.
Troy Bayliss now holds 259 championship points, while Neukirchner moves into second place with 210 points ahead of Carlos Checa (207). Michel Fabrizio lies in eighth place with 111 points.
After a very positive weekend, Ducati continues to lead the manufacturers championship with 323 points ahead of Yamaha (284 points).
Troy Bayliss (Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd)
“It was really hot here today like every year. I had been feeling good all weekend and was feeling confident before race 1. We had chosen a hard tyre which we thought would be good but then I struggled throughout the race.
“I can’t take anything away from Neukirchner and Corser though as they rode a great race. After Race 1 we changed the tyre for the second race, thinking that was the problem, and that was as a bit better but it was still difficult and towards the end I was losing grip with the rear.
“Again I take my hat off to the guys ahead of me, Ruben and Max (Biaggi), who did a fantastic job. I can say that the day has been one of the hardest of my career, but in the end we’ve gained more points. I’d have liked to have done better today but there you go.”
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 11th)
“In Race 1 unfortunately I touched Max right at the start during the second lap and I came off, there’s nothing else to say. I went to apologise to Max immediately. Then in race 2 we had a technical problem with a cable and so we had to go out with the second bike for the restart.
“This meant that we had exactly the same set-up as in Race 1 – as we didn’t finish the first race we couldn’t know exactly how good the set-up was or whether we would finish the race with the tyre choice we made. We chose a softer tyre but unfortunately it wasn’t the best decision. I’m sorry for today’s results as, after a positive Friday and Saturday I hoped we could go better, I was hoping for a different result.”
RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Neukirchner (Suzuki); 2. Corser (Yamaha); 3.Bayliss (Ducati Xerox); Race 2 – 1. Xaus (Ducati); 2. Biaggi (Ducati); 3.Bayliss (Ducati Xerox)
CLASSIFICATION: Riders – 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 259 ; 2. Neukirchner (Suzuki) 210; 3. Checa (Honda) 207; 4. Haga (Yamaha) 191; 5. Corser (Yamaha) 185; 6. Nieto (Suzuki) 151…. 9. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 111. Manufacturers – Ducati 323; Yamaha 284; Suzuki 257; Honda 226; Kawasaki 64