Tamada Wins @Sugo!

Glenn le santo
by Glenn le santo

Japanese wild card rider Makoto Tamada kept up the relentless pace he's shown all weekend here in Sugo with a win in race one. Meanwhile Troy Corser, who grabbed the holeshot on his Axo Aprilia, only to be passed by Tamada on lap four, settled for second place and a championship lead. After a strong start, which saw him enter the first turn right on Corser's tail, Ben Bostrom dropped back to finish in ninth. Ducati Corse?s miserable weekend continued as Troy Bayliss finished in 13th place and lost his championship lead to Corser. The first Ducati home was the semi-privateer GSE Ducati 996RS ridden by Briton Neil Hodgson.

Corser managed to hold off an early challenge from the reigning All-Japan Superbike Champion Hitoyasu Izutsu on his factory Kawasaki ZX-7RR. Afterward the race Corser declared himself satisfied with the result, particularly as it meant he took the championship lead by a 13 point margin over Troy Bayliss. "I got a perfect start," explained Corser. "But then I missed a gear going into the chicane and that allowed Tamada San the time he needed to get by me. After that I knew it would be crazy to try to keep up with him - he had much better drive than me out of the chicane where I was spinning the rear badly."

Reigning world champion Colin Edwards had to endure being passed by young British rider James Toseland on the GSE Ducati. When asked what the problem was immedeatly after the race Edwards declined to comment, but his face said it all, as did his lap times - he wasn't pleased! Toseland, on the other hand, was grinning from ear to ear as he got changed out of his leathers after the race. "I could see I was catching him fast and got my head down, I was determined to pass him." Beamed the 20 year old from Yorkshire, England. Later Edwards calmed down and his problems, "I made a mess of the start and ended up being boxed in at the first corner but after that I just struggled for rear grip. Getting any response from the rear of the machine was impossible. If I tried to turn into a corner the rear would come around, if I tried to get the power on the rear came around. All we can do is consider what changes we can make for the second race but I?m ready to do something drastic."

1 Tamada JPN Honda 37:45.0902 Corser AUS Aprilia 37:49.1803 Izutsu JPN Kaw 37:52.7584 Itoh JPN Honda 37:57.2075 Ryo JPN Suzuki 37:57.5216 Lavilla SPN Kaw 38:03.7697 Hodgson GBR Ducati 38:04.1818 Chili ITA Suzuki 38:04.3349 Bostrom USA Ducati 38:10.09810 Yoshikawa JPN Yamaha 38:10.397
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