Lausitzring WSB Preview

Glenn le santo
by Glenn le santo
Well I can't ruin your television by telling you who won, but I can make a guess at who might!

Will it be Corser or will Chili get his bike to do the things he wants again? Will Bostrom's injuries have healed enough to let the kid turn on the style again, or will Bayliss rule the roost in Germany?

Maybe Hodgson will repeat his Donington form now that the Ducati factory have helped make his bike hold up better.

Or maybe that other guy, you know, the World Champion from Texas - maybe he'll take a championship lead...read on...

Half way home

The World Superbike championship goes to Lausitzring this weekend as the championship enters the halfway stage. The series has never visited the German track before and, this week’s testing apart, most of the riders haven’t even seen the place, let alone raced there. This creates a level playing field for the entire grid, as not only are the riders racing on the circuit for the first time, but also there’s no track data and set-up information from last season available to the established teams to use to their advantage.

One of the features of the season so far is that it hasn’t been dominated by one rider alone. And, unlike in many previous years, it hasn’t shaped up to a two-way fight between a pair of front-runners. While Infostrada Ducati rider Troy Bayliss looked to be cruising into a big lead after his double win at Monza, the Australian’s poor results at Donington quickly shrunk down his advantage in the title race to 17 points. With a maximum of 50 points available to any rider who takes both race wins at any round, that’s a very fragile lead.

Fellow Australian Troy Corser on his Axo Aprilia holds second in the table, after securing a podium finish at Donington while Bayliss floundered. Reigning champion Colin Edwards is only two points back in third. The Texan, who is riding again for Castrol Honda this year, won’t be letting the pair of Australians get away easily – he’ll be out to regain some lost ground when the racing starts in Germany.

Pier Francesco Chili’s much publicised problems getting his four-cylinder 750cc Suzuki competitive against the bigger 1000cc twins won’t help him in his bid for glory. But Chili showed at Donington, with a win and a second place, that he’s experienced and determined enough to pull a surprise or two out of the hat. Behind Chili, in fifth spot, is Britain’s Neil Hodgson. He showed last year that he has the guts to race hard and push it to the limits when he won a season-long battle with rival Chris Walker to take the British Superbike championship. He’s also had some problems with his machinery, with no fewer than eight mechanical failures ruining his weekend at Monza. But it may have been a blessing in disguise for the GSE Ducati team – Ducati can’t have enjoyed the sight of a Ducati race bike breaking down so many times in front of the world’s press and bike fans, especially as Monza is their home circuit! They responded by raiding the parts shelves at the Ducati Corse race shop and giving the team a raft of parts to fix up their six V-Twin engines.

Half the season may be gone, but the half that’s left is sure to be every bit as entertaining as the riders struggle for dominance. Watch this space for all the results - as they happen - or at least as soon as I can get them posted up on the net!!!

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Glenn le santo
Glenn le santo

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