Jun 23, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn Le Santo<BR><BR>The day was hot, the pace was hot and the race was hot. But Fabien Foret kept his cool to take his third win of the season. The race was a typical World Supersport race, with plenty of fairing-bashing action.<BR><BR>After a flurry of activity to decide who took the holeshot, Stephane Chambon emerged at the head of the pack on his Alstare Suzuki. He then started to make what was for Supersport an almost impossible breakaway up front. But his glory was all-too brief, on lap three he threw it away at Curva Del Rio. Iain MacPherson also landed in the dirt on the same lap when he lost the front end of his Ten Kate Honda.<BR><BR>That left Andrew Pitt, Katsuaki Fujiwara, Paolo Casoli, James Whitham and Foret in front. Pitt pushed his way through the gaggle of riders to take the lead just after Chambon binned it, but his lead was also short lived. Foret was on him immediately and got by on the brakes going into Curve Del Tramonto. On lap six Jorg Teuchert joined the growing list of riders in the kitty litter.<BR><BR>Andrew Pitt fought his way back into the lead on lap seven and by now it was only too apparent that several riders were already having tire problems. On lap eight Casoli made a move and followed Foret through as the Frenchman passed Pitt. Then Casoli tried to barge past Foret - almost banging fairings on the way through but Foret resisted the pressure. Pitt got past Casoli again, only to find Casoli almost buried in his fairing at the next turn. Then the battle got too hairy for Pitt who took to the grass after touching fairings with Whitham going into Variante Arena.<BR><BR>With Pitt demoted back down the field and Chambon a long way back after remounting, the fight was between Foret in the lead, Fujiwara in second and the two Belgarda Yamahas. Casoli had another moment of glory when he took the lead on lap 15, but again it was short lived, Foret soon reclaimed first place and made an attempt at a breakaway. But in the intense heat and with all the bikes so closely matched on performance it was unlikely that any rider was going to be able to get any distance out in front.<BR><BR>On lap 17 Foret made a small mistake that allowed Fujiwara back into the lead. Foret then followed him for the next four laps before taking to the front again. Behind them Whitham had dispensed with teammate Casoli and was now fighting for second, or even first, with the lead duo. Christian Kellner had latched himself on the front runners several laps earlier and got in front of Casoli as the Italian began to fade.<BR><BR>On the final two laps Fujiwara pulled the pin and almost crashed. He looked like he was pushing his tires beyond the limit as he traded places with Foret. On the last lap Foret decided it was time to go and upped the pace just slightly. Fujiwara was having real trouble holding on and almost highsided not once but twice, getting right out of the saddle on the first occasion. This gave Foret just the advantage he needed and took the win by just 0.086-second. The win also put Foret back into the Championship lead, with a three point advantage over Chambon who eventually finished 13th. Whitham held onto fourth in front of Kellner.<BR><BR>"Fabien was just too fast for me on the last lap," admitted Fujiwara.<BR><BR>"That was just the result we needed after Lausitzring," said Foret, referring to his disqualification after winning there. "It was a very hard race but my tires were excellent and that helped me push hard all the way to the end. I'm very happy to take the win, all my team put 100% effort into this and to be in the Championship lead also is fantastic."<BR><BR>"The race was hot and hard," said Whitham. "It looked like everyone was struggling with tires from very early on."<BR><BR>The Supersport Championship misses the next round in Laguna Seca, to return at the end of July in Brands Hatch, England.<BR><BR>World Supersport race results:<BR><BR>1. Fabien Foret, Honda, 23 laps, 38:24.180 <BR>2. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Suzuki, -0.086 <BR>3. James Whitham, Yamaha, -0.794 <BR>4. Christian Kellner, Yamaha, -0.839 <BR>5. Paolo Casoli, Yamaha, -6.574 <BR>6. Andrew Pitt, Kawasaki, -8.107 <BR>7. Christophe Cogan, Honda, -8.588 <BR>8. Chris Vermeulen, Honda, -11.357 <BR>9. Robert Ulm, Honda, -14.901 <BR>10. Alessio Corradi, Yamaha, -16.819 <BR>11. Kevin Curtain, Yamaha, -16.960 <BR>12. Stefano Cruciani, Yamaha, -26.966 <BR>13. Stéphane Chambon, Suzuki, -28.923 <BR>14. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Ducati, -30.407 <BR>15. Camillo Mariottini, Yamaha, -30.926 <BR>16. Karl Muggeridge, Honda, -31.434 <BR>17. James Ellison, Kawasaki, -40.391 <BR>18. Christian Zaiser, Yamaha, -51.521 <BR>19. Robert Frost, Yamaha, -52.581 <BR>20. Cristian Magnani, Yamaha, -52.756 <BR>21. Norino Brignola, Suzuki, -61.843 <BR>22. Sebastien Charpentier, Honda, -75.545 <BR>23. Claudio Cipriani, Yamaha, -81.869 <BR>24. Diego Giugovaz, Yamaha, -82.124 <BR>25. Antonio Carlacci, Yamaha, -2 laps <BR>26. Matthieu Lagrive, Yamaha, -15 laps <BR>27. Gianluca Nannelli, Ducati, -16 laps <BR>28. Nigel Arnold, Honda, -16 laps <BR>29. Jörg Teuchert, Yamaha, -18 laps <BR>30. John McGuinness, Honda, -20 laps <BR>31. Iain MacPherson, Honda, -21 laps <BR><BR>Supersport World Championship points:<BR><BR>1. Foret 118<BR><BR>2. Stephane Chambon, France (Suzuki) 115<BR><BR>3. Pitt 113<BR><BR>4. Fujiwara 104<BR><BR>5. Kellner 78<BR><BR>6. TIE, Whitham/Casoli 71<BR><BR>8. Vermeulen 66<BR><BR>9. Jorg Teuchert, Germany (Yamaha) 60<BR><BR>10. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Italy (Ducati) 48<BR><BR><BR><BR>Manufacturers points:<BR>1. Suzuki 148<BR>2. Honda 138<BR>3. Yamaha 124<BR>4. Kawasaki 113<BR>5. Ducati 51