Sep 13, 2002
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From a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:<BR><BR>FRANCE WINS EXCITING FIRST GSX-R CUP RACE<BR><BR>Suzuki GSX-R Cup Final, Race One Result, Magny Cours, France, September 13th:<BR><BR>OLIVIER FOUR from France won the first GSX-R Cup Final race at Magny Cours today.<BR><BR>The 25-year-old reserve rider for the Suzuki Endurance Race Team survived a hectic first lap that saw the race stopped when Gunther Roelens from Belgium suffered a high-speed crash. Stephane Jond from France was another faller, but while he made the restarted 9-lap race, the Belgian rider was absent from the grid.<BR><BR>After the restart, Four broke clear from the field quickly, taking Australian ace Scott Charlton in tow. The Aussie rider had led the first part of the race and was looking to be a real threat for the win until an excursion off track later in the lap put him out of contention.<BR><BR>Four opened a lead of three seconds over Giuseppe Fiorillo for the rest of the race, while the UK's Steve Brogan narrowly claimed third place from Jason DiSalvo of the USA. The pair enjoyed a race long battle and it took Brogan to set the fastest lap of the race - 1:44.910 - to claim the last spot on the podium.<BR><BR>Four said: "I wanted to take it easy for a couple of laps after the restart as my tyres would be cold. Then when I got a three second lead I decided to manage the race from the front. Tomorrow I will be using scrubbed tyres and my race plan is to watch the Italian and try to win the event that way."<BR><BR>But the Italian ex-250cc European Champion has ideas. Italian boss D.Mutti said: "We raced today with tyres that we used in practice. We finished second, but we have new tyres for tomorrow. I don't think anyone else has, so we are good now, but should be better tomorrow."<BR><BR>Fastest lap man Brogan is hoping for a good start tomorrow from seventh on the grid. He said: "I enjoyed a good battle with DiSalvo for third today, but I know if I'd got away with the leaders I could have been in with a chance of winning. But I was boxed in on the first lap and had to make the best of a bad situation. Tomorrow depends on my start."<BR><BR>1993 World 500cc Grand Prix Champion Kevin Schwantz from America was trackside to watch the close racing. He was supporting Team America and will later take the combined winner of both today's and tomorrow's race around the track before the Bol d'Or for a celebration lap in front of 80,000 fans. He said: "I'll be rooting for the States. This GSX-R Cup Final is a brilliant idea. The GSX-R Cup racing in the US is a real personal interest to me. The World Cup Final is a great event and shows how much Suzuki puts into motorcycle sport. There are some young up and coming riders out there along with experienced guys that know how to make a machine go around fast. It is a good race formula."<BR><BR>Suzuki's GSX-R Cup Final 2002 brings together the best motorcycle riders from around the globe to compete on identical GSX-R750 machinery. Riders will race in two finals - one on Friday 13th, the second on Saturday 14th. Each competing country is desperate to win the title for national pride. Every rider uses a Suzuki GSX-R in their home country and is already familiar with the awesome performance of the GSX-R range, which started the race-replica class of motorcycles in 1985 with the first GSX-R750. <BR><BR>Race One Results:<BR>1: Olivier Four (France) 15:49.464<BR>2: Giuseppe Fiorillo (Italy) +3.691<BR>3: Steve Brogan (UK) +6.637<BR>4: Jason DiSalvo (USA) +6.894<BR>5: John Dugan (USA) +12.263<BR>6: KH Hennemann (Germany) +13.277<BR>7: S Jond (France) +15.718<BR>8: J Kirkham (UK) +16.864<BR>9: J Hurtado (Spain) +17.525<BR>10: F Heidger (Germany) +18.111<BR>11: T Fluckiger (Switzerland) +21.649<BR>12: Brian Livengood (USA) +22.130<BR>13: J Tangre (France) +23.245<BR>14: S Charlton (Australia) +31.478<BR>15: L Pini (Italy) +32.723<BR>16: Z Nelson (Canada) +49.003<BR>17: J Martensen (Germany) +49.863<BR>18: C Pfeifer (Austria) +57.041<BR>19: Tim Easton (Canada) +57.854<BR>20: RDV Molen (Netherlands) +59.514.<BR>