Sep 30, 2001
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By Glenn Le Santo<BR><BR>Regis Laconi fought a race-long duel with Ruben Xaus to take his first-ever World Superbike win. The Frenchman, who is one of the few in the Superbike paddock to have raced at Imola before, in his GP days, burst into tears of joy at the end of the race.<BR><BR>In another display of Superbike racing at its finest Xaus, Laconi, Colin Edwards and Ben Bostrom made a break from the pack, and for a while it looked like the finish would come down to a dust up between the four of them. But as the race wore on, Bostrom started to slip into the clutches of Troy Corser, who was storming through the field to catch the leading bunch. It all went wrong for Corser, though--after passing Bostrom Corser began to try to wear down Edwards, only to crash heavily and forcing the Texan into the gravel to avoid Corser's flying Aprilia. Edwards didn't go down but retired a few laps later. At the time Edwards was already sporting a hole in his fairing, caused by stones flying from the rear wheel of Xaus' Ducati after the Spaniard had taken a radically wide line on one of Imola's<BR>slower turns.<BR><BR>With Corser and Edwards out of the picture Tady Okada found himself in with a chance for his third podium appearance of the season. He soon passed Bostrom and was gaining fast on the battling Laconi and Xaus when he simply ran out of laps. He witnessed some scary stuff from Laconi and Xaus as they both rode beyond the limit in a desperate attempt to win the race. In the end, Laconi's sheer determination, the speed of his Aprilia and possibly his superior track knowledge paid off.<BR><BR>Results<BR><BR>1. Regis Laconi, France, Aprilia 38:33.264<BR>2. Ruben Xaus, Spain, Ducati, -0.021<BR>3. Tadayuki Okada, Japan, Honda, -0.844<BR>4. Ben Bostrom, USA, Ducati, -15.975<BR>5. Steve Martin, Australia, Ducati, -32.975<BR>6. Gregorio Lavilla, Spain, Kawasaki, -37.895<BR>7. Neil Hodgson, Great Britain, Ducati, -38.727<BR>8. Broc Parkes, Australia, Ducati, -38.890<BR>9. Pierfrancesco Chili, Italy, Suzuki, -39.935<BR>10. Giovanni Bussei, Italy, Ducati, -66.646<BR><BR>DNF, crashed:<BR>Troy Bayliss<BR>Colin Edwards<BR>Troy Corser<BR><BR>Final Championship Points:<BR>1. Bayliss, 369<BR>2. Edwards, 317<BR>3. Bostrom, 286<BR>4. Corser, 264<BR>5. Hodgson, 254<BR>6. Chili, 225<BR>7. Xaus, 191<BR>8. Yanagawa, 170<BR>9. Okada, 149<BR>10. Lavilla, 147<BR><BR><BR>Foret Wins 600cc Supersport Race, Pitt Wins Supersport World Championship<BR><BR>Fabien Foret scored a brilliant win in a controversial Supersport race in Imola Sunday. Foret battled hard with Jamie Whitham and Karl Muggeridge to clinch his second win of the season in his debut World Supersport year with the team.<BR><BR>The race was marred with controversy after championship contender Paolo Casoli collided with Karl Muggeridge on the first lap. The incident possibly cost Casoli the World Championship, which was won by Andrew Pitt, who finished fourth on the day. After the race Casoli complained bitterly to journalists, claiming that, in his opinion, Muggeridge had ridden dangerously, or even deliberately collided with him to ruin his championship chances. Jorg Teuchert, the only other rider with a chance of clinching the title, finished back in seventh.<BR><BR>Pitt's fourth-place finish means he wins the title without actually winning a race. He looked hungry for a win early on, but as the battle between Muggeridge, Foret and Whitham got increasingly fierce, Pitt decided to settle<BR>for fourth and the championship. Foret dived into the lead early in the race, passing all three riders in front of him on one lap, after sitting back for a few laps conserving his tires for a final push. Muggeridge and Whitham tripped each other up in the closing laps, allowing Foret to escape for the win. Whitham made a mistake on the penultimate lap, which cost him any chance he had of clinching the win, and he finished third behind Muggeridge and Foret.<BR><BR>Race results follow:<BR><BR>1. Fabien Foret, Honda, 40:09.883<BR>2. Karl Muggeridge, Suzuki, 40:10.883<BR>3. James Whitham, Yamaha, 40:12.134<BR>4. Andrew Pitt, Kawasaki, 40:17.905<BR>5. Pare Riba, Honda, 40:22.693<BR>6. Iain MacPherson, Kawasaki, 40:22.849<BR>7. Jorg Teuchert, Yamaha, 40:22.976<BR>8. Katsuaki Fujiwara, Suzuki, 40:26.415<BR>9. Piergiorgio Bontempi, Yamaha, 40:32.420<BR>10. Chris Vermeulen, Honda, 40:33.772<BR><BR><BR>Final World Supersport championship points:<BR>1. Pitt, 149<BR>2. Casoli, 147<BR>3. Teuchert, 135<BR>4. Whitham, 106<BR>5. Kevin, 102<BR>6. Riba, 94<BR>7. Muggeridge, 92<BR>8. Foret, 90<BR>9. TIE, MacPherson/Fabrizio Pirovano, 67<BR><BR>Manufacturer points:<BR>1. Yamaha, 219<BR>2. Honda, 184<BR>3. Kawasaki, 161<BR>4. Suzuki, 127<BR>5. Ducati, 50