James Toseland took the win in the first race at the Brno round of the World Superbike Championship after a race-long struggle with Max Biaggi.
Toseland pulled away from the field right from the start, accompanied by Biaggi, Noriyuki Haga and Yukio Kagayama. The four riders were never more than half a second apart for almost the entire race and were regularly swapping positions.
Toseland briefly dropped to fourth place leaving Biaggi with the lead but was soon back at the sharp end battling it out with the Italian after an incredible side-by-side moment with Haga that saw Toseland off the edge of the track and on to the dirt.
Toseland went off the edge of the track again on the last lap, just cutting a bit too much off the corner. Biaggi was just behind the Brit and got a face full of stones big enough to smash the screen on his Suzuki and draw blood on one of his fingers.
“It’s been a while since I won, so I’ll do anything,” joked Toseland after the race. “I ran a little bit wider than I thought coming out of the previous corner but I new there were people just behind me so I had to keep it pinned, thankfully I didn’t lose any time.”
Noriyuki Haga ran out of steam a bit towards the end of the race and lost the final podium position to best buddy Yukio Kagayama, but he still managed to make enough points to go second in the championship ahead of Troy Bayliss.
Bayliss had an appalling start to the day. The Aussie had been struggling all weekend to find a tyre that suited the Ducati around the Czech circuit and by lap 9 had already dropped back to 10th place. But his luck went from bad to worse when Karl Muggeridge lost the front behind him and skittled him mid corner in a spectacular crash which luckily both riders walked away from.
Y. KAGAYAMA 1.185
R. ROLFO 3.472
T. CORSER 18.235
L. LANZI 19.653
S. NAKATOMI 31.662
R. LACONI 32.796
R. XAUS 47.36
V. IANNUZZO 1'01.983
J. DRAZDAK 1'02.052
S. CRUCIANI 1'48.872