Magny Cours World Superbike: Noriyuki Haga closes championship gap on James Toseland

Published: 07 October 2007

Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga has closed the gap to 17 points in the world championship Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s James Toseland following his win in the fog-delayed race one at Magny Cours.

The Japanese rider managed to avoid a first corner crash involving Toseland and Max Biaggi who were first and second in the table going in to the race.

The first corner was full of incident with Xerox Ducati’s Lorenzo Lanzi getting his wheels caught up in the melee of bikes. This saw the Italian flying off the circuit and taking Britain’s James Toseland with him and potentially Toseland’s championship hopes.

Lorenzo Lanzi was motionless in the gravel trap with a broken shoulder wihich left race directors then facing the decision whether to red flag the race or continue. But whilst James Toseland rejoined at the back of the field the marshals were able to clear the debris.

Troy Corser flew in to the lead with teammate Noriyuki Haga behind him in second and Max Neukirchner third.

Max Biaggi, also caught up in the incident was well down the field. At the end of lap one James Toseland was up to 18th but was 17th on lap two.

On lap two Fonsi Nieto’s 1:40.59 set new lap record on his Kawasaki.

Alstare Suzuki’s Max Biaggi, Toseland’s biggest championship rival going in to the race was only two places ahead of the British rider on lap three.

Noriyuki Haga, still in with a shout of the championship passed Troy Corser to take the lead on lap three.

And with the lap record falling twice again on consecutive laps Troy Bayliss first set a 1:40.37 on lap three before Max Biaggi’s teammate, Max Neukirchner slashed the time again on lap five with a 1:39.844.

Jakub Smrz was next to crash out on lap six

By the end of lap six James Toseland had climbed up to 11th place as he looked for damage limitation for his title hopes.

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Toseland was in ninth by the end of lap nine whilst the battle still continued up front with Yamaha teammates Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser still sticking together in first and second.

Troy Bayliss was making moves on Max Neukirchner in third as he continually decreased the gap between them. But Neukirchner had his own ideas and set his sights on Troy Corser in front of him.

On lap 12 Neukirchner pushed hard on Troy Corser and leant on him twice. Corser had to back out of his lean around the corner allowing the German through. But Corser was not giving in and soon reclaimed his place.

Ruben Xaus almost lost his seat on lap 13 with Max Biaggi and James Toseland on a mission to claim another place.

And from the back of the field following his first corner coming together with Lorenzo Lanzi, James Toseland was up to seventh.

On lap 16 Troy Bayliss gave Max Neukirchner a bit of his own medicine by pulling a similar move to the one the German did on Troy Corser. With Bayliss now up to third he set about catching his fellow countryman Corser for second.

With the battles breaking out behind him, Noriyuki Haga managed to pull away to 2.2 second lead read to head in to lap 17.

Troy Bayliss got the second he was aiming for at the beginning of lap 20 but Corser was not giving up and reclaimed his place twice with the pair banging mirrors and elbows as they duelled for the spot. But the Ducati man took the advantage on his 999 to cement his place.

So with James Toseland managing to secure nine points from his seventh place to move him on to 405, Noriyuki Haga’s win takes him up to 388. But Biaggi’s hopes of securing the title went with his involvement in the first lap crash as he is now 28 points behind the Britain and unable to catch him.

After the race, Noriyuki Haga said: "Everything was going very well. I was doing thinking about just going to the front and I had to keep my concentration."

Magny Cours World Superbikes race one results:

1 N.HAGA JPN Yamaha Motor Italia Yamaha YZF-R1
2 T. BAYLISS AUS Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 999 F07
3 T. CORSER AUS Yamaha Motor Italia Yamaha YZF-R1
4 M.NEUKIRCHNER GER Suzuki Germany Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7
5 F. NIETO ESP Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R
6 M.BIAGGI ITA Alstare Suzuki Corona ExtraSuzuki GSX-R1000 K7
7 J. TOSELAND GBR Hannspree Ten Kate HondaHonda CBR1000RR
8  R. XAUS ESP Team Sterilgarda Ducati 999 F06
9 R. LACONI FRA Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R
10 R. ROLFO ITA Hannspree Ten Kate HondaHonda CBR1000RR
11 S. NAKATOMI JPN Yamaha YZF Yamaha YZF-R1
12 K. MUGGERIDGE AUS Alto Evolution Honda Honda CBR1000RR
13 Y. TIBERIO FRA Alto Evolution Honda Honda CBR1000RR
14 M.FABRIZIO ITA D.F.X. Corse Honda CBR1000RR
15 G.DIETRICH FRA Alstare Suzuki Corona ExtraSuzuki GSX-R1000 K6
16 S. MARTIN AUS Celani Team Suzuki Italia Suzuki GSX-R1000 K6

World Superbike championship top three standings:


James Toseland 405
Noriyuki Haga 388
Max Biaggi 377