Magny Cours World Superbikes: James Toseland crowned king of World Superbikes
Britain’s James Toseland kept his fans’ nerves jangling until the final lap of the race on his way to his second World Superbike Championship title.
An emotional Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider finished sixth in race two at Magny Cours with race winner Noriyuki Haga just missing his chance to get a hold of the trophy.
The world champion celebrated in style with the help of fans and friends on his lap of honour around the French circuit as he picked up flags and t-shirts along the way.
Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga dived in to the lead from the start with teammate Troy Corser behind him.
James Toseland slipped in to fifth behind Kawasaki’s Fonsi Nieto. The championship leader, going in to this race, had a few scary moments early on but settled down going in to lap two.
Australian Steve Martin slid out of the race on his Suzuki on lap two.
Out front Noriyuki Haga was once again on a mission as the fastest man, with the world championship in his sights.
Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s James Toseland was under pressure in fifth from Max Neukirchner who was desperate to pass the Brit on lap five.
Max Biaggi thought he had second place in his grasp as he slipped past Troy Corser on lap five, but the Australian Yamaha rider was having none of it. Biaggi did manage to secure his second place just a few corners later.
And Neukirchner’s pressure paid off on Toseland as the Alstare Suzuki rider passed the Honda man to knock him to fifth. Toseland could not fall further down from seventh if he was to realise his dream of a second world championship title.
Shinichi Nakatomi came off his bike on lap six but was able to get going again after some assistance form the marshals. But his day came to an end when he retired to the pits at the end of the lap.
Max Biaggi ran wide on lap nine to let Troy Corser climb back up to second. The Suzuki man stuck to Corser’s back tyre and on the next lap snuck past. And so the duel continued with the pair swapping places on consecutive corners. The pair almost came to blows on lap 10 as Corser just managed to hang on to his R1 taking a trip off the track but it was Biaggi who was to benefit and make second his own.
By lap 15 James Toseland’s next problem was Ducati's Troy Bayliss who was becoming a more obvious figure in the Sheffield rider’s mirrors. But it was PSG-1 Kawasaki’s Fonsi Nieto who was showing his capabilities to team bosses up front as he took third place away from Yamaha’s Troy Corser.
And on lap 16 2006 world champion Troy Bayliss dived inside James Toseland to relegate the Brit to sixth place.
And with tension and nerves playing their part in the final laps and thoughts turning to who would be crowned world champion, Noriyuki Haga got on the job of winning to pull a 4.884 second lead from Max Biaggi by lap 19.
Fonsi Nieto and Troy Corser almost crashed out of the race on lap 20 as the pair clashed together. But Nieto faired the better at the end of the incident for third place.
Haga continued to pull away from Max Biaggi up front to give himself a five second gap.
But his victory was not enough as he just missed out on the title by two points. Some consolation comes in the fact Yamaha secured the manufacturer’s title with 467 points with Honda and Ducati tied on 439 in second.
Second British rider, Dean Ellison, celebrated his tough season with a point in 15th place.
Magny Cours World Superbike race two results:
1 N.HAGA JPN Yamaha Motor Italia Yamaha YZF-R1
2 M.BIAGGI ITA Alstare Suzuki Corona ExtraSuzuki GSX-R1000 K7
3 F. NIETO ESP Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R
4 T. CORSER AUS Yamaha Motor Italia Yamaha YZF-R1
5 T. BAYLISS AUS Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 999 F07
6 J. TOSELAND GBR Hannspree Ten Kate HondaHonda CBR1000RR
7 R. ROLFO ITA Hannspree Ten Kate HondaHonda CBR1000RR
8 R. LACONI FRA Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R
9 M.FABRIZIO ITA D.F.X. Corse Honda CBR1000RR
10 R. XAUS ESP Team Sterilgarda Ducati 999 F06
11 K. MUGGERIDGE AUS Alto Evolution Honda Honda CBR1000RR
12 Y. TIBERIO FRA Alto Evolution Honda Honda CBR1000RR
13 G.DIETRICH FRA Alstare Suzuki Corona ExtraSuzuki GSX-R1000 K6
14 L. MORELLI ITA D.F.X. Corse Honda CBR1000RR
15 D. ELLISON GBR Team Pedercini Ducati 999RS
Fancy commemorating Toseland's historic win in his last season in World Superbikes? There's a range of Toseland memorabilia, including signed items, at Grand Prix Legends. Click here to have a look.