World Supersport Rd 5, Ten Kate Honda again
World Supersport Championships 2005 Round 5, Silverstone – Great Britain, 27 – 29 MAY 2005 May 29, 2005 Winston Ten Kate Honda’s Sebastien Charpentier (CBR600RR) roared to his third win of the season with another front running display, this time not from team-mate Katsuaki Fujiwara but from Yamaha Motor Germany rider Kevin Curtain (R6), who recorded his third podium finish of the season at Silverstone. Curtain shadowed Charpentier for two thirds of the 28 lap race before a lack of grip forced him to settle for second in the closing stages. Even despite this easing of pace, Curtain finished a huge 18 seconds ahead of third placed finisher Fabien Foret (Honda) to close in on Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda) for second place in the championship.
Charpentier’s Honda team-mate, Katsuaki Fujiwara (CBR600RR) was not his closest challenger this time around, fighting off the pain of injury in practice and gearchange issues to finish ninth, but retained his second place in the championship table by 10 points from Curtain. In the championship table the latest thrust of Charpentier extends his championship lead to 25 points from Fujiwara’s 90.
Charpentier also scored the fastest lap of the race on the new circuit, and thus the new lap record, with a 1’29.027. Charpentier was joined on the podium by his French compatriot Fabien Foret (Team Italia Megabike Honda CBR600RR) who finished third, and a season-best fourth place from former World Champion Stephane Chambon (Gil Motorsport Honda CBR600RR) gave Honda three of the top four placings.
Charpentier was once more at his absolute zenith all weekend, dominating qualifying for long periods before a close fight with Curtain – replicated somewhat on raceday – saw him take his fifth straight pole. He was effusive in his post race comments.
“What can I say except that everything was fantastic for me. It was the best weekend possible, with pole position, fastest lap and also another win. Kevin rode very well but I always felt comfortable and in control. Although it was a long, hard race, I am in good physical condition and the bike was also great. I am so happy with the atmosphere in the pit garage – the whole team makes me laugh and I never feel any pressure from my team manager Ronald Ten Kate. On top of that the CBR is just perfect, so I really think this is the best situation I have ever raced in.”
Kevin Curtain said after the race, “I’m happy to take second today.” “Sebastien and me had a big gap over the third placed rider and our plans was always that if the grip started to go then I would settle for second and not risk throwing it in the gravel trap – that’s not how you win championships. I’d really like to thank my team this weekend because they’ve worked really well and the bike was the best it has been all season and I hope we can find a little bit more in Misano.”
Foret, across the line third despite a scare when he was excluded then re-instated in the post-race results for an underweight machine, knew a podium was a valuable finish for him and his team.
“I’m happy today. I have taken the second podium of the season and I liked it so much when I arrived in front of my group. I tried to stay with Sebastien and Kevin but today they were fastest and so I made sure of the podium by defending against Fabrizio and Chambon with a good last few laps. We must work so hard from here to the Misano round, because we can arrive at the level of Winston Ten Kate. We are not so far but I hope that during the Italian round the situation will be better.”
Fujiwara had a tough day at the short 3.561km International circuit at Silverstone; it’s busy nature and changes of direction not helping his cause when he experienced gearshifting problems. “I am very disappointed with that result, of course. I hurt my shoulder in the crash yesterday but after a good massage this morning it didn’t feel too bad until after the race. My start wasn’t so good from sixth on the grid, but I had a gear shifting problem and found it difficult to select the right gear – which made it very hard.”
Lauslehto’s latest top ten finish was another positive step on the ladder for the European Champion, despite a last corner hitch.
“I had been having some difficulty exiting that corner all the race, and on the last lap I had to try hard to keep Fujiwara behind me. But I finished with some good points again, after yet another hard race.”
Fabrizio’s disappointment was clear to see, as he trudged away from yet another possible podium finish in his full rookie WSS season.
“This is an unlucky period for me. After the mistake of Monza the clutch broke four laps from the end. I tried to make adjustments during the race but on the finish line I could not continue. I hope to make a better result in Misano, without problems. I like Misano very much and know it very well.”
Broc Parkes had his best result as a Yamaha rider, crossing the line in fifth place. Starting from the second row of the grid, the 23-year-old Australian was part of a four rider group battling for third. The result sees him move up to fourth place in the championship, which is led by Charpentier on 115 points. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda) is second on 90 points, with Curtain and Parkes on 80 and 51 respectively.
Broc Parkes said later: “Getting there! We’ve moved up to fourth in the championship and I am now starting to get to grips with the Yamaha. The bike really is different to ride compared with the Honda I rode last year as it has such a revvy engine. But every race we are able to improve the bike and, with me learning more about the R6, we are now much more competitive.”
Terrell Thien, Yamha germany team manager : “The race went pretty much according to plan for us. We knew that Kevin’s rear tyre wouldn’t last the distance at that sort of pace but the plan was to push to the maximum possible, build up a gap to third place and maybe force Charpentier into a mistake – he’s only human after all. But we are very happy because we are closing the gap to Charpentier to almost zero and that is thanks to our mechanics who have again worked so hard this weekend. Every time we are making big steps and this is showing not only with Kevin’s results but also with Broc, who rode very well this weekend and is starting to look more comfortable on the R6.”
1 / S. Charpentier / Fra / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 41'53.540 / 2 / K. Curtain / Aus / Yamaha Motor Germany / 41'56.383 / 2.843 3 / F. Foret / Fra / Team Megabike / 42'13.945 / 20.405 4 / S. Chambon / Fra / Gil Motor Sport / 42'15.903 / 22.363 5 / B. Parkes / Aus / Yamaha Motor Germany / 42'18.363 / 24.823 6 / B. Veneman / Ned / Suzuki Nederland / 42'25.550 / 32.010 7 / G.Nannelli / Ita / Ducati Sc Caracchi / 42'27.182 / 33.642 8 / A. Corradi / Ita / Ducati Selmat / 42'30.866 / 37.326 9 / K. Fujiwara / Jpn / Winston Ten Kate Honda / 42'31.329 / 37.789 10 / T. Lauslehto / Fin / Klaffi Honda / 42'31.368 / 37.828 11 / S. Le Grelle / Bel / Le Grelle Dholda In Action / 42'40.558 / 47.018 12 / J. Fores / Esp / Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra / 42'41.038 / 47.498 13 / J. Da Costa / Fra / Lightspeed Kawasaki / 42'42.035 / 48.495 14 / T. Tunstall / Gbr / Hardinge Bridgeport / 42'44.320 / 50.780 15 / J. Jansen / Ned / Suzuki Nederland / 42'46.512 / 52.972 Fastest Lap 2° Sébastien Charpentier 1'29.027 143,997 Km/H Lap Record: New Track Riders Championship Standings: 1 Charpentier 115, 2 Fujiwara 90, 3 Curtain 80, 4 Foret 54, 5 Parkes 49, 6 Chambon 45, 7 Fabrizio 42, 8 Nannelli 40, 9 Lauslehto 30, 10 Fores 27, 11 Veneman 23, 12 Stigefelt 19, 13 Le Grelle 14, 14 Vd Goorbergh 11, 15 Miksovsky 9.