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Double Tops For HANNspree Ten Kate Honda

By: Tasha Crook | Published 08 October 2007, 13:04 | Views: 869 | tags: wsb, sbk, hannspree ten kate honda, james toseland, roberto rolfo, ronald ten kate, magny cours, france
An astonishing display of true grit and determination enabled British rider James Toseland to secure his second World Superbike Championship title - and the first ever for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda. The 2007 series victory rounds off an extremely successful season, in which the team has already collected the World Supersport title with Kenan Sofuoglu. The 27-year-old collected the win by the narrowest of margins following two difficult 23-lap races. Race one saw Toseland forced off the track on the opening lap after Lorenzo Lanzi high-sided in front of him leaving him nowhere to go but onto the gravel. The new champion remained aboard the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR and re-joined the track at the back of the pack.
Toseland concentrated on the task at hand and set about carving his way through the field - eventually settling for a safe seventh position. Noriyuki Haga claimed the race win to move into second position overall and narrow the gap in the championship standings to 17 points.

HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Toseland returned to the track for race two with a difficult task ahead and knowing that he must finish in eighth place or higher. The Brit did not enjoy the best of starts and slotted into sixth position from pole before moving up to fifth on the opening lap.

The determined rider soon came under pressure from Troy Bayliss and Max Neukirchner and by lap five the German rider passed the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider, relegating Toseland to sixth place. However, just three laps later Neukirchner crashed out, leaving only Bayliss to challenge the World Superbike Champion.

Bayliss passed Toseland on lap 11, while Toseland's team-mate Roberto Rolfo slotted into seventh position. The riders maintained station until the chequered flag with Rolfo assisting his HANNspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate to ride safely to championship victory with a two-point margin.
A tenth and seventh position respectively places Rolfo eighth in the overall standings, on equal points with seventh-placed Lanzi. Toseland's title rival Noriyuki Haga claimed a double race win - but it was not quite enough to seal ultimate glory.

Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:

"What an incredible end to a fantastic season! To be honest, we had a lot of bad luck today in the races. The first race James was run of the track and I think at that point he made a decision to fight as hard as he could to get back up. That showed just how much he wanted it and I think everyone in the paddock agrees that James is the one who deserves this. In the second race he knew where he had to finish to get the title. It's nice that the Honda CBR1000RR has finally won a title.

"I want to give big compliments to my team - it has only been four years since we started in this business and it has been a learning curve. We are still a local Dutch dealer going racing so this is pretty great for us. In conclusion, today has been not too bad at all!"

James Toseland:

"It's about time!! I have led the championship from Qatar and what an incredible championship it has been. I think this has been the best World Superbike season I have ever experienced and I have been riding in the series for seven years now. The standard of riding has been incredible and I have enjoyed battling with all of the riders - Bayliss, Corser, Biaggi, Haga - the list goes on! I have been pushed to the absolute limit and to win the championship by just two points is unbelievable.

"To get pole position and the series title at my last Superbike round is amazing. This is what I live for, it's what really matters to me and I wanted it so much. This is my way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported me through my Superbike career - my friends, my family, my sponsors, FGSport and the whole Superbike team and of course, HANNspree Ten Kate Honda. I can leave for MotoGP with my head held high and the knowledge that I gave this championship my all until the very last race."

Roberto Rolfo:

"Today's races were tough. I tried my best to get up to the front but everyone was fighting so hard for the last race. Anyway, I have had a good season with HANNspree Ten Kate Honda and I have learned so much. I am happy for James and Kenan and it is great to see the team on top in both Championships. They certainly deserve it."

Race one results:

1, N. Haga           38'33.762     
2, T. Bayliss         + 2.770  
3, T. Corser          + 3.735
4, M.Neukirchner   + 8.570  
5, F. Nieto            + 12.925  
6, M. Biaggi          + 13.283  
7, J. Toseland       + 16.395  
8, R. Xaus            + 22.581
9, R. Laconi          + 22.828
10, R. Rolfo           + 32.729

Fastest Lap:  M. Neukirchner   1'39.844

Race two results:

1, N. Haga        38'35.353
2, M. Biaggi      + 3.518
3, F. Nieto        + 9.142
4, T. Corser      + 9.275
5, T. Bayliss     + 12.825
6, J. Toseland   + 19.316
7, R. Rolfo        + 20.994  
8, R. Laconi      + 22.505
9, M. Fabrizio    + 28.352
10, R. Xaus       + 28.352

Fastest Lap: 
M. Biaggi  1'40.040

Championship standings:

1, J. Toseland       405
2, N. Haga            388
3, M. Biaggi          377
4, T. Bayliss          361
5, T. Corser          283
6, R. Xaus            195
7, L. Lanzi             192
8, R. Rolfo            183
9, M. Neukirchner  149
10, L. Laconi         129
click to zoom
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Jay | 08 October 2007, 13:31
Does it get much better than this for James?! I don't see how! So after a hard season and a nail-bitting last-two races (at least for us!) he shows the world that a Brit can beat the best the world has to offer and become the World Superbike Champion! Next year he moves onto MotoGP, where personally, I can't wait to see him bruising a few MotoGP racers with his aggressive fairing & elbow-bashing riding style. There is no other rider more aggressive and keen to win racing nowadays that I can think of.

James Toseland, a real peoples champion. Great work James!!! Looking forward to seeing him test for MotoGP now.

rgv45 | 08 October 2007, 13:50
can't agree with you more jay,i had the pleasure of meeting james and tash at donnington this year as i was working on the paddock gate.
james really is a top bloke,he met us on the sat night before his gig to sign our shirts and even hung about for another chat,tash and i didn't get the same response off a certain mr rossi outside yamaha hospitality!
role on next season can't wait to cheer him on!
well done james!!!
had me back side nipping all sunday afternoon though!!!

Foxy | 08 October 2007, 14:56
Sexy James Toseland the World Champion!!! Brilliant... I also can't wait to see him in MotogGP... Roll on next Season!!
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