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article details
Author Gerald Irish
Categories Motorsports
Create Date June 22, 2008 08:35
Last Update July 10, 2008 00:49
TOV-RR 2008.4

Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix

After taking home 3 points at Monaco, expectations had to be set a bit lower for Honda F1's performance at the Canadian GP. High speed circuits are the Achilles heel for the current iteration of the Honda F1 program and the Canadian GP is one of the faster ones on the calendar. Honda's aero package has not enjoyed a good drag to downforce ratio which in turn prevents them from being terribly competitive at a circuit like Gilles Villeneuve. 12th and 9th place were the result of Honda's best efforts at the Canadian round in the past two seasons.

Jenson Button's weekend got started off on the wrong foot and stayed on it for the rest of the grand prix. He struggled in free practice, finishing the free practice sessions in 19th place. Button cited nervous handling at the rear of the car as the cause of his troubles:

"It has been a tough day for us today and we need to fully understand why that was in order to make progress for the remainder of the weekend. The car felt unbalanced and was difficult to drive in both sessions. I really struggled with the rear end which was causing problems with snap oversteer and we just lacked any form of pace. So there is a lot of work to do before we can feel confident with the car for qualifying and the race."

In qualifying Button suffered a gearbox failure that stranded him at the bottom of the standings in the first qualifying session. The team changed the car's gearbox for the race on Sunday, but that meant Button would have to start from pit lane.

Rubens Barrichello faired a little better than his teammate as he finished 18th, 13th, and 14th in the three free practice sessions. Surprisingly in qualifying he hoisted himself into Q3, where he qualified ninth with a heavy fuel load meant for a one-stop pit strategy. Rubens' qualifying performance was the best of the season for Honda F1 given the amount of fuel he had on board and the fact that Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been unkind to the team in the last few years.

In Sunday's race, Barrichello got up to 7th at the start before getting passed on lap 2 by McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen. A stranded Force India F1 car caused the first safety car period and in the resulting shuffle Barrichello was actually able to lead the race. Jenson Button used the safety car period to put on the soft option tire, run one lap, then switch back to the harder prime tire. The idea was to minimize the amount of time on the soft tire and to bet on there being more safety car periods to help Button catch up to the pack. The gamble did not quite pay off for Button, but given his struggles over the weekend, 11th was a respectable result.

Barrichello on the other hand did not try the same trick on tires and perhaps it cost him a chance to finish higher. He stuck to his one stop strategy which put him on the softer option tire for the second half of the race. Late in the race with Felipe Massa and Jarno Trulli hounding him Rubens had to give way due to a lack of grip. On the prime tire he might have had a chance of holding them off, although it would've meant a gamble during the safety period. Nonetheless, Barrichello got into the points with a seventh place.

"I'm pleased with the two points today, particularly as we thought our chances of a points finish were slim when we started the weekend. It was a very tough race and I have not been feeling well since yesterday due to a cold, which made it an even tougher physical challenge. Yesterday I didn't know if I was going to be well enough to race, so all things considered we did a good job today and I'm pleased to keep up the points-scoring momentum from Monaco."

This was the second consecutive points finish for Barrichello and the first time since 2006 that Honda F1 has scored points in consecutive races. While the result was cause for modest celebration, Barrichello did not earn seventh place with the pure performance of the car. Attrition at the front of the pack is basically what made the result possible.

However the increase in pace this year has allowed Honda to capitalize on the misfortune of others whereas last year this was not possible. The next round will be at Magny Cours in France, a circuit that should suit the character of the RA108 much better than Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Formula 1 Canadian GP

1. Robert Kubica - BMW Sauber
2. Nick Heidfeld - BMW Sauber
3. David Coulthard - Red Bull Racing
4. Timo Glock - Toyota
5. Felipe Massa - Ferrari
6. Jarno Trulli - Toyota
7. Rubens Barrichello - Honda 8. Sebastian Vettel - Scuderia Toro Rosso
9. Heikki Kovalainen - McLaren-Mercedes
10. Nico Rosberg - Williams-Toyota
11. Jenson Button - Honda
12. Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing
13. Sebastien Bourdais - Scuderia Toro Rosso

Moto GP Mugello

The Mugello circuit is tucked neatly in the hills of Italy and is home of the most energetic and crazed fans in the Moto GP championship. Every year the fans run out onto the track at the end of the race, sometimes before all of the riders have crossed the finish line. It goes without saying that a large motivator for the intense celebration is the fact that hometown hero Valentino Rossi has never lost at this track on a Moto GP bike. Would 2008 be the end of Rossi's string of home wins?

Dani Pedrosa rocketed off the grid to lead most of the first lap, but Stoner's Ducati pulled past him on the front straight to lead at the start/finish line. Pedrosa stuck with Stoner to try and retaliate but Valentino Rossi passed the Repsol Honda on his way to the front, relegating Dani to third. Rossi continued on to build a gap of a few seconds on Stoner and Pedrosa and was never really troubled for the rest of the race.

Meanwhile Pedrosa was left busy to fight with Casey Stoner for second place. Pedrosa was able to pass Stoner after a mistake by the Australian but it only took a few laps for Stoner to get back by and seal the second spot on the podium.

Nicky Hayden started the race well but mysteriously dropped through the order as the race progressed. On the last two laps of the race Hayden lost a whopping 10 seconds of time compared to his earlier pace.

The post race Repsol Honda press releases spoke of a technical problem but strangely gave no specifics as to what went wrong. Internet hearsay suggested that Nicky knew what the cause was but was keeping quiet in order to not embarrass someone (or some company). A good guess would point to some sort of tire problem since Nicky's trap speeds didn't really suffer until the final two laps. Rain over the weekend limited the amount of dry running during free practice, forcing most of the grid to make an educated guess on setup. Perhaps Nicky and his crew guessed wrong.

Hayden's 2008 season is not going a whole lot better than his troubled 2007 title defense campaign and at this point there is much open speculation as to whether he will continue with Repsol Honda, or even in Moto GP. Suzi Perry of BBC interviewed Nicky recently and asked some direct questions about the Kentucky Kid's season and his future (see youtube video below):

Pneumatic Valve Engine's First Race

Honda test rider Tadayuki Okada ran a third Repsol Honda at Mugello in order to help Honda gather data about the new engine's performance. Unfortunately rain in free practice severely limited the dry test time for Okada and as a result Honda did not get as much data as they would've liked. This also hurt Tady's chances in the race as he had not ridden a GP bike into battle in 8 years.

Still Okada's race provided useful data to HRC which has hopefully brought the pneumatic valve engine closer to full time service.

"We finished the race and this was the most important thing of all - we have gathered plenty of data which we can now analyse. We still have some issues with edge grip and this is the next step to improve the engine - the bike was sliding today so I couldn't fully use its power. The engine's strong point is its higher rev ceiling which gives an advantage on the straights, but we still need to improve driveability."

Best Performance Goes To...

The performance of the weekend was not Valentino Rossi's ride to a 7th consecutive victory at Mugello. It was Moto GP rookie Alex DeAngelis of Gresini Honda's charge through the field to finish 4th. DeAngelis was actually the fastest rider in the pre-race warm up but had qualified down in 10th. At the start of the race he lost a good 4 seconds on the lead group and plunged down to the 14th place. But after the first lap he posted consistently fast lap times that steadily brought him up the order all the way to fourth place. Excluding the first lap, DeAngelis was going fast enough that he would have been on the podium ahead of at least Dani Pedrosa, and possibly Casey Stoner.

Mugello is not the true home grand prix for the San Marino rider but as a de facto Italian it was a big day for the rookie.

"I am so happy with this result, this has been an unforgettable day for me. I was fastest in the warm-up and then we've had this fantastic result in the race. We knew that the bike was running really well but we were a little down on top speed and we weren't sure we could stick it out with the other riders in the early battle. I made a disastrous start and was down in fourteenth at the first turn but I refused to give in and at one point I even thought I was in with a shout of a podium because Pedrosa had lost touch with Stoner and he was lapping slower than me. Anyway that wasn't to be and fourth place is a real bonus, especially in front of our home crowd and all the fans who came to support me."

Moto GP Mugello Results

1. Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha
2. Casey Stoner - Ducati Marlboro
3. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda
4. Alex de Angelis - San Carlo Honda Gresini

5. Colin Edwards - Tech 3 Yamaha
6. James Toseland - Tech 3 Yamaha
7. Loris Capirossi - Rizla Suzuki
8. Andrea Dovizioso - JiR Team Scot
9. Shinya Nakano - San Carlo Honda Gresini

10. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki
11. Sylvain Guintoli - Alice Ducati
12. Toni Elias - Alice Ducati
13. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda
14. Tady Okada - Repsol Honda

15. Anthony West - Kawasaki Moto GP

Moto GP Catalunya

The Catalunya Grand Prix in Barcelona Spain is the home grand prix of Catalonian Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa was running a new chassis from HRC and through free practice Pedrosa posted times that put him on course for a podium. However, he was overshadowed by the speed of Casey Stoner, who would go on to take pole position in qualifying.

On the eve of the race Pedrosa's crew gambled and made some setup changes on his RC212V. When the red lights went out Pedrosa got his customary quick start to lead the pack into turn 1. After the first lap he had pulled a .6 second margin over Casey Stoner in second place. After the second lap he had pulled to 1.7 seconds, and by the third lap it was clear Pedrosa was going to run away with the win.

And run away he did. Pedrosa absolutely decimated the competition, stretching the gap out to a maximum of 8 seconds before he eased off the afterburners.

Dani Pedrosa typically is not big on outward shows of emotion but he couldn't hide his happiness after winning his first home grand prix in the premier class. The usually stone-faced Catalan was all smiles as he hoisted the first place trophy above his head on the top step of the podium to the roar of the Spanish fans.

The second Honda across the line was Andrea Dovizioso, making it the second race in a row where one of the rookie Honda riders had finished fourth. At the start Dovi actually got away from the line in second place before Rossi and Stoner were able to get by him. At the finish line, Dovi was several seconds adrift of Casey Stoner in third but was within 2 seconds of the podium until his pace dropped off in the last three laps. It again begs the question of what Dovi could possibly do with a factory RC212V like those of the two Repsol Honda riders.

Moto GP Catalunya Results

1. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda
2. Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha
3. Casey Stoner - Ducati Marlboro
4. Andrea Dovizioso - JiR Team Scot
5. Colin Edwards - Tech 3 Yamaha
6. James Toseland - Tech 3 Yamaha
7. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki
8. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda
9. Shinya Nakano - San Carlo Honda Gresini

10. John Hopkins - Kawasaki Moto GP
11. Marco Melandri - Ducati Marlboro
12. Anthony West - Kawasaki Moto GP
13. Sylvain Guintoli - Alice Ducati

World Superbike Miller Motorsports Park Wrap Up

After a three year hiatus World Superbike returned to U.S. soil in Utah, at the Miller Motorsports Park. Miller Motorsports Park is a new facility and easily the best road course in the United States. The setting is one of absolute majesty with snow-covered rocky mountains looming above on both sides of the track. At the rear one can see the turquoise waters of the Great Salt Lake City.

The last time WSBK visited the United States Ten Kate Honda came out with a double race win at the hands of Chris Vermeulen. Just as they did in 2004, Ten Kate had new riders to lead the attack in America.

WSBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 1

Since Miller Motorsports Park was a new track for WSBK, none of the teams had any data of their own to work with. However, all of the Japanese WSBK teams have counterparts in the AMA Superbike championship, and several of them used data from their American compatriots to help them get up to speed faster. Our very own American Honda collaborated with Ten Kate Honda and as a result Carlos Checa was able to come out of the gates strong in the practice and qualifying sessions. In superpole Carlos Checa scored his first World Superbike pole position with a scorching lap that was 3 tenths of second faster than Max Neukrichner in second.

In the Miller Motorsports Park press room we joked about how many places would Checa lose at the start. For some reason Carlos Checa has hard a time getting off the line quickly and in several races that has hurt his results. It is strangely reminiscent of the trouble Moto GP refugee Alex Barros had in World Superbike in 2006.

After the red start lights went out, Checa got swallowed up at the start per usual. Troy Bayliss got the hole shot and assumed the lead while Checa was shuffled down to 4th place. At his home race at Valencia starts like this essential cost him the chance for victory. That would not be the case at Miller.

Checa just set about picking his way to the front with a blazing pace that no other rider came close to matching. After the first lap the next 10 out of 11 laps Checa posted a 1:50.xx second lap time, which no other rider could manage. He got past Max Neukirchner on the front straight on the 4th lap and never looked back. Carlos cruised on to win by 2.8 seconds, only letting off the pace slightly in the final few laps.

The win was not only the first one of the season for Ten Kate Honda, it was Carlos Checa's first race win since 1998 when he was racing in the 500GP championship. Checa's win was also Ten Kate's twentieth in the World Superbike championship. An impressive mark for a team that has only been campaigning in the class for 4 years.

WSBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 1

1. Carlos Checa - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
2. Troy Corser - Yamaha Motor Italia
3. Michel Fabrizio - Xerox Ducati
4. Max Neukirchner - Alstare Suzuki
5. Vittorio Iannuzzo - Pedercini Kawasaki
6. Jakub Smrz - Guandalini Racing By Grifo's Ducati
7. Karl Muggeridge - DF Racing Honda
8. Yukio Kagayama - Alstare Suzuki
9. Max Biaggi - Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati
10. Ryuichi Kiyonari - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

WSBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 2

In race 2 Carlos Checa actually got a great start from pole position but made a mistake in turn and found himself with yet another hole to dig himself out of, this time finishing the first lap in 6th place. This time the other contenders proved to be tougher to assail and Checa had to pull some tough passes to make his way back up to challenge Max Neukirchner for the lead. Troy Bayliss once again suffered bad luck as a technical fault forced him to pull into the pits. He would lose so much time that he was out of contention for a points finish. Checa then overtook Max Neukirchner for the lead on the 9th lap.

As in race 1, Checa had the outright speed to ease away at the front. He was one of only 3 riders to post a 1:49.xx second lap time in race 2 and he was able to run 6 laps in that range whereas the next fastest man (Troy Bayliss) could only muster two laps of that speed. By the end of the race, Checa had pulled out an even bigger gap than he had in race 1, winning by 3.5 seconds.

With the double win weekend and Troy Bayliss' zero point haul, Carlos Checa closed to within 28 points of the championship lead. The gap is one point less than the gap that Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda) faced at the same point in the 2002 season when he chased down and beat Troy Bayliss to the title.

WSBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 2 Results (Top 10)

1. Carlos Checa - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
2. Max Neukirchner - Alstare Suzuki
3. Michel Fabrizio - Xerox Ducati
4. Max Biaggi - Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati
5. Yukio Kagayama - Alstare Suzuki
6. Noriyuki Haga - Yamaha Motor Italia
7. Ryuichi Kiyonari - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
8. Fonsi Nieto - Alstare Suzuki
9. Regis Laconi - PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse
10. Lorenzo Lanzi - RG Team Ducati

100 World Superbike Wins!

For Honda it was a particularly special weekend. Honda began contesting World Superbike in the championship's inaugural year in 1988. Fred Merkel took Honda's first win on the venerable Honda RC30 and went on to win the championship that year and again in 1989 Since then, Honda has collected another 5 World Superbike rider's championships and 2 more manufacturer's championships. Every different motorcycle Honda has raced in World Superbike has won a title (RC30, RC45, RC51, 1000RR). The 100 win mark is yet another great milestone in Honda's storied motorcycle racing history.

WSBK Miller Motorsports Park Gallery

View and enjoy the pics that our TOV shooter took at the Miller Motorsports Park WSBK round. If there are any images you'd like a print of, email tov-rr@vtec.net with "WSBK Print" in the title. Notice towards the end of the pictures that a Kawasaki WSBK team has lime green pants that amazingly, may be more ugly than Honda F1's green pants.

World Superbike Nurburgring

World Superbike Nurburging Race 1

After the big high of Miller Motorsports Park expectations were similarly high for Nurburgring. Checa had closed to within 28 points of Troy Bayliss and this would be another opportunity to dig into Troy's lead.

Checa did his part in qualifying by taking 3rd place on the grid in Superpole. However, Carlos squandered his superpole achievement at the start of the race and ended up down in 9th place. The front pack streaked away and Carlos was not able to mount a charge to reel them in. Apparently Checa selected a harder tire that simply did not allow him to get on the front running pace.

Towards the end of the race he did close up some ground on the leaders but it was only good enough for fifth place.

WSBK Nurburgring Race 1 Results (Top 10)

1. Noriyuki Haga - Yamaha Motor Italia
2. Troy Bayliss - Ducati Xerox
3. Max Neukirchner - Alstare Suzuki
4. Troy Corser - Yamaha Motor Italia
5. Carlos Checa - Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
6. Ruben Xaus - Sterilgarda Go Eleven
7. Michel Fabrizio - Ducati Xerox
8. Fonsi Nieto - Alstare Suzuki
9. Makoto Tamada - PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse
10. Karl Muggeridge - DF Racing

World Superbike Nurburging Race 2

Race 2 went better for Carlos Checa as he got away from the start line without losing as much ground as he did in race 1. In the first handful of laps he was able to hang on to the front pack by a thread. A mistake in turn 1 by Troy Bayliss dropped him all the way back to fifth, giving Carlos 4th place and 2 points over his title rival.

However Bayliss was not done yet and he got the better of Carlos on the 14th lap, which ended up being the last lap of the race due to rain.

Two fifth places were a big letdown after the "Perfecto" at Miller Motorsports Park but Carlos is still in touch with Bayliss for the championship. And when one compares Carlos Checa's rookie season in WSBK with James Toseland's first year with Ten Kate in 2006, the two riders had the exact same number of points at this stage of the season.

The major difference between the two seasons is that Toseland was 72 points behind Troy Bayliss in 2006 after the 14th race of the season. Checa is now only 39 points behind. Still a large hill to climb but not insurmountable.

WSBK Nurburgring Race 2 Results (Top 10)

1. Noriyuki Haga JPN Yamaha Motor Italia
2. Troy Corser AUS Yamaha Motor Italia
3. Max Neukirchner GER Alstare Suzuki
4. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Xerox
5. Carlos Checa SPA Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
6. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox
7. Max Biaggi ITA Sterilgarda Go Eleven
8. Ruben Xaus SPA Sterilgarda Go Eleven
9. Fonsi Nieto SPA Alstare Suzuki
10. Regis Laconi ITA PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse

AMA Superbike Miller Motorsports Park

Ray Plumb, American Honda's race team coordinator told me on Friday that he expected a podium from this weekend. I must admit that I had my doubts, after all, neither American Honda pilot had shown podium pace in Friday's practice sessions and on Saturday they qualified 5th and 8th. But just as the Honda soothsayer had predicted, American Honda's first podium of the season was at hand.

AMASBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 1

Lap one of the race saw Neil Hodgson lock onto the tail of Jamie Hacking's Kawasaki. Neil and was hounding him through the turns early in the race when Hacking went wide on corner exit and ran off the track, ceding 3rd place to Hodgson. Hodgson got bumped up another spot when championship leader Mat Mladin crashed out of 2nd place.

On about lap 7 Hodgson's pace started to drop off and Aaron Yates of Jordan Suzuki caught up. Jamie Hacking had made up the ground he lost from running off track and made it a three rider party. Thus the fireworks were set off, with some tough passes exchanged while the riders fought for the final two podium positions. Hacking got the better of the battle and took off in pursuit of Ben Spies.

Meanwhile Miguel Duhamel got off to a great start as he picked off 4 other riders in the opening laps of the race, and ran as high as 4th. He was eventually overhauled by Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates but 5th place was his best result of the season.

Hodgson couldn't stick with Hacking as he tried in vain to chase down Ben Spies but Hodsgon was rewarded with his first podium of the year.

AMASBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 1 Results (Top 10)

1. Ben Spies - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Jamie Hacking - Monster Kawasaki
3. Neil Hodgson - American Honda
4. Aaron Yates - Jordan Suzuki
5. Miguel Duhamel - American Honda
6. Eric Bostrom - Yamaha
7. Jason DiSalvo - Yamaha
8. Chris Peris - Team ESP (Suzuki)
9. David Anthony - (Suzuki)
10. Scott Jensen - On the Throttle TV (Suzuki)

AMASBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 2

A betting man might have thought that Hodgson and Hacking would not have been able to beat Mat Mladin in race 1 had he not crashed out, and that in race 2 it would be a Suzuki 1-2 as usual. That man would've lost his money because in race 2 both Neil Hodgson and Jamie Hacking got the better of Mat Mladin on track, fair and square. Not only did Hodgson and Hacking get past Mladin, they left him well behind. Unfortunately for Neil Hodgson, Jamie Hacking didn't run off track like he did in race 1 and his speed proved to be too much for Hodgson to be able to keep up with.

It was an encouraging weekend for the Honda squad, but at the same time the strength of the Kawasaki presents a new challenge to contend with in the coming rounds. The road to victory will now have to go through a Kawasaki as well as 2 Suzukis.

AMASBK Miller Motorsports Park Race 2 Results (Top 10)

1. Ben Spies - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Jamie Hacking - Monster Kawasaki
3. Neil Hodgson - American Honda
4. Mat Mladin - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
5. Aaron Yates - Jordan Suzuki
6. Miguel Duhamel - American Honda
7. Geoff May - Jordan Suzuki
8. Jason DiSalvo - Yamaha
9. Eric Bostrom - Yamaha
10. Chris Peris - Team ESP (Suzuki)

Neil Hodgson interview
http://roadracerx.com/article.php?article_id=883

AMA Superbike Road America

AMASBK Road America Race 1

Usual service was restored in race 1 at Road America when both Rockstar Makita Suzukis streaked away from the rest of the pack from the front row of the grid. Neil Hodgson tried in vain to keep up with them but soon came under attack from Jamie Hacking and his Kawasaki ZX-10R, as he had at the previous round at Miller Motorsports Park. Hacking would get by Hodgson and pull away, leaving Hodgson to run a lonely race to fourth place.

Duhamel for his part ran in 5th early in the race but got passed by both Aaron Yates and Eric Bostrom. A battle for fifth ensued that took until the final lap to be resolved in Duhamel's favor. Duhamel was well behind Hodsgon at the checkered flag but he has steadily been regaining the speed he had last season before his big crash at Road Atlanta's notorious turn 12.

AMASBK Road America Race 1 Results (Top 10)

1. Ben Spies - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Mat Mladin - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Jamie Hacking - Monster Kawasaki
4. Neil Hodgson - American Honda
5. Miguel Duhamel - American Honda

6. Aaron Yates - Jordan Suzuki
7. Jason DiSalvo - Yamaha
8. Eric Bostrom - Yamaha
9. Geoff May - Jordan Suzuki
10. Alastair Seeley - Celtic Racing (Suzuki)

AMASBK Road America Race 2

Once again Mladin and Spies took off for their customary duel at the front. This time however Jamie Hacking took off with them and was able to run their pace, at least for awhile. Neil Hodgson hung onto the front trio for the first handful of laps, trailing them by about a second, but slowly dropped off their pace. Just as in race 1, Hodgson rode pretty much alone to fourth place.

Miguel Duhamel got a big challenge from an unfamiliar rival, Geoff May of Jordan Suzuki. May just joined Michael Jordan's squad this season after several years riding for smaller privateer teams in the championship. May would hound Duhamel for 6th place until the end of the race when Duhamel ended May's challenge and came home in 6th.

AMASBK Road America Race 2 Results (Top 10)

1. Mat Mladin - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
2. Ben Spies - Rockstar Makita Suzuki
3. Jamie Hacking - Monster Kawasaki
4. Neil Hodgson - American Honda
5. Eric Bostrom - Yamaha
6. Miguel DuHamel - American Honda
7. Geoff May - Jordan Suzuki
8. Aaron Yates - Jordan Suzuki
9. Alastair Seeley - Celtic Racing (Suzuki)
10. Chris Peris - Team ESP (Suzuki)

British Superbike Snetterton

BSB Snetterton Race 1

After the devastating double win by Shane Byrne of Airwaves Ducati at the previous round the HM Plant Honda squad needed to try to stymie the Ducati onslaight in order to keep the title from getting away. Both Cal Cruthclow and Leon Haslam qualified on the front row in 2nd and 4th respectively.

On the race start Leon Haslam took the holeshot going into turn 1 and led the race for the first 3 laps. Leon Camier of Airwaves Ducati was the first usurper on lap 4, taking the lead from the other Leon (Haslam). Instead of mounting immediate retaliationHaslam stalked Camier for the majority of the race and slipped back by on the 16th lap. He only led for 2 laps before Camier retaliated and reclaimed the lead. Haslam was winding up for another challenge when Shakey Byrne made a pass on Haslam that forced him off track. Haslam lost so much time that he was forced to settle for 5th place.

Haslam's teammate Cal Crutchlow ran a relatively quiet race around 4th and 5th place. He was right on the tail of the lead group but just couldn't mount a challegne for the podium.

BSB Snetterton Race 1 Results (Top 10)

1. Leon Camier - Airwaves Ducati
2. Shane Byrne - Airwaves Ducati
3. Tom Sykes - Rizla Suzuki
4. Cal Crutchlow - HM Plant Honda
5. Leon Haslam - HM PLant Honda

6. Michael Laverty - Relentess Suzuki by TAS
7. James Ellison - Hydrex Bike Animal Honda
8. Karl Harris - Team Yamaha
9. Michael Rutter - NorthWest 200 Ducati
10. Simon Andrews - Jentin Racing/Lloyds British

BSB Snetterton Race 2

Precipitation soaked the track right before race 2, forcing the entier grid to switch to rain tires. The conditions made for a dicey start that saw both HM Plant Hondas fall back to mid pack. Howver, the pair of Honda riders quickly regained places and were in 2nd and 3rd by the 2nd lap.

Points leader Shakey Byrne got effectively parked on the first lap when another rider crashed in front of him and he had to almost stop to avoid running him over. This cost him many places and it looked like the two HM Plant Honda riders were going to take a chunk out of Byrne's championship lead. But, undeterred Ducati rider barged right back to pass both Hondas and eventually win the race, making it another Airwaves Ducati 1-2 finish.

After the the last 4 races it seems like perhaps the Airwaves Ducatis are in need of an equalizing competition after all. Ducatis are now one and two in the championship standards. Series owner Jonathan Palmer apparently agrees and the Airwaves Ducatis will be receiving a weight adjustment for the upcoming round.

BSB Snetterton Race 2 Results (Top 10)

1. Shane Byrne - Airwaves Ducati
2. Leon Camier - Airwaves Ducati
3. Cal Crutchlow - HM Plant Honda
4. Michael Rutter - NorthWest 200 Ducati
5. Leon Haslam - HM Plant Honda
6. Michael Laverty - Relentess Suzuki by TAS
7. Tom Sykes - Rizla Suzuki
8. Simon Andrews - Jentin Racing/Lloyds British Yamaha
9. Tristan Palmer - Tena for Men Honda
10. James Ellison - Hydrex Bike Animal Honda

Honda Racing Master Chart

TOV-RR Contest

As a new treat for TOV-RR readers, we will be giving away a piece of Honda swag or two with each TOV-RR. To enter, readers must make guesses about where select Honda pilots will finish in upcoming races. For TOV-RR 2008.4 the prize is a Lowe's Fernandez Acura Hat. To win the hat, you must email tov-rr@vtec.net with your guesses for the following races:

Moto GP: Position of best Honda in qualifying at the Dutch TT (Assen)

Moto GP: Race finish position of best finishing Honda at the Dutch TT (Assen)

World Superbike: Race finish position of best finishing Honda between races 1 and 2

The winner will be notified via email and will be recognized in the next TOV-RR.

Honda Racing on TV

Saturday, June 21

8:00AM Formula One Qualifying - French Grand Prix (SPEED)

Sunday, June 22

1:00 PM Formula One Race - French Grand Prix (SPEED)

4:00PM Moto GP - British Grand Prix (FOX)

Sunday, June 29

3:00PM World Superbike - San Marino Race 1 (SPEED)
4:00PM World Superbike - San Marino Race 2 (SPEED)
6:00PM Moto GP - Dutch Grand Prix (SPEED)

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