YESYES YES Kawasaki does it again.....

April 7, 2002 - Pitt Makes It Two From Two With Kyalami Win

Andrew Pitt saw off a sustained challenge from James Whitham and Stephane Chambon to take his second consecutive race win in this afternoon´s Supersport event at Kyalami, South Africa. The win puts Pitt and Kawasaki nine points clear at the top of the rider and manufacturer´s championships.

Third away from the line, Pitt forced his way past Chambon and Kellner to take the race lead with identical moves on successive laps through Mineshaft. Once out in front, the Australian tried to pull out a gap on the battle for second place, but so fast was the pace, there was just no way he could shake off his pursuers.

By the halfway stage it had become a three horse race, with Pitt under intense pressure from both Whitham and Chambon. An uncharacteristic error on lap 14 allowed the chasing pair through, demoting Pitt back to third place. By lap 17 the reigning champion was back in the lead, but with Whitham literally glued to his exhaust pipe. Despite several passing attempts by Whitham in the closing stages of the race, Pitt held on to take the chequered flag in first place.

´It´s typical, you wait two years for a race win and then two come along at once,´ said a jubilant Pitt. ´It was pretty close out there and I knew that James would be trying just as hard as I was to take the win, but I was getting good drive out of most of the turns and, at the places where I knew he was strong, I made sure I defended as best I could. Your tyres always go off over the course of a 25-lap race, but the fact that the top three riders were all on Dunlops just goes to show how good they were today.´

With his second race win in as many meetings, Pitt is looking forward to the next round of the championship at Sugo in two weeks time.

´We finished on the podium last year in Japan, and we´re definitely stronger this season,´ said Pitt. ´I think one of our biggest strengths this year is our qualifying; we´re regularly qualifying further up the grid than we did last season. If I can qualify in Japan like I have in Australia and South Africa, then there´s no reason why we shouldn´t make it three from three.´

James Ellison´s race ended on the second lap, with a crash at Westbank, after the reigning European Superstock Champion fell victim to two riders clashing in front of him.

´I got caught up behind two riders who were out to win the race on the first lap,´ said Ellison. ´They were all over the place - and each other - and they nearly had me off a couple of times. I´d just decided to drop back and let them get on with it, while looking for a safe place to pass, when they came together and literally stopped mid-corner. I had no option but to get hard on the brakes to avoid running into the back of them and the front tucked on me. I´m bitterly disappointed, mainly because I was the victim of someone else´s stupidity.´

World Supersport - Kyalami Race Result

1. Andrew Pitt (Fuchs Kawasaki) 44´58.860
2. James Whitham (Yamaha) 44´59.017
3. Stéphane Chambon (Suzuki) 45´00.533
4. Jörg Teuchert (Yamaha) 45´09.682
5. Fabien Foret (Honda) 45´09.727
6. Christian Kellner (Yamaha) 45´10.529
7. Paolo Casoli (Yamaha) 45´10.828
8. Iain MacPherson (Honda) 45´11.113
9. Chris Vermeulen (Honda) 45´19.781
10. Alessio Corradi (Yamaha) 45´20.389

World Supersport - Championship Standings

1. Andrew Pitt (Fuchs Kawasaki) - 61
2. Stephane Chambon (Suzuki) - 52
3. Fabien Foret (Honda) - 43
4. Christian Kellner (Yamha) - 36
5. James Whitham (Yamaha) - 30
20. James Ellison (Fuchs Kawasaki) - 2

World Supersport - Manufacturer´s Championship

1. Kawasaki - 61
2. Suzuki - 52
3. Yamaha - 47
4. Honda - 45
5. Ducati - 30