Following a nail-biting season opener in Qatar, the second round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship heads to Phillip Island this weekend. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider James Toseland has secured an early lead in the series and is on equal points with championship contender Max Biaggi. However, the British rider is determined to steal the advantage at the Australian circuit before returning to the UK.
Toseland heads to Phillip Island with 45 points after beginning the season with an exciting battle for the premier spot on the podium with ex-MotoGP campaigner Biaggi. With each rider achieving one race win each, Phillip Island promises further excitement for race fans worldwide.
The 2006 series saw James Toseland secure two podium finishes at the 4.445km track and the circuit is also a favourite of his HANNspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate Roberto Rolfo. The Italian rider picked up his highest points of the season with seventh and fifth positions at Phillip Island last year. The team has high hopes for the pair to at least match that success on Sunday.
Roberto Rolfo is looking to improve on a promising first event with HANNspree Ten Kate Honda as he prepares for the Australian leg of the series. After a good first race, clutch problems forced him to retire early from the second heat in Qatar. Despite this, the Italian is in a positive frame of mind and hopes to finish in the higher ranks in both races.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Qatar was a great round for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda. James raced brilliantly and aside from the problems in the second race, Roby was riding very well and is still improving all the time. Phillip Island holds a lot of hope for us. Both riders did well here last year and also in the testing earlier this year, so we are quietly confident. I am of course hoping for more podium finishes - let's see what the weekend brings."
"We had a great start to the season and I came away from Qatar a very happy man. I can't wait to get to Phillip Island and start the next round. I enjoyed racing against Biaggi, although I think there might be a few more of us up at the front in Australia. I got two podiums there last year but I didn't get a race win so that will be my goal - I'm fired up and ready to go."
"I enjoy racing at Phillip Island - I have had some good results there so I am looking forward to the next round. Of course, I am hoping to do better than I did in Qatar. The problems were out of my control and that was frustrating but I hope to do well in Phillip Island and put all that behind me. When we tested here in January my times got better each day so I'm quite confident about the circuit. I will just concentrate on improving my riding and do the best I possibly can for the team."