WSBK – Charpentier: the race for the title! –

WORLD SUPERBIKE

Charpentier: the title race !

WSBK - Charpentier: the race for the title! -

Sébastien Charpentier can become Supersport world champion this weekend, if he scores one point more than his teammate Fujiwara … And the show promises to be grandiose because at Ten Kate, the race instructions do not exist !

The 9th round of the World Superbike takes place this weekend on the legendary circuit of Assen. Even if this track has undergone some modifications in recent years – which have disappointed MotoGP riders (read) – it is nonetheless very fast and fluid, so particularly conducive to fighting….

The response from the opponents of Troy Corser (Suzuki Alstare) was somewhat late so that, as in MotoGP, the titles already seem distributed … But paradoxically, the attractiveness of the races is growing since the second part of the season is the most contested! And if Haga and his Yamaha R1 were the star animators of the last two events (read and), the Vermeulen (Honda Ten Kate), Laconi (Ducati Xerox), Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare), Toseland (Ducati Xerox), Walker (Kawasaki) PSG-1), Chili (Honda Klaffi), Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italy), and other Abe (Yamaha Motor France) have not said their last word !

In search of a first victory…

If Troy Corser has never won on the track in the Netherlands, that could change quickly: "I think this year I have a chance to win, that’s my goal !", warns the Australian who has never come down from the podium this year. He knows however that this track will not allow him to use his method" I widen the gap and I manage "which he widely tested at the beginning season. Beautiful fights in perspective !

"More power!"

The one who knows perhaps the best in fighting, at least at the moment, it is undoubtedly Nitro Nori Haga: he has obtained no less than two wins and a second place in the last four rounds and is preparing to compete in his 150th World Superbike race, the 100th riding a Yamaha…

Nori finds that his R1 is not yet developing enough horsepower, despite indications that might suggest otherwise: "my feeling with the chassis is very good now and more power would make my job easier !"And if Pirelli tires could talk, what would they say ?

At AAAaaarmes … Sébastien !

The high point of the weekend will undoubtedly be the Supersport race: Sébastien Charpentier (Honda Ten Kate), who has been atomizing the competition since the start of the season, only knows two rivals: his teammate Katsuaki Fujiwara, on whom he is 74 points ahead, and Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany), 81 points behind the French. All other drivers are no longer in the title race…

A victory would therefore allow the Charentais to win the championship, thus becoming the first Supersport driver to win the title three races before the end of the season! If he does not win, he must at least lead Fujiwara by one point and not give Curtain more than six points….

In view of his "Rossiesque" results this year – six wins and two second places – it is difficult to see Sébastien deprived of the title on Sunday. But his team-mate Fujiwara is not to be underestimated, because he remains the only driver to have held high at General Lee twice this season, at Losail then at Monza (read). We must not forget that the injury of the Japanese – during his testing on the CBR1000RR for the 8 hours of Suzuka last July – deprived him of a race in Brno and prevented him from fully expressing himself at Brands Hatch: "my back is doing a lot better, although it was a little sore after the Brands Hatch race, and I don’t expect any problem at that level this weekend", reassures the Japanese.

Kevin Curtain is not to be outdone: failing to have beaten Sébastien, he has often managed to keep pace despite a Yamaha slightly behind this year … He will seek Sunday to win his first victory of the season … and why not reach second place in the championship !

The future of General Lee is already marked out: having signed for two more years with Team Ten Kate, he will try to keep his Supersport title (never seen before in this hotly contested category) before getting into Superbike … But Sébastien take everything in its time: "Obviously, the championship is accessible to me this weekend and I am in very good physical condition. We know how strong the bike is and how hard the team has worked this season, so I hope for the win or at least the podium. My approach to the weekend will be exactly the same as before, and while I can’t help but think about the title, when I’m in the pits and under my helmet there’s only one thing I focus: ride the best I can and try to get the most out of a really good bike !"

Whatever the result, Sunday‘s race will certainly be one of the best of the year. A result that Ronald Ten Kate, team manager of Charpentier and Fujiwara, does not want to promote in any way: "Sébastien has the opportunity to win the title with three races remaining, which, while being our fourth title in a row, would be wonderful for the team. We will see how the race will go, but we have already decided that there will be no team instructions because Katsuaki remains Sébastien’s most important rival. !"

See you on Monday for the report of these three outstanding races and until then: "la gaaaaagne, Séb" !

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