WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP - ROUND 5
MONZA, ITALY: Race Report, Sunday, May 12
GODDARD & BENELLI SCORE SBK CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
Australia's Peter Goddard today provided Italian motorcycle manufacturer Benelli with a points-scoring return to the World Superbike Championship.
Goddard, riding a three-cylinder Benelli Tornado 900, secured two championship points in the fifth round at Monza in Italy by finishing 14th in the first of the two 18-lap races. He was 17th in the second race on the 5.8km circuit.
The 37-year-old from Wollongong, who qualified 24th, made reasonable starts in the two races, but he was slowed at the first chicane on the opening lap in both events after his Benelli made contact with other machines. He also struggled with a lack of mid-corner stability.
Monza was the first race appearance for Goddard and Benelli in this year's championship. They withdrew from the series opener at Valencia in Spain in March because of engine problems and missed the following three rounds in Australia, South Africa, and Japan.
Benelli made its championship debut in 2001, with Goddard competing in the final six rounds of the series. He finished nine times from 12 starts and scored championship points in three races.
Australia's Troy Bayliss won both races at Monza on an Infostrada Ducati. He leads the championship with 224 points, followed by American Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda) on 186.
PETER GODDARD QUOTES: "It was good to score some points and the engine is accelerating better than before. We've made some improvements and there is more to come with the engine. The main problem this weekend was bad 'chatter' problems. It was okay going into the corners, but mid-corner the bike wanted to jump across the road and that wrecked our lap times. We had tested here two weeks ago and had no 'chatter' problems. It was confusing because we had a new swingarm and chassis that were supposed to be identical. The bike was good here in the wet, but we didn't get the dry track-time we needed. We thought we'd fixed things after qualifying, but then we found more problems today. I got 'T-boned' at the first chicane in both races and that didn't help things. We've got a test at Silverstone (Britain) before the next round so hopefully we can get everything working better there. With more testing and race miles we will start moving forward."
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after round 5): Bayliss 224, Edwards 186, Hodgson 131, Haga 103, Bostrom 102, Xaus 96, Toseland 68, Lavilla 58, Walker 58, Izutsu 47. Other: Goddard 2
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