Crash lets in Toseland for dream start

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The Englishman on his debut for Winston Honda had a dreadful start, dropping back from the front row to 10th place as he got used to the unfamiliar Honda after switching from the Ducati team he won the world title with in 2004.

But as he scythed his way through the pack it was left to the fast-starting Australian Andrew Pitt to contest the lead with his Yamaha Italia team-mate Haga. The duo jousted as Toseland closed the gap on a leading group which also included the reigning world champion Troy Corser, Kagayama and the 2001 champion Troy Bayliss.

Toseland dealt with Corser, Bayliss and Pitt and looked set for third until the final lap which saw Haga crash and take Kagayama with him as he tried to steal the inside line through a corner. Bayliss ended second with Pitt in third.

Corser won the second race, by almost a second from Bayliss and Haga with Toseland fourth.