Motorcycling: Toseland's title defence stalls as Corser cruises to double victory

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The Independent Online

The reigning world superbike champion James Toseland yesterday endured one of the blackest days of his career in the third round of the series in Spain. The 24-year-old Yorkshireman finished eighth in the first race on his Xerox Ducati, but plunged to 19th in the second after running off the track and making a pit stop.

The reigning world superbike champion James Toseland yesterday endured one of the blackest days of his career in the third round of the series in Spain. The 24-year-old Yorkshireman finished eighth in the first race on his Xerox Ducati, but plunged to 19th in the second after running off the track and making a pit stop.

Australia's Troy Corser blazed to two victories on his Alstare Corona Suzuki. He leads the championship with 141 points from his Japanese team-mate Yukio Kagayama. Only Honda's Chris Vermeulen in third seems likely to trouble them for the rest of the season.

Toseland is in 10th place on 30 points. He qualified only 23rd-fastest here and said: "I had a problem with the front end of the bike. I changed the tyre and I went out again, but missed the flag by a couple of seconds. We've been going in the wrong direction during qualifying and when you go in the wrong direction, it all becomes that bit more difficult."

Nottinghamshire's Chris Walker scored a third place on the Kawasaki of the Italian team PSG-1, but Carl Fogarty's Foggy-Petronas team failed to score a point.

Corser led the first race from the start and had time to fool around on the final two laps, producing plumes of blue smoke from his rear tyre as he drifted the 200-horsepower Suzuki through the corners. He cantered to another easy win in the second race, from Vermeulen and Walker. Toseland ran on to the grass when he collided with McCoy.

Regis Laconi, of France, missed both races after falling during the warm-up.

¿ Michael Rutter took the lead in the British Superbike Championship at Mallory Park yesterday after the Japanese sensation Ryuichi Kiyonari crashed spectacularly. Rutter took advantage, and won both races, his first victories of the year.

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