MOTORCYCLING: Fogarty stays on as rivals slip up

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The Independent Online
CARL FOGARTY'S slick progress towards a fourth World Superbike title continued unhindered when marshals failed to clear up an oil spillage in the first race of the championship's sixth round here yesterday.

The hazard was left by a bike with a blown engine on the first corner and unseated a number of Fogarty's rivals. But the Blackburn rider managed to stay mounted to claim victory while his Australian team-mate, Troy Corser, tied up the second race, to secure a clean sweep for Ducati.

Four of the leading contenders, including the race leader, Colin Edwards, crashed. Akira Yanagawa spun out on the oil on lap five, Noriyuki Haga a lap later with Suzuki's Pier-Francesco Chili falling on lap 10. Edwards crashed his Castrol Honda three laps later.

Fogarty, however, stayed on his Ducati for the 21 laps of the twisting circuit. No one was hurt but Edwards made no secret of his disgust at the race stewards' negligence by making obscene gestures towards television cameras.

Fogarty came in 7.262 seconds ahead of the New Zealander Aaron Slight, on a Honda. Corser nursed his Ducati into third place more than 30 seconds behind. "With the oil out there I was being really cautious," Corser said.

Although Fogarty avoided trouble in the first race, he could not do the same in the second. The Briton held a three-second lead over Slight but crashed with four laps to go. That left Slight in the lead but Corser fought back before pipping the Castrol Honda rider for victory two corners from the finish. Yanagawa took third place with the Texan, Edwards, claiming fourth position.