CARL FOGARTY launched his World Superbike campaign with a dominant performance in Kyalami, South Africa, yesterday, Britain's defending champion winning both races, each by a formidable distance. Yet the risks of the sport were brought into sharp focus by the death of the South African champion, Brett MacLeod, after he crashed in the first race of the Supersport world championship at the same event.
MacLeod was killed after he lost control of his 600cc Suzuki as he rode out of a corner. He flew over the handlebars and was hit by another bike as he lay on the track. The final race of the day, the Nashua Invitation, was cancelled as a mark of respect.
Fogarty, the three-times world champion from Blackburn, was, understandably, in a forlorn mood after the round. "Motorcycling is a very dangerous sport and there's no getting away from that," he said. "It's difficult to celebrate today after what has happened."
The Performance Ducati rider secured a landmark 50th victory with the two wins, the 13th time he had accomplished the double feat. Fogarty finished a gaping five seconds ahead of his team-mate, Troy Corser, in the first race. In the second the margin of victory from the Honda-mounted New Zealander Aaron Slight was a second greater. Fogarty leads the standings with 50 points, with Slight and Corser joint second on 36.
There was further success for Britain when the Scottish rider Iain MacPherson won the first round of the Supersport championship, cruising to victory after the early leader, Ruben Xaus of Spain, crashed on the 10th of the 23 laps.
Results, Digest, page 8
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