Throwback Thursday | That Bimota/Gobert win at Phillip Island + more…

2000 World Superbikes at Phillip Island

20 years ago today

20 years ago today, April 23, Phillip Island hosted the second round of the 2000 World Superbike Championship and boy was it one to remember. 

Troy Corser had taken pole on the Rotax engined Aprilia RSV Mille with a 1m33.321 while alongside him on the front row were Pierfrancesco Chili (Suzuki GSX-R750) and Colin Edwards on the new RC51 Honda. 

WorldSBK Phillip Island Corserrhf p

WorldSBK Phillip Island Corserrhf p

Troy Corser – 2000

Race One

Come Sunday though it was wet and tyre choice was critical. It looked as though the track would steadily dry thus it was really a roll of the dice and for a 25-year-old Anthony Gobert it was one gamble that paid off. 

WorldSBK Phillip Island Gobertturnb p

WorldSBK Phillip Island Gobertturnb p

Anthony Gobert – 2000

Gobert had qualified 11th and his Suzuki TL1000R engined Bimota SB8R was almost 20 km/h down on top speed compared to the front runners. 

When the lights went out it was Colin Edwards that got the initial jump but the American was quickly overhauled by Gobert and Corser who immediately started pulling away only for TC to go down at Hayshed. 

At the end of lap one Gobert led by 9-second and by the end of lap three, that lead was out to an incredible 31-seconds and by lap seven Gobert’s buffer was over 47-seconds. 

Gobert lapped both Haga and Bostrom on lap eight but on lap ten a dry line had started to appear and the Australian could no longer continue to pull away.

Carl Fogarty put in the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 and had reeled Gobert in a little, the gap down to a still very significant 40-seconds but diminishing nonetheless.

Then on lap 13 the rain started falling once again and Gobert was able to maintain his advantage before backing off on the final laps to take the chequered flag 29-seconds clear of Fogarty. 

WorldSBK Phillip Island GobertPodiumtop p

WorldSBK Phillip Island GobertPodiumtop p

Anthony Gobert – 2000

2000 WorldSBK – Round Two – Phillip Island
Race One Results
  1. Anthony Gobert – Bimota SB8R
  2. Carl Fogarty – Ducati 996 +29.542s
  3. Vittoriano Guareschi – Yamaha YZF-R7 +41.205s
  4. Lucio Pedercini – Ducati 996 +52.174s
  5. Colin Edwards – Honda +56.985s
  6. Robert Ulm – Ducati 996 +57.168s
  7. Gregorio Lavilla – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +57.627s
  8. Giovanni Bussei – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +66.223s
  9. Akira Yanagawa – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +77.071s
  10. Noriyuki Haga – Yamaha YZF-R7 +92.748s
  11. Alistair Maxwell – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +95.951
  12. Mauro Sanchini – Ducati 996 +1 lap
  13. Katsuaki Fujiwara – Suzuki GSX-R750 +1 lap
  14. Lance Isaacs – Ducati 996 +1 lap
  15. Ben Bostrom – Ducati 996 +1 lap

Race Two

Colin Edwards and Pierfrancesco Chili both got away well from the line and were being chased by Simon Crafar, Haruchika Aoki, Noriyuki Haga and Juan Borja on what was a slightly damp but almost dry track. Race one winner Gobert was down in 15th place and battling with a 14th placed Carl Fogarty.

By lap four Colin Edwards led the race by ten-seconds over Chili. The American had gone with intermediates and that gave him the upper hand early on but the others on slicks were reeling him as a better dry line appeared as the laps clicked on. 

On lap five, a 12th placed Carl Fogarty went up the rear of Robert Ulm’s mis-firing Ducati at around 200 km/h in a frighening clash through turn three. It subsequently proved to be a career ending crash for the four-time World Champion. 

Noriyuki Haga took second place from Chili on lap eight and then took the lead from Edwards two laps later.

Troy Corser then came to the fore as the track dried further and by lap 12 was leading the race from Haga and Chili. 

WorldSBK Phillip Island Corserlhr p

WorldSBK Phillip Island Corserlhr p

Troy Corser – 2000

Lapped traffic caused Corser some problems on lap 14 when a slower rider cut back across him in alarming fashion but TC successfully threaded the needle.

The intermediate rubber on Edwards’ Honda was now very much a hindrance and was relegated to fifth by Gregorio Lavilla.

On lap 16 though, the rain started falling again, and with Fogarty still being attended to by medics by the side of the track, officials took the decision to red flag the race and the results were declared with Corser the winner from Haga while Chili rounded out the podium.

In the post race press conference at Phillip Island Corser seemingly took great delight in pointing out that, at that point in time, the top six riders in the championship points were all on different brands of motorcycle, but none of them was on a Ducati. 

The 2000 season as a whole was a big one for both Troy Corser and Aprilia. It was Aprilia’s first season in World Superbike and TC took five victories on his way to third in the championship. 

2000 was the year that Ducati’s stranglehold on the series was broken as rival manufacturers produced V-Twins to also exploit the 250cc advantage that the rules gave the twin-cylinder machines over their four-cylinder rivals.

Honda’s Colin Edwards won the 2000 World Superbike Championship with eight race victories on the new VTR1000 SP-1, 65-points clear of Noriyuki Haga on the Yamaha YZF-R7. 

The race two accident at Phillip Island also effectively ended the career of Carl Fogarty.  

Fogarty’s injuries and subsequent retirement led Ducati to pull Troy Bayliss back from America to replace Carl in the Factory Ducati WorldSBK Team. 

Bayliss had missed the first few rounds but won two races (Hockenheim and Brand Hatch), and finished as the highest Ducati with sixth in the championship from his debut season.

The following year, 2001, Bayliss wrestled the World Superbike crown back for Ducati only to lose it again by the narrowest of margins to Honda’s Colin Edwards in 2002, when the pair completely dominated what was a brilliant season of World Superbike racing. 

2000 WorldSBK – Round Two – Phillip Island
Race Two Results
  1. Troy Corser – Aprilia RSV1000
  2. Noriyuki Haga – Yamaha YZF-R7 +1.994s
  3. Pierfranceso Chili – Suzuki GSX-R750 +4.330s
  4. Gregorio Lavilla – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +23.592s
  5. Colin Edwards – Honda VTR1000 +23.604s
  6. Akira Yanagawa – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +25.243s
  7. Katsuaki Fujiwara – Suzuki GSX-R750 +25.322s
  8. Simon Crafar – Honda VTR1000 +40.832s
  9. Anthony Gobert – Bimota SB8R +41.349s
  10. Haruchuki Aoki – Ducati 996 +43.223s
  11. Robert Ulm – Ducati 996 +59.059s
  12. Mauro Sanchini – Ducati 996 +60.692s
  13. Lucio Pedercini – Ducati 996 +84.219s
  14. Ben Bostrom – Ducati 996 +85.570s
  15. Igor Antonelli – Kawasaki ZX-7RR +91.897s

WorldSBK Phillip Island Program

WorldSBK Phillip Island Program

2000 Phillip Island World Superbike official program

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