The Autopage Cellular Yamaha team laid a solid foundation for its 2003 South African Superbike Championship campaign at AA Kyalami on Saturday (February 23). -

- Team leader and defending titleholder Russell Wood took his works Yamaha R6 to both of the day’s race victories, beating off serious competition in the process. -

- The Autopage Cellular wins did not come on a plate, indicating that a tough, spectacular Superbike racing season awaits. The equipe’s problems started during Saturday morning’s Official Qualifying session. Wood and teammate Greg Dreyer were circulating together in an effort to clinch the two quickest lap times when Dreyer crashed heavily through the 150 km/h Goodyear Sweep. -

- "I went in hard, drifting slightly, and opened the throttle a fraction too early. The front wheel washed away and I went down, with the motorcycle landing on my left leg," Dreyer said afterwards. -

- The session was stopped while paramedics took Dreyer to the circuit hospital, suffering from a broken left foot and torn back muscles. -

- "I had not done my best lap when Greg crashed, and could not get a clear run before the end of the session, thus, I ended up second on the grid," said Wood. -

- He was one tenth of a second slower than pole-sitter Noel Haarhoff (Cell C Suzuki) and four-hundreths of a second quicker than third man Shaun Whyte (First Technology Yamaha). The times of the first nine motorcycles on the grid were covered by less than a second. -

- Dreyer’s time on the lap before his crash placed him 12th on the grid, ahead of team youngster Charles Grassie who was 16th on his Autopage Cellular Yamaha. Despite not being able to walk, Dreyer elected to ride the team’s spare Yamaha R6 in the first race. -

- At the start, Wood initially rode in third place behind Haarhoff’s Suzuki and the First Technology Yamaha of Arushen Moodley. He passed Moodley in the Goodyear Sweep on Lap Three and repeated the exercise with Haarhoff on the following lap. -

- Thereafter, the multiple South African Champion was unbeatable, riding to victory in front of Moodley and Stewart MacLeod (Cell C Suzuki). -

- Meanwhile, after making up five places, Greg Dreyer retired to the pits, with his stiff back and inoperative left foot convincing him that carrying on would merely lead to another crash. The circuit doctor agreed, and forbade Dreyer further track access for the day. -

- Charles Grassie rode a steady race to finish 12th on the remaining Autpage Cellular Yamaha. -

- In the second, 12-lap - race, Wood initially elected to occupy seventh place. "They were going crazy at the front, banging fairings, running on kerbs and charging into corners three abreast. If one of them fell, most of them would go down, and I had no intention of joining in a crash," he said. Wood started his attack on the second lap, methodically passing a rider per lap to take the lead on the seventh tour. -

- After that he kept his head down to stave off several determined attacks from First Technology Yamaha twins Shaun Whyte and Arushen Moodley. -

- The Autopage Cellular Yamaha captain finally won the race by half a second from Moodley, while Grassie took 15th place. -

- "We are on track for the title, the Yamaha R6 is certainly the motorcycle for the job, and Greg should be fit for the next race of the season at Killarney in March," Wood said.

Original article from Car