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1 Ben Bostrom Ducati 998R 1:34.649
2 Colin Edwards Honda VTR-SP2 1:34.860
3 Ruben Xaus Ducati 998R 1:34.927
4 Troy Bayliss Ducati 998R 1:34.936
5 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia RSV 1:35.030
6 Hitoyasu Izutsu Kawasak ZX-7RR 1:35.385
7 James Toseland Ducati 996R 1:35.393
8 Neil Hodgson Ducati 998R 1:35.429
9 Pierfrancesco Chili Ducati 998R 1:35.632
 

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WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP

Round 1 – Valencia (Spain)

SATURDAY QUALIFYING & SUPERPOLE



BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) TAKES FIRST 2002 SUPERBIKE POLE AT VALENCIA



Reigning champion Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) stormed to his first pole position of the year in glorious weather conditions at Valencia, Spain as World Superbikes switched into top gear for tomorrow’s opening round of the season. The Australian powered his Ducati 998R Factory bike round the 4.005 km Ricardo Tormo Circuit in a time of 1’34.814, knocking well over one second off the previous Superpole mark set by Troy Corser last year. “I’ll definitely be first into the first corner tomorrow”, declared Bayliss. “There are a lot of excited riders around here looking forward to the first race so the only way to keep out of trouble is to get a good start. My Superpole lap was pretty good, I got a good rhythm through the corners and I knew I was really quick in the final part of the track. Valencia is a strange circuit because it changes a lot every time we come here so you simply have to adapt and change the bike around to suit it, but I’m very happy with the race set-up and my race tyre and I’m sure you’re going to see some good racing tomorrow.”



Ducati L&M rider Ben Bostrom will start alongside Bayliss on the front row of the grid after clocking a time of 1’34.959 in Superpole, just a tenth of a second slower than his fellow Ducati Corse rider. The American, who was fastest in the morning’s second and final qualifying session, slipped down one place on the grid after losing a little time in the one-lap afternoon dash. “On my Superpole lap I was just a little bit too excited. I went really fast into the first two turns but then they all started coming in at me a bit too quickly and I pushed too hard”, declared Bostrom. “But overall we’re pretty happy with the way things have gone today. I set a time of 1’35.1 on my race tyre and the lap times came easy. We did a long run in the afternoon and the bike and tyres were working really well so I’m confident things will be OK for tomorrow. It’s the first race of the season and I can’t wait to get on the grid and get it out of the way, but the Valencia track is very hard to pass on and it tends to burn the tyres up on the left side, so you can be sure it’s going to be a long hard race”.



Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) qualified ninth on the grid for tomorrow’s two races after constantly being one of the top runners during the two qualifying sessions. The 24-year-old Spanish rider, who lost time during his Superpole lap, was disappointed not to be further up the grid but promised battle tomorrow in front of the partisan Valencia crowd. “Pity about my Superpole lap, I got it a bit wrong going into a couple of corners, which made me lose time, so I’m a bit disappointed because I would like to have started from the front row of the grid in front of my home crowd. Tomorrow’s race is going to be tough but I can get up from row 3, it just depends how fast the race is going to be. There are five guys in there with a chance and I think I’m one of them, but I’ll just have to stay calm, not take any risks and keep out of trouble for the first few laps because it’s going to be a long race.”



Tomorrow’s two races, which begin at 1200 and 1530 CET, will be run over an distance of 92.115 km / 23 laps.



STARTING-GRID: 1. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1’34.814; 2. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 1’34.959; 3. Edwards (Honda) 1’34.982; 4. Haga (Aprilia) 1’35.015; 5. Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) 1’35.065; 6. Borja (Ducati) 1’35.891; 7. Izutsu (Kawasaki) 1’35.904; 8. Pedercini (Ducati) 1’35.909; 9. XAUS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1’35.937; 10. Chili (Ducati NCR) 1’35.948.



TV COVERAGE

Eurosport (pan Europe): Race 1&2, Sunday 10 March 2345-0015 GMT (delayed). LA7 (Italy): Superpole, Saturday 9 March 1800-1840 (delayed), Race 1, Sunday 10 March 1345-1445 (delayed), Race 2, Sunday 10 March 1730-1830 (delayed).


<font color=red>Live it</font color=red> <font color=blue>></font color=blue> <font color=red>Ride it</font color=red> <font color=blue>></font color=blue> <font color=red>Race it</font color=red>
 
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