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Reigning champion Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) took his winning streak to four with two convincing wins in today’s second round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island. The 32-year-old Australian, who becomes the first rider in the history of World Superbike to win the first four opening races, triumphed in front of 57,000 sun-baked spectators and now leads the table with a maximum 100 points. In both races the battle for victory was between Bayliss and Colin Edwards (Honda), who twice finished runner-up. Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) made it an identical podium in both races with two thirds, while Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) added more points to his championship total with fourth and fifth.

“It really has been a perfect weekend in front of my home crowd, I just missed out on pole and it would have been a clean sweep!” declared Troy. “My Ducati Infostrada bike worked perfectly all weekend and so did my Michelin tyres. I don’t know about it being easy though because when I was behind Colin in both races I was getting the hot air from his exhausts and I really had to dig deep in the last few laps. On my second last lap of race 2 I was expecting something big from Colin but then I saw my pit-board with a good gap so I cruised to the win. The biggest problem I had all weekend was the ‘big screen’ up at Lukey Heights because every time I came over I was having a little glance at it and I made a couple of mistakes, so I tried to steer clear of it in the second race. All in all it’s an exceptional start to the season for me, but there’s still a long way to go and anything can happen”.

Ducati Infostrada team-mate Ruben Xaus scored his best results of the season so far after battling to third in both races. Ruben twice had to recover from a slow start and after trying to stay on the pace of the leading duo, settled for two thirds and 32 points on the board. “Both races were not easy today but as soon as I passed the guys in front of me they were OK” declared Xaus. “It’s perfect for me to be on the podium twice this weekend, because it means I’m learning and getting better all the time. I didn’t get a good start in either race and I think I probably destroyed the tyres by trying to catch them and with my riding style. But I’m happy because If we continue like this we can be fighting for a top 3 position by the end of the year”.

Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) had to struggle for two top 5 positions behind the leading group, but got the better of Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) in race 1 before taking Haga (Aprilia) for fifth at the end of race 2. “Race 1 was really long and I’m happy to have finished fourth but I really only like to race for the win and when you’re not racing for the win, it takes a lot of the fun out of it” commented Ben. “The bike was great, I just had a few problems with the tyre, but Neil and Haga were in the same situation. I put on a softer tyre for race 2 and it went much better, even though I fried it trying to keep up with the other guys. Then I started to just cruise and it cooled off a bit in the last few laps and it went much better. I passed Haga one lap from the end and made it stick and then tried to pass Neil on the last lap around the last corner but just didn’t have the drive.”

Superbike Race One Result
1. Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 34'30.102
2. Colin Edwards, USA (Castrol Honda) 34'32.571
3. Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 34'40.162
4. Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 34'51.234
5. Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 34'51.320
6. Hitoyasu Izutsu, Japan (Fuchs Kawasaki) 35'08.025
7. Gregorio Lavilla, Spain (Suzuki) 35'08.111
8. James Toseland, GB (Ducati) 35'11.240
9. Chris Walker, GB (Fuchs Kawasaki) 35'20.981
10. Lucio Pedercini, Italy (Ducati) 35'31.648

Superbike Race Two Result
1. Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 34'35.633
2. Colin Edwards, USA (Honda) 34'38.105
3. Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 34'45.315
4. Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 34'54.546
5. Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 34'54.577
6. Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) 34'55.206
7. James Toseland, GB (Ducati) 35'08.589
8. Gregorio Lavilla, Spain (Suzuki) 35'08.634
9. Chris Walker, GB (Fuchs Kawasaki) 35'08.718
10. Juan Borja, Spain (Ducati) 35'37.515

World Superbike Championship Points
1. Troy Bayliss 100
2. Colin Edwards 69
3. Ben Bostrom 53
4. Noriyuki Haga 50
5. Neil Hodgson 45
6. Ruben Xaus 43
7. Hitoyasu Izutsu 29
8. Chris Walker 29
9. James Toseland 27
10. Gregorio Lavilla 25

Next round: April 7, Kyalami, South Africa

Excellent result in round 2 of the World Supersport Championship for the Ducati NCR team, with Italian Piergiorgio Bontempi finishing in second place behind world champion Andrew Pitt (Kawasaki) on the Ducati 748.

<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>

Premium Member
38,149 Posts

I wonder if Kyalami will allow Ben or Colin to borrow the top podium step from Bayliss? LOL /images/icons/laugh.gif I'm thinking no. /images/icons/laugh.gif He did take two 2nd place finishs here last season so maybe he can go on to get his 5th and 6th consecutive win! /images/icons/wink.gif

On another note, Bayliss has yet to have a really good showing at Sugo; will this be the year to change that? I hope so. Corser was the only regular to run near the front last year I believe and found himself a spot on the podium (3rd?).


Premium Member
38,149 Posts
Wow, check out the length of the write up Speed Channel gave a non-Nascar event! /images/icons/shocked.gif/images/icons/laugh.gif

Can Anyone Stop Troy Bayliss?
By: Tony Carter

Phillip Island, Australia, March 24

The answer may well be no-one given the amazing display of controlled aggression seen here today at Philip Island, Australia - and it has to be said that so far the Mr 100 per cent record for Troy Bayliss and his factory Ducati machine is doing the championship no favours at all.

At a time when the threat from the MotoGP world is strong, its four-stroke boomers are taking much more than their fair share of column inches and media air-time than the WSB counterparts, the last thing the WSB series needs is a run-away winner who fills the void of main man whilst the rest of the runners scrap for the lower places.

And while the brace of wins were hard won and undoubtedly deserved, not to mention being exactly what the home fans wanted - their man on top of the podium twice usurping the pole position slap in the face handed out by Texan Tornado Colin Edwards in the dying moments of yesterday’s Superpole sessions - it is fast making the series a turn-off: ‘I was getting tires of hearing Bayliss, Bayliss, Bayliss,’ he said after just taking the prime position.

That may sound a bit harsh, but consider that the WSB series has been built up on two things: Great, close racing and machines that at least look like the ones you can go to a dealer and buy.

And today down under it has to be said that were it not for some heroic efforts by Edwards then the WSB series wold have looked very much like the GP world of a few years ago when a certain M Doohan dominated - and that was when fans turned away from the series in droves.

Another Aussie who says all the right things about sponsors, machinery and fellow competitors does not make for interesting copy in the following mornings newspapers or up-to-the-minute websites like the one you are reading now.

There have been some concessions to the dominating V-twins of the past few years. For this season they have to carry another two kgs while the four cylinder machines have been slimmed down by three.

You may think that sounds fair and should go some way to closing the gap - in reality however any closing of any gap has yet to materialise - it is still a V-twin series.

Only this year the V-twins are rocking the cazbar more than usual given their huge steps forward in power (unofficial sources within Infostrada Ducati have the booming Italian bruiser making as much as 13bhp more than last year - and who said that the Duke is at the peak of its developmental life?).

It was in complete contrast weather-wise to what we saw last year here - back then pouring, torrential rain left rivers of mud and water streaming across the track and forced the abandonment of race two completely - this time round it was warm and sunny with an ambient temperature of over 30 degrees.

The high figures pointed towards a series of new Dunlop compounds that should favour such conditions around a sweeping, punishing, fast-paced circuit like Philip Island - rumours in the paddock had the rubber coming on strong in the last half of a race.

It meant that while Bayliss, Edwards and Xaus should be able to make the running early on the likes of Ben Bostrom, Noriyuki Haga and Neil Hodgson should be able to up the ante later - a thrilling race then because The Island always provides close racing… doesn’t it?

Well, normally yes. And for the first part of the first race it did look like we were about to get a corker of big bike action with Bayliss making an absolute flyer off the line for the holeshot while Haga and Edwards choped and changed to sort themselves out.

Ben Bostrom, rumoured to be unhappy with his machines performance after the opening round of the season at Valencia when Bayliss was apparently able to pull away from the ‘similar’ Ducati with little more than a twist of the right wrist, had a slow away by comparison and had to dig in to fight back up the order from sixth place.

Haga was up to second and immediately began hassling Bayliss, harassing the defending World Champion with some brutal early attacks. By the second lap it was Edwards’ turn to go second and bite chunks off the rear tyre of Bayliss, but he himself was coming under renewed pressure from Haga who dived through at the Honda Hairpin later that same lap.

The in-fighting between Edwards and Haga let Bayliss just begin to break away but he could only get some daylight for a lap before Edwards was back on him again - the first two V-twins just pulling away slightly from Haga who was struggling on his V-twin Aprilia with a lack of pressure in his front brake system.

Lap four and Edwards was first after an audacious slipstreaming move on the start/finish straight, Bayliss came back immeditely at the Southern Loop turn - it was all very exhilarating stuff, but looking back past the two front runners it was only Bostrom who gave the crowd anything else to shout about with his move to fifth past Hodgson along home straight. Xaus took advantage of a struggling Haga - by now unsure whether he would get stopped in time for a turn so taking the race at a ‘steady’ pace and beginning to slip back down the order.

Xaus woke up to the job and managed to close down Colin over the next couple of laps but never being able to do much about the duo ahead. Apart from almost running straight into the back of Edwards on lap eight.

The promised battle from the Dunlop riders seemed to be a lost cause though - the chasing riders were lapping by 0.5s slower than the front three Michelin men and judging by how much the machines were sliding around - things weren’t going to get much better much sooner.

Lap 11 and Noriyuki Haga finally had to concede to his woeful front brake problems after running off track at the bottom of MG Corner - it was a close thing and Haga did well to avoid running into the barrier. He retired from the race half a lap later - game over.

Lap 13 and the problems were starting to appear - Pierfrancesco Chili pitted to have a vibration on his rear tyre checked by the mechanics while Xaus was being dropped off from Bayliss and Edwards.

Xaus was a full four-seconds adrift of Edwards by lap 16 while the Edwards and Bayliss roadshow had just 0.2s between them.

Colin was looking strong in second place and although the Honda maybe looked a small per cent down on corner exit power it finally looked as though we were about to be treated to an old WSB style scrap for the checkered flag. Until Colin hit a false neutral gong into MG - suddenly Bayliss was a full second ahead and away untroubled to the flag - eventually crossing the line 1.2 ahead.

Another Bayliss win - three from three.

After the race Colin said: "The bike was working real good in the turns. Everything was working great until I went for a gear and found a neutral. It took me a couple of seconds to work out what was going on and I managed to out the bike into second and get away but by them Troy had gotten away."

Bayliss added: "I was more confident about myself and the bike when I was at the front so I tried to stay there and run the race from the lead. I was looking at the pitboard hoping to see a plus something but Colin was right there with me for most of the race so I kept getting plus nothing."

For the second race the ambient temperature was up to 34 degrees - tire life could end up being a major factor.

For the start it was the usual suspects away off the line with Bayliss making the holeshot, followed into turn one by Haga and Edwards although this time Bostrom made a flyer from the second row of the grid to be fourth into the bend.

Colin made a lot of the early running in lap two, shooting past Haga and immediately putting pressure on Bayliss, passing Haga into the MG corner Edwards looked majestic on the all-new SP-2: ‘It’s a real new motorcycle, last year they kind of put some paint and a few things on the SP-1 and called it an SP-2, this year it’s the real deal,’ Colin said earlier.

Lap three and Colin used the same tactic to get past Bayliss at MG, by lap five he’d pulled 0.5s ahead from the Aussie, Ben was up to third too. Lap six however and Xaus managed to muscle his way under Ben in Honda Hairpin and that’s pretty much how thing stayed over the next few laps. Hitoyasu Izutsu showed that the ageing Kawasaki can still make the grade occasionally as he passed Neil Hodgson for sixth on lap 8 while Chili threw his Ducati away on lap nine.

Izutsu got physical with Ben when the green machine was muscled through MG to get past Ben - if it wasn’t for Izutsu the race would have been slow to watch (and who’d have though that of a Kawasaki?).

Lap 13 and Bayliss had obviously had enough of being a pillion to Edwards, slipstreaming past into the lead at the end of the start/finish straight only for Colin to repeat the move a lap later and regain the front position.
One more lap gone and Bayliss took the lead again while Izutsu fell at the notoriously tricky MG turn, the front of his green machine washing out as he tried to run it in hard.

And that was how things stayed until the end of the race - static with Bayliss running home to another win - four from four and not exactly giving the spectators the variety or thrills they have come to expect from the Superbike class.

"I made a tyre choice the same as Ruben’s and to be fair it was a more risky choice. At the end of the race the tyre was sliding quite a bit and I figured it would be better to come away with 20 points than risk it all and finish up with none," Colin said.

Bayliss added: "Everything was working perfectly all weekend. I couldn’t fault the bike or tyres at all."

Radical quotes that will surely drag the crowds in come the next round, eh?

Race One Result:

1. Bayliss
2. Edwards
3. Xaus
4. Bostrom
5. Hodgson
6. Izutsu
7. Lavilla
8. Toseland
9. Walker
10. Pedercini

Race Two Result:

1. Bayliss
2. Edwards
3. Xaus
4. Haga
5. Bostrom
6. Hodgson
7. Toseland
8. Lavilla
9. Walker
10. Borja

Championship Points After Two Rounds:

1. Bayliss 100
2. Edwards 69
3. Bostrom 53
4. Haga 50
5. Hodgson 45
6. Xaus 43
7. Izutsu 29
8. Walker 29
9. Toseland 27
10. Lavilla 25

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