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WSBK Results From Valencia

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Bayliss socks it to ‘em in Valencia
By Andy Downes--From MCN

WSB champion Troy Bayliss got the perfect start to his title defence with two wins in Valencia on Sunday afternoon…thanks to his lucky socks.

Bayliss had worn the same pair in his successful pre-season test at Valencia and decided to stick with them for this weekend. Let’s hope they get washed before the next round.

Bayliss started from pole after dominating Saturday’s Superpole.

The Ducati riding Aussie heads Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga in the championship after Haga took second spot in both races.

Neil Hodgson’s fifth and sixth places were as much as he could have expected from a circuit he has never got on with and Chris Walker’s battling seventh and 10th deserve special mention given his recent much-reported medical concerns.

James Toseland struggled with 10th and 12th place finishes after a heavy crash on Saturday before Superpole.

WSB race one result: 1. Bayliss, 2. Haga, 3. Bostrom, 4. Edwards, 5. Xaus, 6. Hodgson, 7. Izutsu, 8. Lavilla, 9. Chili, 10. Walker, 11. Borja, 12. Toseland, 13. Antonello, 14. Pedercini, 15. Parkes.

WSB race two result: 1. Bayliss, 2. Haga, 3. Edwards, 4. Bostrom, 5. Hodgson, 6. Izutsu, 7. Walker, 8. Borja, 9. Martin, 10. Toseland, 11. Pedercini, 12. Borciani, 13. Clementi, 14. Foti, 15. Santini.

Championship so far: 1. Bayliss (50) 2. Haga (40) 3. Edwards (29) 3. Bostrom (29) 5. Hodgson (21) 6. Izutsu (19) 7. Walker (15) 8. Borja (13) 9. Xaus (11) 10. Toseland (10).

World Supersport: Frenchman Fabien Foret won from compatriot Stephane Chambon in Valencia. Christian Kellner was third with Aussi Chris Vermeulen fourth.

Reigning champ Andrew Pitt was fifth with Jamie Whitham close behind him in sixth. Alessio Corradi took seventh place, Casoli was eighth, Carlacci ninth and Werner Daemen tenth.

Macpherson failed to finish.

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Troy Bayliss takes first race win of 2002
By Glenn LeSanto--From RoadRacing World

World Superbike, Race One report from Valencia

Reigning Superbike World Champion Troy Bayliss made it clear that he doesn't intend to give up his Number One plate at the end of the season. The Australian led the first race of the season from start to finish, despite coming under some fierce early pressure from Noriyuki Haga and Ben Bostrom. As the laps ticked by, Bayliss steadily took control of the race, finishing the race 3.176 seconds up on Haga.

Behind him Bostrom and Haga spent the race locked in a titanic battle for the second step on the podium. Whenever it looked like Bostrom was getting away and leaving Haga behind, the Japanese wildman would pull off an awesome pass on the brakes. Bostrom didn't seem to have an answer for Nori's late braking at the end of the front and back straights.

As the race wore on it looked like Bostrom had used up his rear tire. He was clearly faster than Haga into most of the turns but on the exit it was the reverse, with Haga getting the better drive out. Bostrom's Ducati was sliding and bucking in the longer turns as the Californian searched for grip.

Behind the pair Colin Edwards looked unable to close the half-a-second gap that existed for most of the race and had to settle for fourth. Ruben Xaus secured fifth, unable to recover from a poor grid position caused by an indifferent Superpole performance.

Bayliss dominated the race to such an extent that he finished over 30 seconds up on 10th-place man Chris Walker on the factory Kawasaki. Walker's teammate, Hitoyasu Izutsu was first man home on a four-cylinder machine, and he finished seventh.

"It was a real hard race but also the funnest race I've had in a long time," said Bostrom. "I'm kinda pissed off to finish back in third. But it was real fun out there and awesome to come back to such a great race. In race two I want to make sure I finish first!

"I think if Noriyuki Haga and me hadn't fought so hard with each other in the race Troy Bayliss might not have got away so much. Our fight caused us to put in some pretty slow laps. And Troy is the kind of rider who'll just sit on the bike and ride it and go. At the end he was just playing with us.

"I want to say how great it is to be back racing, it's been a long winter and I've missed the feeling of racing and all the atmosphere from the crowd," concluded Bostrom.

"It was a very tough race," said Haga, who, like Bostrom, was on Dunlop tires. "By lap six my rear tire was sliding and Troy Bayliss had gone. Then Ben and me got into a really big fight, it was very hard but also very enjoyable. I'm very happy to be back in World Superbike racing."

"I said after Superpole I planned to be first into the first corner, said Bayliss, "and I was! At first I got in a big fight with Ben, we were riding really close and we even touched a couple of times.

"I have to say that my bike was working really well, I've never ridden so hard and then hopped off the bike and felt like I'd done nothing, like I do now. The bike is that good.

"About two-thirds distance I lost concentration a bit and got into a bit of trouble in one corner. I guess I was thinking about lunch or something. You have to try to keep your head and keep smooth when you are out ahead like that, but I'm an aggressive kind of rider and sometimes that takes over." Bayliss won on Michelin tires.

World Superbike Results From Valencia, Race One:

1. Troy Bayliss, Ducati, 36.51.963
2. Noriyuki Haga, Aprilia, 36:55.139, -3.176 seconds
3. Ben Bostrom, Ducati, 36:55.279, -3.316
4. Colin Edwards, Honda, 36:55.990, -4.027
5. Ruben Xaus, Ducati, 37:00.673, -8.710
6. Neil Hodgson, Ducati, 37:06.408, -14.445
7. Hitoyasu Izutsu, Kawasaki, 37:07.858, -15.895
8. Gregorio Lavilla, Suzuki, 37:22.778, -30.815
9. Pierfrancesco Chili, Ducati, 37:22.783, -30.820
10. Chris Walker, Kawasaki, 37:23.559, -31.596
11. Juan Borja, Ducati, 37:23.630
12. James Toseland, Ducati, 37:28.233
13. Alessandro Antonello, Ducati, 37:31.935
14. Lucio Pedercini, Ducati, 37:35.765
15. Broc Parkes, Ducati, 37:38.615
16. Marco Borciani, Ducati, 37:39.535
17. Steve Martin, Ducati, 37:40.830
18. Ivan Clementi, Kawasaki, 38:15. 961
19. Mauro Sanchini, Kawasaki, 38:17.806
20. Thierry Mulot, Ducati, 38:28.476
21. Mark Heckles, Honda, 22 laps

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Red flag comes out as Bayliss takes his second win
By Glenn LeSanto--From RoadRacing World

Troy Bayliss got a perfect start to the defense of his World Championship at Valencia with a double win. The second race was red-flagged after 20 laps when Mark Heckles ran off the track between turn eight and turn nine. He remounted and got back on the circuit, leaving gravel all over the racing line. Even without the incident Bayliss looked on for the win and was over a second clear of Noriyuki Haga at the time the race was stopped.

Again there was a fierce battle between Haga and Ben Bostrom, this time both riders were battling for the lead. After some hectic passing manoeuvres Haga got the better of Bostrom, but by this time Bayliss had got into his groove and soon overhauled both of them to race off to his second win of the day and a championship points lead.

Bostrom was by now struggling with his rear tyre and fourth place man Edwards soon reeled his fellow American in to grab third place before the red flag stopped play.

"That race was hard work," said Bayliss. "We had a little problem with my bike on the grid before the start of the race and had to swap bikes. But it's a sign of how well the team is working that it felt just like I was racing with my number one bike.

"In the opening stages Noriyuki and Ben were really fast. I got a little flustered as they made a break and started making silly mistakes. Then I realized than Colin Edwards was running up fast behind me and knew I had to get myself together and get past Ben and Nori and get on with it.

"I'm feeling relaxed, the bike works well, things have gone well in testing and today's results have been great. But I know I can't be on the top all the time. I know who all the fast guys are and I know it will be a long hard season."

Haga said, "I changed some settings just a little for the second race. Troy was very fast and I couldn't catch him--that's all! I haven't had much testing yet I need some more, I need to catch up."

"It's been a very hard weekend," said Edwards. "We just didn't seem able to get the bike to turn in. We fixed the problem a bit between races, but it still wasn't right. We have some work to do before the next race. We thought after all our testing here that it would be better than it was, but for unforeseen reasons that I can't reveal it wasn't working like it should. But we've managed to take championship points away with us.

"When I caught Ben we didn't have much of a battle as he was just going backwards because his tire took a [censored]."

Second race result:
1 T Bayliss, Australia, Ducati, 32:03.384
2 N Haga, Japan, Aprilia, 32:04.562
3 C Edwards, USA, Honda, 32:05.669
4 B Bostrom, USA, Ducati, 32:08.528
5 N Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 32:20.766
6 H Izutsu, Japan, Kawasaki, 32:29.194
7 C Walker, GBR, Kawasaki, 32:35.121
8 J Borja, Spain, Ducati, 32:36.591
9 S Martin, Australia, Ducati, 32:41.085
10 J Toseland, GBR, Ducati, 32:41.595

From a Castrol Honda press release:


Troy Bayliss began the defence of his world title by winning both races of Sunday's opening round of the World Superbike championship at the Valencia circuit in Spain.

The Australian rider was followed home in both races by Noriyuki Haga in both races with Ben Bostrom and Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards taking a third place each. Despite opening race pressure from Bostrom and Haga, Bayliss led every one of the 23 laps to record the ninth victory of his World Superbike career.

Race two was led by Bostrom and Haga before Bayliss hit the front with five laps to go. His victory came three laps early following a red flag after a rider had crashed and spread dirt and gravel onto one corner of the 2.49-mile track.

With four laps to go Edwards grabbed third place from Bostrom and was closing in on Haga when the race was red flagged, Edwards said: "I'm not sure if I would have passed Haga but I was ready to give it a good go."

Second race result:
1 Bayliss, 32:03.384
2 Haga, 32:04.562
3 Edwards 32:05.669
4 Bostrom 32:08.528
5 Hodgson 32:20.766
6 Izutsu 32:29.194
7 Walker 32:35.121
8 Juan Borja, Spain (Ducati) 32:36.591
9 Steve Martin, Australia (Ducati) 32:41.085
10 James Toseland, GB (Ducati) 32:41.595

World Superbike championship points after one of 13 rounds:
1 Bayliss 50
2 Haga 40
3 Edwards and Bostrom 29
5 Hodgson 21
6 Izutsu 19
7 Walker 15
8 Borja 13
9 Xaus 11
10 Toseland 10

Manufacturers points:
1 Ducati 50
2 Aprilia 40
3 Honda 29
4 Kawasaki 119
5 Suzuki 8

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