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Jun 22, 2002

Bayliss Beats Bostrom To Top World Superbike Superpole At Misano

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Ben Bostrom threw down the gauntlet to Troy Bayliss this afternoon in Superpole, setting a lap at almost 1:34 dead. Bostrom's time of 1:34.074 looked good enough to claim pole. Colin Edwards was unable to beat it, but then came along the man of the moment, Troy Bayliss.<BR><BR>Giving a perfect display of controlled aggression, Bayliss lapped the Santa Monica circuit in Misano to take pole for tomorrow's San Marino Superbike races. Bayliss recorded an incredible time of 1:33.525, half a second<BR>quicker than Bostrom to confirm who's boss in this series this year.<BR><BR>There seems little Bayliss can do wrong at the moment and all bets have to be on the Ducati Infostrada rider for yet another double in the races on Sunday. While the other riders making it to the front row looked like they were really trying, using all of the track and visibly sliding around, Bayliss looked like he was out for a quiet ride.<BR><BR>Colin Edwards was third fastest with Neil Hodgson rounding out the front row.<BR><BR>1. Troy Bayliss, AUS, Ducati, 1:33.525<BR>2. Ben Bostrom, USA, Ducati, 1:34.074<BR>3. Colin Edwards, USA, Honda, 1:34.258<BR>4. Neil Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 1:34.356<BR>5. James Toseland, GBR, Ducati, 1:35.004<BR>6. Noriyuki Haga, JPN, Aprilia, 1:35.032<BR>7. Lucio Pedercini, ITA, Ducati, 1:35.459<BR>8. Ruben Xaus, ESP, Ducati, 1:35.511<BR>9. Steve Martin, AUS, Ducati, 1:35.517<BR>10. Pierfrancesco Chili, ITA, Ducati, 1:35.931<BR>11. Juan Borja, ESP, Ducati, 1:36.054<BR>12. Chris Walker, GBR, Kawasaki, 1:36.202<BR>13. Gregorio Lavilla, ESP, Suzuki, 1:36.253<BR>14. M. Borciani, ITA, Ducati, 1:36.480<BR>15. A. Antonello, ITA, Ducati, 1:36.893<BR>16. Mauro Sanchini, ITA, Ducati, 1:37.227<BR><BR>More, from Bayliss publicist Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>TROY BAYLISS Racing<BR>Media Information<BR>For immediate release<BR>Saturday, 22 June 2002<BR><BR>Round 8, 2002 Superbike World Championship<BR><BR>Autodromo di Misano, Misano Adriatica, Italy<BR><BR>Final Qualifying and Superpole Report<BR><BR>ELECTRIC BAYLISS TAKES POLE FOR MISANO SUPERBIKE ROUND<BR><BR>Misano, Italy (Saturday, June 22) - Defending World Superbike champion, Australian Troy Bayliss will start tomorrow's eighth round of the Superbike World Championship from pole position after a sensational lap during Superpole put him well clear of his rivals at the Misano circuit in Italy.<BR><BR>Bayliss was almost two seconds under the existing superbike lap record as he produced an immaculate Superpole lap, stopping the clocks with a time of 1:33.525 aboard his Infostrada Ducati 998F-02. The only rider to dip into the 1:33 mark around the 4.060km circuit, Bayliss was 0.549 of a second clear of American Ben Bostrom (L&M Ducati) who was second fast with a 1:34.074. Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda) took third for tomorrow's grid with a 1:34.258, with Britain's Neil Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) taking the final spot on the front row of the grid with a 1:34.356.<BR><BR>Today's pole position takes Bayliss to a total of four for the season and his second consecutive pole after taking the number one position at Germany two weeks ago.<BR><BR>"That was a very special lap I must say," said Bayliss after Superpole. "That is the fastest that I've ever been around here, including the times that we did a couple of years ago when the chicanes were slightly different and a lot faster. Just as I was walking out of my pit garage to the bike I saw that everyone was cheering that Ben (Bostrom) had done a good time, so I knew that I had to pull something special out and I did.<BR><BR>"The whole package is working extremely well at the moment, the bike, the tyres, the team, everything. I couldn't be happier." Bayliss added. "As for tomorrow, I know that Colin (Edwards) will be strong as usual, but I'm not sure about the others at the moment. It is forecast to be a lot hotter tomorrow, so 25 laps around here will be extremely difficult both for the riders and the tyres."<BR><BR>The second row of the grid is headed by James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) who after being eighth fastest during qualifying worked his way to fifth during Superpole with a 1:35.004. He was followed by Noriyuki Haga (Playstation2 Aprilia, 1:35.032), Lucio Pedercini (Pedercini Ducati, 1:35.459) and Ruben Xaus (Infostrada Ducati, 1:35.511). Steve Martin (DFX Ducati, 1:35.517) and Pierfrancesco Chili (NCR Ducati, 1:35.931) rounded out the top ten.<BR><BR>Bayliss heads into tomorrow's two 25-lap SWC races holding a 39-point lead over Edwards in the championship (310 to 271) with the pair well clear of third placed Hodgson who has a total of 165 points.<BR><BR>The Australian rider has had a brilliant start to his title defence in 2002. Eleven wins from fourteen races and no worse finishing position than fifth, illustrate his determination in clinching his second SWC crown. His staggering win rate may suggest a dominance of the class, but he has been pressured all of the way by Edwards, with the American remaining within striking distance and ready to capitalise on any opportunity provided to him.
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