Mar 24, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss is already looking unstoppable this season after winning again in the second race at Phillip Island on his Infostrada Ducati. Bayliss maintained a 100% record this season after another battle up front with Colin Edwards.<BR><BR>Before the weekend Bayliss hadn't even won a Superbike race at Phillip Island, now he's got himself into the record books as the first rider to win four races in a row at the start of the season. If he keeps up this form at Kyalami he could go ahead of Ben Bostrom and Carl Fogarty in the records, they are the only riders to have won five races in a row in the World Superbike championship 15 year history.<BR><BR>Edwards did everything he could to keep his Honda ahead of Bayliss after the two swapped places several times. But as the race entered the final stage Bayliss took the lead again and this time Edwards, or more precisely his tires, had no answer for the Australian.<BR><BR>Behind the pair was Ruben Xaus, again riding prudently and taking valuable points for another third-place finish. Fourth position was a hotly contested battle between Neil Hodgson, Noriyuki Haga, Ben Bostrom and Hitoyasu Izutsu. But things got too hot for Izutsu who lost the front end on his Kawasaki going into ‘MG' and crashed out of the race. Hodgson just out-dragged Bostrom to the line after the pair exited the last corner neck and neck.<BR><BR>The four victories give Bayliss a commanding lead at a very early stage in the title race.<BR><BR>"Unbelievable!" exclaimed Bayliss. "If I'd won Superpole as well it would have been great, that would have made it a clean sweep.<BR><BR>"I took it easy on the next-to-last lap trying to keep something in reserve for the last lap. I expected a big thing from Colin as I came round to start the final lap but then saw my board telling me he was way back. So instead I just cruised around the final lap and took it easy.<BR><BR>"The Superscreen (TV) at Lukey Heights gave me a little trouble, I kept giving it a glance in race one to see where everyone was and then making a mistake.<BR><BR>"There's still a long way to go and anything can happen. There's a tough weekend ahead in South Africa, Colin is fast there, I go well there and so does Ruben.<BR><BR>"The start to the season has been much better than I could have expected and it might mean I can relax a bit at Sugo, a track I haven't got a great history on.<BR><BR>"For some guys the way they've arranged the races this year must be tough (Australia followed by South Africa and then back to Japan) but for me it's worked out OK. I've been able to base myself in Australia for a while and see my friends and family."<BR><BR><BR>"We knew after the first race that the tire would be on fine line over race distance," said Edwards, "but then the temperature went up three or four degrees and tipped it over that line. I tried to make a break early in the race and fried up my tire, which was a mistake. By the end of the race I started to feel some vibration from the tires. So I took it easy, 20 points is better than no points.<BR><BR>"Changing the gearing after race one helped. I had an extra 120 revs, not much but it just made the difference between hitting the limiter and being able to slipstream past Bayliss."<BR><BR><BR>"I got a bad start and it took time to recover," said Xaus. "Ben Bostrom was especially hard to pass and by the time I got by my tires were gone. I managed to recover one second on the leaders but couldn't make up the rest. So I settled for another third place and some more championship points."<BR><BR><BR><BR>World Superbike championship<BR>Phillip Island, 24 March 2002<BR><BR>Race two result:<BR><BR>1: T Bayliss AUS Ducati 34:35.633<BR>2: C Edwards USA Honda 34:38.105<BR>3: R Xaus ESP Ducati 34:45.315<BR>4: N Hodgson GBR Ducati 34:54.546<BR>5: B Bostrom USA Ducati 34:54.577<BR>6: N Haga JPN Aprilia 34:55.206<BR>7: J Toseland GBR Ducati 35:08.589<BR>8: G Lavilla ESP Suzuki 35:08.634<BR>9: C Walker GBR Kawasaki 35:08.718<BR>10: J Borja ESP Ducati 35:37.515<BR><BR><BR><BR>More, from a Castrol Honda press release:<BR><BR>ISLAND DOUBLE FOR BAYLISS<BR><BR>Reigning champion Troy Bayliss won both races of Sunday's second round of the World Superbike championship as he and Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards--twice runner-up--did battle at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.<BR><BR>The pair were locked in battle in both 22-lap races, Edwards making a mistake two laps from the end of the first race and suffering with a rear traction problem at the end of the second.<BR><BR>Bayliss' wins pleased the 57,000 fans and keep him at the head of the championship while Edwards moved into second place with his pair of second places. "I wanted wins," said Edwards. "Troy was on form, I missed a gear in the first race and lost grip in the second."<BR><BR>Ruben Xaus took third place in both races as the only three factory Michelin tyre riders dominated the podium. Neil Hodgson lost out to Ben Bostrom in a first race battle for fourth place but the Ducati duo reversed their finishing positions in race two.<BR><BR>Second race result: 1 Bayliss 34:35.633<BR>2 Edwards 34:38.105<BR>3 Xaus 34:45.315<BR>4 Hodgson 34:54.546<BR>5 Bostrom 34:54.577<BR>6 Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) 34:55.206<BR>7 Toseland 35:08.589<BR>8 Lavilla 35:08.634<BR>9 Walker 35:08.718<BR>10 Juan Borja, Spain (Ducati) 35:37.515<BR><BR>World Superbike championship points after two of 13 rounds:<BR>1 Bayliss 100<BR>2 Edwards 69<BR>3 Bostrom 53<BR>4 Haga 50<BR>5 Hodgson 45<BR>6 Xaus 43<BR>7 TIE, Izutsu/Walker 29<BR>9 Toseland 27<BR>10 Lavilla 25<BR><BR>Manufacturer points:<BR>1 Ducati 100<BR>2 Honda 69<BR>3 Aprilia 50<BR>4 Kawasaki 36<BR>5 Suzuki 25<BR>