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Mar 22, 2002

Bayliss, Edwards Fastest In Friday World Superbike Qualifying From Phillip Island

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Bayliss out front again<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss is on provisional pole after the first qualifying session at Phillip Island, on Friday. Bayliss, who is from Australia, probably didn't need home advantage to set the fastest time, such is his form on the Ducati at the<BR>moment.<BR><BR>It nearly didn't happen for Bayliss, though, as Pierfrancesco Chili was the surprise leader in the last few minutes of qualifying. But Bayliss,<BR>who had spent much of the session fastest, put in an even faster lap on his final circulation of the Phillip Island circuit. His fastest time of<BR>1:32.656 put him almost half-a-second clear of Colin Edwards, who also leap-frogged Chili in the last minute.<BR><BR>Chili, riding a privateer Ducati, ended up in provisional third, just ahead of Noriyuki Haga on the Aprilia. Ruben Xaus was next fastest on a<BR>Ducati, with Gregorio Lavilla, who had been on provisional front row, relegated back to sixth on his Suzuki.<BR><BR>World Superbike Phillip Island<BR>Qualifying times, Friday 22 March 2002<BR><BR>1: T Bayliss AUS Ducati 1:32.656<BR>2: C Edwards USA Honda 1:33.064<BR>3: P Chili ITA Ducati 1:33.291<BR>4: N Haga JPN Aprilia 1:33.540<BR>5: R Xaus ESP Ducati 1:33.626<BR>6: G Lavilla ESP Suzuki 1:33.834<BR>7: B Bostrom USA Ducati 1:33.846<BR>8. N Hodgson GBR Ducati 1:34.022<BR>9. J Toseland GBR Ducati 1:34.429<BR>10: H Izutsu JPN Kawasaki 1:34.663<BR><BR><BR>More, from a Honda press release:<BR><BR>BAYLISS SETS EARLY ISLAND PACE<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss set the fastest time in Friday's opening qualifying session for round two of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.<BR><BR>The Ducati rider pipped Castrol Hondaís Colin Edwards for the head of the leaderboard in the closing stages of the one-hour session at the sun-kissed circuit, south of Melbourne.<BR><BR>Edwards said: "I'm happy. That ís the fastest I've ever gone around here and we've still got tomorrow to go. And my best lap came when a rider had crashed at turn one and there was a bit of wind about."<BR><BR>Pier-Francesco Chili took the third best time aboard his NCR Ducati with Aprilia's Noriyuki Haga fourth. Bayliss' teammate Ruben Xaus was fifth with Suzuki's new signing Gregorio Lavilla sixth.<BR><BR>Ben Bostrom ended the first day of action in seventh place with former British Champion Neil Hodgson eighth and his teammate James Toseland ninth.<BR><BR><BR>And now slightly different version, from Castrol Honda:<BR><BR>EDWARDS SECOND<BR><BR>Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards took second place in today's opening qualifying session for round two of the World Superbike Championship at<BR>Phillip Island in Australia.<BR><BR>The 2000 World Champion remains in confident mood after the first one-hour session. His fastest-ever lap around the 2.76-mile circuit has left Edwards believing his first race win of the year could come on Sunday.<BR><BR>He said: "I'm happy. That's the fastest I've ever gone around here and we've still got tomorrow to go. And my best lap came when a rider had crashed at turn one and there was a bit of wind about.<BR><BR>"I put my best lap in on a soft rear tyre that Michelin have made for us. We've got a really good race tyre too, we know it'll do the job so we're looking in good shape.<BR><BR>"My only worry is a little bit of chatter in the front suspension, if we can get that sorted then the SP-2 will be about as close to perfect as you're going to get."<BR><BR><BR><BR>And now a press release from Bayliss' publicist, Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>TROY BAYLISS Racing - Media Information<BR>For immediate release<BR>Friday, 22 March 2002<BR><BR>Round 2, Superbike World Championship<BR>Phillip Island, Australia<BR>First Qualifying session report<BR><BR>BAYLISS THE MAN TO CHASE AFTER OPENING SUPERBIKE QUALIFYING SESSION<BR><BR>In near perfect conditions, Troy Bayliss has set the fastest time in the opening qualifying session for this weekend's second round of the Superbike World Championship at Victoria's Phillip Island circuit.<BR><BR>The defending world champion reeled off a lap time of 1-min 32.656-secs aboard his Infostrada Ducati 998R to take provisional pole position for Sunday's two 22-lap World championship races.<BR><BR>The pace of the Australian Ducati rider was blistering, with his best time faster than that of the existing 500cc Grand Prix lap record of 1:32.742, held by former World Champion Kenny Roberts Jnr.<BR><BR>Bayliss was consistently one of the fastest riders around the 4.45km circuit during the opening qualifying session and remained at the top of the timesheets, even after the flurry of the closing minutes of the session when the teams fit soft compound qualifying tyres.<BR><BR>"That definitely was a good time around here and I'm happy with it for today," said Bayliss. "Even though there was a slight cross wind, I don't think that it slowed us much at all today. As usual we worked our way through a few different settings with the bike, but what has made me happier is that I've got a front tyre that gives me a lot of confidence. It's always a good idea to make sure that you've got a good lap time locked away after Friday's first session. Even though the forecast is for good weather here tomorrow, you just never know what they'll be like tomorrow.<BR><BR>"Phillip Island has a reputation for being hard on tyres and this weekend is no exception," Bayliss added. "Michelin have been very busy as usual and we tested a number of tyres today and still have a few more for tomorrow to try. The best thing though is that I've got a front tyre that I like and is suiting the track very well."<BR><BR>Second fastest in today's qualifying session was Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards (1:33.064), followed by Italian privateer Ducati rider Pierfrancesco Chili (1:33.291). Completing the provisional front row of the grid was Japanese rider Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia, 1:33.540).<BR><BR>The World Superbike competitors take to the track again tomorrow morning at 11:00 am for the second qualifying session. The top sixteen riders at the conclusion of qualifying will then take part in the grid-determining ‘Superpole' one-lap dash.<BR><BR>Bayliss has had a sensational start to his title defence after winning both races at the opening round of the championship at Valencia, Spain, two weeks ago, where he also secured pole position for the event.<BR>