Jun 24, 2001
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By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Two Ducatis battled it out under the hot sun at Misano, in San Marino on Italy's Adriatic coast in a thrilling Superbike race this afternoon. Ben Bostrom led the race almost from the first corner and put on a stunning display of stylish riding, lifting the back wheel and waving it in the air going into corners. But Troy Bayliss, riding for Infostrada Ducati, caught and passed Bostrom on the L&M Ducati, lighting the fuse for an explosive last few laps that saw the pair swap places in a frantic fight for the win. In the end Bayliss won the battle, but only by a whisker, and Bostrom will be back for more in the second race.<BR><BR>Gregorio Lavilla, the popular Spaniard who rides for Fuchs Kawasaki, battled through the pack to claim third place. "I have a new helmet design," smiled Lavilla pointing to his new gold crash helmet, "we call it the Goldfinger helmet. I don't know if it brought me luck to help me get my second podium of the year, but I'm not going to change it now for the rest of the season."<BR><BR>Bostrom was happy with his race, although you could see by the way he rode that he would rather have won. "It was a great race, and a lot of fun. And that's what racing is really about," said the American.<BR><BR>Bayliss stretched his Championship points lead even further as both rivals Edwards and Corser slipped back off the podium as the race wore on. "Ben rode really hard," said Bayliss. "He led for almost all the race, I had it a little easier and relaxed a little and followed him. But I knew that I would have to work for the win and had to go really for it at the end."<BR><BR>World Superbike Championship, Race One<BR>Misano<BR>Provisional Results:<BR>1. Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 40:23.410<BR>2. Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 40:23.892<BR>3. Gregorio Lavilla, Spain (Kawasaki) 40:31.782<BR>4. Colin Edwards, USA (Honda) 40:34.796<BR>5. Akira Yanagawa, Japan (Kawasaki) 4:39.613<BR>6. Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 40:39.744<BR>7. Troy Corser, Australia (Aprilia) 40:39.747<BR>8. Alessandro Antonello, Italy (Aprilia) 40:44.155<BR>9. Tady Okada, Japan (Honda) 40:49.459<BR>10. Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 40:57.514.<BR><BR><BR>