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Jul 26, 2002

Bayliss On Provisional World Superbike Pole At Brands Hatch

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Bayliss starts ahead<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss took provisional World Superbike pole at Brands Hatch during Friday's qualifying, after setting a fast time just as the session came to a close. Before that Colin Edwards, who ended Bayliss' winning streak at Laguna Seca, was on top of the pile. Edwards finished the first qualifying session of the weekend in provisional second.<BR><BR>The weather is good, the crowds are already pouring in to the undulating circuit at Brands Hatch in England and the grid is well padded with ultra-keen wild card riders. But still Bayliss tops the lot ­ putting in a lap of 1:26.398 on his very last lap. He was made to work for it though, with Edwards dominating much of the session and even Frankie Chili making it to the top of the timesheet for two or three minutes at the end. Chili was eventually pushed back down to fifth.<BR><BR>Britain's Neil Hodgson, the focus of most of the British crowds' attention since Fogarty retired, finished fourth fastest - but only after spending most of the session down in 10th.<BR><BR>Michael Rutter and Shane Byrne both put in impressive performances, the wild card pair finished seventh and eighth respectively after being even higher early in the session. Another local rider made it onto the provisional second row when Chris Walker squeezed his way into seventh late in the session. Walker and Edwards are riding the only two bikes not made by Ducati on the front two rows!<BR><BR>Another last-gasp fast lap came from Ruben Xaus who finished third fastest. There's just under a second separating Bayliss from Walker at the back of the second row.<BR><BR>World Superbike Championship<BR>Friday Qualifying<BR>Brands Hatch<BR><BR>1. T. Bayliss, AUS, Ducati, 1:26.398<BR>2. C. Edwards, USA, Honda, 1:26.450<BR>3. R. Xaus, ESP, Ducati, 1:26.599<BR>4. N. Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 1:26.722<BR>5. F. Chili, ITA, Ducati, 1:26.786<BR>6. M. Rutter, GBR, Ducati, 1:26.877<BR>7. S. Byrne, GBR, Ducati, 1:27.242<BR>8. C. Walker, GBR, Kawasaki, 1:27.294<BR>9. J. Borja, ESP, Ducati, 1:27.382<BR>10. N. Haga, JPN, Aprilia, 1:27.449<BR>