Mar 9, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss will start the first World Superbike race of the new season from pole, at Valencia, Spain.<BR><BR>In a Superpole session where several riders bettered their qualifying times Bayliss kept his cool to fire his Ducati onto the top spot on the grid with a lap time of 1:34.814. His fastest lap in qualifying was 1:34.936.<BR><BR>Second on the grid will be last year's pole-sitter Ben Bostrom. His Superpole lap was just over a tenth of a second behind Bayliss at 1:34.959. Both Ducati riders were riding hard, but smooth, which seemed to be the secret of a good lap in Superpole here today.<BR><BR>Less smooth was fellow factory Ducati man Ruben Xaus. He looked choppy during his lap, had several moments and ended up being pushed down onto the third row. His 1:35.937 lap was just over a second slower than his best qualifying time.<BR><BR>Last year's runner up in the World Championship, Colin Edwards, was another smooth rider and was rewarded with third on the grid. He lapped at 1:34.982, just a tenth of a second slower than his best qualifying time of 1:34.860.<BR><BR>The irrepressible Noriyuki Haga put his Aprilia on the front row with a Superpole time of 1:35.015. He was another rider to improve on his best qualifying time, having lapped in qualifying at 1:35.142.<BR><BR>Final World Superbike Superpole Qualifying Times:<BR>1. Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 1:34.814<BR>2 Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 1:34.959<BR>3 Colin Edwards, USA (Castrol Honda) 1:34.982<BR>4 Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) 1:35.015<BR>5 Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 1:35.065<BR>6 Juan Borja, Spain (Ducati) 1:35.891<BR>7 Hitoyasu Izutsu, Japan (Kawasaki) 1:35.904<BR>8 Lucio Pedercini, Italy (Ducati) 1:35.909<BR>9 Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 1:35.937<BR>10 Pier-Francesco Chili, Italy (Ducati) 1:35.948<BR><BR><BR><BR>Valencia World Superbike<BR>Post-Superpole rider quotes<BR><BR>Colin Edwards, Castrol Honda VTR SP2, Michelin tires, third in Superpole: "The Honda's a lot better this year, we've done lots of testing and we've received some new motor parts in the last two weeks. Now the bike is just asking for traction, it's not like last year when it just spun and spun, it's good. We've got some good stuff now, but it's been a long weekend getting it all working. If I told you the full story I'd probably get into trouble!"<BR><BR>Ben Bostrom, L&M Ducati, Dunlop tires, second in Superpole: "The tires are working good, the team's working good, it's good all around. The race will be tough and it's hard to pass at Valencia. I think there will be a group of four or five guys up front all battling it out. It will be a good race. This track tends to burn out the tires on the left side and that means you get to hang the back out in slides a lot, I like that, it's fun!"<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss, Infostrada Ducati, Michelin tires, first in Superpole: "The problem here at Valencia is that we come here and test and get tires and set up sorted. Then, next time we come back it's like someone has come along and done something to change the track and all your set-ups and tire information are wrong. But it's the same for everyone and you just have to work it all out. In the race I'll be the first into the first corner (laughs) but then these guys know I'm slow for the first three laps and they'll try to come past me. But I'll just do my best and go out for the win."<BR><BR><BR>Flying Frenchman Foret On Supersport Pole<BR><BR>Fabien Foret took the first pole position of the new season for Ten Kate Honda. The flying Frenchman put his Honda CBR600FS (F4i) at the front of the pack with a fastest lap of 1:37.674, nearly a second faster than fellow Frenchman Stephane Chambon.<BR><BR>Fabien was relaxed after the session, "Iím happy with my lap time," declared Foret. "But the important thing to me is the race. Of course it is great to be on pole but I am not letting it go to my head. I will try to win the race, but the important thing for me is to finish in a good position so I can fight for the Championship."<BR><BR>Foret's new teammate Iain MacPherson, who replaced Pere Riba just a few days prior to the race after Riba defected to MotoGP qualified in tenth place on the grid with a best lap of 1:39.121.<BR><BR>Foret was pushed all the way this weekend by last year's European Supersport Champion Alessio Corradi. The Italian rider will be third on the grid for tomorrow's race, he set a best time of 1:38.730. Foret, Chambon, Corradi will be joined on the front row of the grid by Stefano Cruciani who recorded a fastest time of 1:38.777 on his R6.<BR><BR>Foret, Corradi and Cruciani are all using Pirelli tyres. Chambon is riding on Dunlops.<BR><BR>Final World Supersport qualifying times:<BR><BR>1 Fabien Foret, France (Honda) 1:37.674<BR>2 Stephane Chambon, France (Suzuki) 1:38.539<BR>3 Alessio Corradi, Italy (Yamaha) 1:38.730<BR>4 Stefano Cruciani, Italy (Yamaha) 1:38.777<BR>5 Jorg Teuchert, Germany (Yamaha) 1:38.833<BR>6 Chris Vermeulen, Australia (Honda) 1:38.877<BR>7 Christian Kellner, Germany (Yamaha) 1:38.877<BR>8 Andrew Pitt, Australia (Kawasaki) 1:39.013<BR>9 Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 1:39.029<BR>10 Iain MacPherson, GB (Honda) 1:39.121<BR>