Sep 9, 2001
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By Glenn Le Santo<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss took the holeshot from pole position in the first World Superbike race at Assen, grabbed an early lead, battled with teammate Ruben Xaus, and was ahead when the race was red-flagged on lap 15 of 16 due to heavy rain.<BR><BR>Bayliss' lead was only threatened by teammate Xaus, who nudged ahead briefly before allowing Bayliss back past. Both Infostrada Ducati riders were giving their all on the dry circuit to stay ahead of Colin Edwards. The Texan could only sit and watch as on lap 15 of the 16 lap race, the rain fell heavily and the race, which had been declared dry at the start, was red-flagged. With enough distance completed to allow the organizers to declare a race result, the win went to Bayliss.<BR><BR>The win now means Bayliss is on target for his first World Superbike Championship. With 344 points compared to Edwards' tally of 311, a favorable result in the second race could decide the title. Even if the race had continued it looked unlikely that Edwards could catch and pass even one of the two Ducatis in front of him. <BR><BR>Pierfrancesco Chili finished fourth as Neil Hodgson, who started from back on the fourth row, managed to fight his way through the field to fifth.<BR><BR>Results<BR>1. Troy Bayliss, Australia, Ducati, 27:08.793<BR>2. Ruben Xaus, Spain, Ducati, 27:08.959<BR>3. Colin Edwards, USA, Honda, 27:09.875<BR>4. Pierfrancesco Chili, Italy, Suzuki, 27:13.860<BR>5. Neil Hodgson, Great Britain, Ducati, 27:21.544<BR>6. Troy Corser, Australia, Aprilia, 27:22.131<BR>7. Tadayuki Okada, Japan, Honda, 27:24.051<BR>8. Akira Yanagawa, Japan, Kawasaki, 27:24.399<BR>9. Regis Laconi, France, Aprilia, 27:24.604<BR>10. James Toseland, Great Britain, Ducati, 27:29.375<BR>11. Ben Bostrom, USA, Ducati, 27:29.804<BR>12. Gregorio Lavilla, Spain, Kawasaki, 27:34.400<BR>13. Stephane Chambon, France, Suzuki, 27:42.176<BR>14. Juan Borja, Spain, Yamaha, 27:54.928<BR>15. Lucio Pedercini, Italy, Ducati, 28:02.475<BR>16. Giovanni Bussei, Italy, Ducati, 28:02.817<BR>17. Peter Goddard, Australia, Benelli, 28:03.819<BR>18. Martin Craggill, Australia, Ducati, 28:04.585<BR>19. Mauro Sanchini, Italy, Ducati, 28:07.829<BR>20. Steve Martin, Australia, Ducati, 28:09.640<BR><BR>Championship points:<BR><BR>1. Bayliss, 344<BR>2. Edwards, 311<BR>3. Bostrom, 281<BR>4. Corser, 248<BR>5. Hodgson, 243