Mar 10, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Red flag comes out as Bayliss takes his second win<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss got a perfect start to the defense of his World Championship at Valencia with a double win. The second race was red-flagged after 20 laps when Mark Heckles ran off the track between turn eight and turn nine. He remounted and got back on the circuit, leaving gravel all over the racing line. Even without the incident Bayliss looked on for the win and was over a second clear of Noriyuki Haga at the time the race was stopped.<BR><BR>Again there was a fierce battle between Haga and Ben Bostrom, this time both riders were battling for the lead. After some hectic passing manoeuvres Haga got the better of Bostrom, but by this time Bayliss had got into his groove and soon overhauled both of them to race off to his second win of the day and a championship points lead.<BR><BR>Bostrom was by now struggling with his rear tyre and fourth place man Edwards soon reeled his fellow American in to grab third place before the red flag stopped play.<BR><BR>"That race was hard work," said Bayliss. "We had a little problem with my bike on the grid before the start of the race and had to swap bikes. But it's a sign of how well the team is working that it felt just like I was racing with my number one bike.<BR><BR>"In the opening stages Noriyuki and Ben were really fast. I got a little flustered as they made a break and started making silly mistakes. Then I realized than Colin Edwards was running up fast behind me and knew I had to get myself together and get past Ben and Nori and get on with it.<BR><BR>"I'm feeling relaxed, the bike works well, things have gone well in testing and today's results have been great. But I know I can't be on the top all the time. I know who all the fast guys are and I know it will be a long hard season."<BR><BR>Haga said, "I changed some settings just a little for the second race. Troy was very fast and I couldn't catch him--that's all! I haven't had much testing yet I need some more, I need to catch up."<BR><BR>"It's been a very hard weekend," said Edwards. "We just didn't seem able to get the bike to turn in. We fixed the problem a bit between races, but it still wasn't right. We have some work to do before the next race. We thought after all our testing here that it would be better than it was, but for unforeseen reasons that I can't reveal it wasn't working like it should. But we've managed to take championship points away with us.<BR><BR>"When I caught Ben we didn't have much of a battle as he was just going backwards because his tire took a shit."<BR><BR><BR><BR>Second race result:<BR>1 T Bayliss, Australia, Ducati, 32:03.384<BR>2 N Haga, Japan, Aprilia, 32:04.562<BR>3 C Edwards, USA, Honda, 32:05.669<BR>4 B Bostrom, USA, Ducati, 32:08.528<BR>5 N Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 32:20.766<BR>6 H Izutsu, Japan, Kawasaki, 32:29.194<BR>7 C Walker, GBR, Kawasaki, 32:35.121<BR>8 J Borja, Spain, Ducati, 32:36.591<BR>9 S Martin, Australia, Ducati, 32:41.085<BR>10 J Toseland, GBR, Ducati, 32:41.595<BR><BR><BR><BR>From a Castrol Honda press release:<BR><BR>SPANISH DOUBLE FOR BAYLISS<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss began the defence of his world title by winning both races of Sunday's opening round of the World Superbike championship at the Valencia circuit in Spain.<BR><BR>The Australian rider was followed home in both races by Noriyuki Haga in both races with Ben Bostrom and Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards taking a third place each. Despite opening race pressure from Bostrom and Haga, Bayliss led every one of the 23 laps to record the ninth victory of his World Superbike career.<BR><BR>Race two was led by Bostrom and Haga before Bayliss hit the front with five laps to go. His victory came three laps early following a red flag after a rider had crashed and spread dirt and gravel onto one corner of the 2.49-mile track.<BR><BR>With four laps to go Edwards grabbed third place from Bostrom and was closing in on Haga when the race was red flagged, Edwards said: "I'm not sure if I would have passed Haga but I was ready to give it a good go."<BR><BR><BR>Second race result:<BR>1 Bayliss, 32:03.384<BR>2 Haga, 32:04.562<BR>3 Edwards 32:05.669<BR>4 Bostrom 32:08.528<BR>5 Hodgson 32:20.766<BR>6 Izutsu 32:29.194<BR>7 Walker 32:35.121<BR>8 Juan Borja, Spain (Ducati) 32:36.591<BR>9 Steve Martin, Australia (Ducati) 32:41.085<BR>10 James Toseland, GB (Ducati) 32:41.595<BR><BR>World Superbike championship points after one of 13 rounds:<BR>1 Bayliss 50<BR>2 Haga 40<BR>3 Edwards and Bostrom 29<BR>5 Hodgson 21<BR>6 Izutsu 19<BR>7 Walker 15<BR>8 Borja 13<BR>9 Xaus 11<BR>10 Toseland 10<BR><BR>Manufacturers points:<BR>1 Ducati 50<BR>2 Aprilia 40<BR>3 Honda 29<BR>4 Kawasaki 119<BR>5 Suzuki 8<BR><BR> <BR>