May 12, 2002
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<BR><BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Bayliss wins after three-way scrap at Monza<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss took his seventh win of the World Superbike season after a nail-biting scrap with Neil Hodgson and Colin Edwards.<BR><BR>It almost didn't happen for Bayliss after he ran off at the first chicane on lap 10. Hodgson, Bayliss and Edwards went into the chicane side-by-side in a game of ‘who brakes last and hardest wins'. Hodgson and his HM Plant Ducati won the game as Bayliss and Edwards took to the slip road, having outbraked themselves.<BR><BR>Chili, who had been hunting the trio down lap by lap, took full advantage of the situation to get in amongst the action. But as Edwards and Bayliss hauled themselves back into the fray the fight proved too hot for Chili. Edwards and Bayliss soon caught back up with Hodgson to produce a thrilling finale to a magnificent race. After the race Chili marched angrily into race control complain that the two weren't penalized for cutting the chicane, an offence which many riders thought can carry a 10 second stop-and-go penalty.<BR><BR>As the race drew to a close the three were all using every ounce of their engines and tyres as they struggled to get drive out of the turns. Bayliss almost highsided out of the first chicane but kept it pinned. Hodgson had his own moments and Edwards joined in with some lurid rear-wheel slides.<BR><BR>As the three hammered round the final lap it was Bayliss who got the best drive out of Ascari and managed to break Hodgson out of his slipstream as they powered down the main straight. That gave Bayliss all the advantage he needed as they entered the super fast Parabolica--the final turn at Monza. On the exit Hodgson was just too far back to get the draft and Bayliss took win number seven in front of Hodgson and Edwards.<BR><BR>After the race Hodgson said he thought he had won the race, after seeing Edwards and Bayliss take to the slip road. "As far as I was concerned I had won the race," he said, "but then when I came into the pits I was told I was second."<BR><BR>Colin Wright, Hodgson's Team Manager, also seemed to think his man had won and followed Chili up to race control to protest. When asked if his protest had been upheld he said; "No, but it's not over yet." The latest news is that the result stands because the pair gained no advantage from cutting the chicane. But had the slip road not been there the pair would have both ended in the gravel.<BR><BR>Haga had to retire his Aprilia after only two laps with a broken water pump. Peter Goddard on the Benelli Tornado scored championship points on Benelli Sport's return to World Superbike racing. Ben Bostrom's L&M Ducati succumbed to clutch problems early in the race and his brother Eric Bostrom survived a battering from Borciani as they fought for position. Unfortunately Chris Walker, who was also in the scrap, ended up in the gravel after contact with Borciani ending his race. James Toseland brought the other HM Plant Ducati into fifth position.<BR><BR>Race One Results:<BR><BR>1. Troy Bayliss, Ducati 998 F02, 18 laps, 32:34.429<BR>2. Neil Hodgson, Ducati 998 F01, -0.259 seconds<BR>3. Colin Edwards, Honda RC51, -0.576<BR>4. Pierfrancesco Chili, Ducati 998RS, -6.422<BR>5. James Toseland, Ducati 998F01, -18.860<BR>6. Ruben Xaus, Ducati 998F02, -27.528<BR>7. Gregorio Lavilla, Suzuki GSX-R750, -38.264<BR>8. Alessandro Antonello, Ducati 998RS, -38.642<BR>9. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -38.745<BR>10. Steve Martin, Ducati 998RS, -56.182<BR>11. Juan Borja, Ducati 998RS, -64.410<BR>12. Mauro Sanchini, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -88.651<BR>13. Alessandro Valia, Ducati 996RS, -94.857<BR>14. Peter Goddard, Benelli Tornado 900, -98.868<BR>15. Mark Heckles, Honda RC51, -98.899<BR>16. Christian Caliumi, Ducati 996RS, -1 lap<BR>17. Ivan Clementi, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -1 lap<BR>18. Thierry Mulot, Ducati 996RS, -1 lap<BR>19. Chris Walker, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -3 laps, DNF, crash<BR>20. Marco Borciani, Ducati 998RS, -3 laps, DNF, crash<BR>21. Scrafino Foti, Ducati 996RS, -5 laps, DNF<BR>22. Lucio Pedercini, Ducati 998RS, -7 laps, DNF<BR>23. Ben Bostrom, Ducati 998F02, -7 laps, DNF, mechanical<BR>24. Broc Parkes, Ducati 998RS, -10 laps, DNF<BR>25. Paolo Blora, Ducati 996RS, -10 laps, DNF<BR>26. Noriyuki Haga, Aprilia RSV1000, -16 laps, DNF, mechanical<BR>27. Bertrand Stey, Honda RC51, -17 laps, DNF<BR><BR><BR>More, from a HM Plant Ducati press release:<BR><BR>Hodgson shows the way around Monza<BR><BR>HM Plant Ducat/GSE Racing rider Neil Hodgson once more confirmed his status as a championship contender by taking an outstanding second-placed finish after a thrilling first race at the Monza Autodrome. His team-mate James Toseland scored his best result ever onboard a Superbike – an emphatic fifth place – to make it a superb start to the day's racing for the team.<BR><BR>After starting from pole position, Hodgson remained at the head of the field for the majority of the 18-lap race. The 28-year-old former-British Superbike Champion put in an incredibly strong showing, and dominated the frantic three-way battle for the lead that was to rage throughout the 104km contest. Troy Bayliss eventually emerged victorious from the struggle, despite both he and third-placed Colin Edwards cutting out the Prima chicane. The pair of world champions outbraked themselves at the end of the 190mph start/finish straight and were forced to straight-line the section and make use of the run-off road.<BR><BR>"I really thought I'd won the race," said Hodgson. "A memo had gone around before the race saying that a ten-second stop-and-go penalty would be imposed if you cut out the chicane. On the last lap, I didn't really try to get by Troy because, as far as I was concerned, I only had to worry about Chili getting past me. It turns out that the penalty wasn't imposed. I'm disappointed, but I can't take anything away from everybody else because they rode really well to catch me back up. I'm on pole for race two, I'm not at any real power disadvantage anymore and I have these fantastic Dunlop race tyres. I'll be able to give it 100% again and see if I can get that win."<BR><BR>James Toseland rode a commanding race to collect 11 valuable championship points, finishing well ahead of many factory riders, including Ducati's Ruben Xaus.<BR><BR>"That was amazing," said Toseland. "I got a good start which put me up into fifth. I was expecting to have a bit of a scrap with Haga for that position until his bike packed up. I was determined to keep fifth place, so from there on in I just kept my head down and rode as hard as I could. It's been a great day for the HM Plant Ducati team so far, and I want more of the same in race two."<BR>