Apr 7, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss made WSBK history at Kyalami by winning his sixth race in succession. He overcame a very strong challenge from Haga early in the race, one that appeared to involve the use of the elbows from the fiery Japanese rider, to win the race by over two seconds from his teammate Ruben Xaus.<BR><BR>Bayliss is the first rider in the 15 year history of the series to win six races on the trot. The frustration of the other riders is beginning to show as Bayliss appears invincible. But he didn't have it all his own way in the race, he had to deal with Haga first and the two were locked in a crazy battle for the first few laps that saw them both pull some awesome passes. But Bayliss prevailed and once ahead he never looked back.<BR><BR>Xaus was impressive as he carved through the field from his 11th on the grid. He picked off the other riders one by one, no mean feat as those 'other riders' included Edwards, Haga, Hodgson and Bostrom.<BR><BR>Bostrom looked strong in the early laps but his challenge faded and he finished fifth. Haga faded even more, going back to sixth. Late in the race it looked like Hodsgon might catch third place man Edwards, but Edwards had just enough left in the bag to hold him off to claim third place.<BR><BR>"I thought it was Colin Edwards behind me but then I looked round and saw that it was Ruben Xaus," said Bayliss. "He's a real bulldog and doesn't give up easily so I had to push hard.<BR><BR>"Six race wins is unbelievable, continued Bayliss. "After testing at the three circuits we expected to do well but this is unbelievable. I'd like to take the weekend off instead of going to Sugo and just go to Monza. If I was allowed I would just stay at home and train instead. Sugo hasn't been kind to me in the past but if it's another two wins from two races I'll take it, but if it's two 15th places I'll take that instead."<BR><BR>Asked about Haga's elbow incident at the start of the race, Bayliss said, "Haga seems to have a problem with me winning all these races, he doesn't want anyone to pass him."<BR><BR>"I am very happy with the result after starting from the third row," said Xaus. "I had a really shit Superpole again, I need to work out how to do that properly. We changed the rear sprocket in the last race to try and make it smoother through the corners, it worked. I caught Troy but I just couldn't pass him. He seemed to wait for me and then he was just gone. The Michelin tyres were working well as you can see, all three riders on the podium are Michelin yet again. It was difficult to pass Haga, but even harder to pass Bayliss. He needs to give up racing, please! I hope I am riding as well as he is when I am 33!"<BR><BR>"I got detached from the leaders and that made it hard," said Edwards. "I made some changes from the first race and that made us faster but unfortunately Bayliss and Xaus got faster still. I can't wait for Sugo, at least there will be some wild card riders to try and keep this bastard off the podium (points to Bayliss and laughs). It will be tough but maybe the wild cards can slow Troy's momentum!"<BR><BR>Race 2 results/ 25 laps<BR><BR>1. Troy Bayliss (Infostrada Ducati), 42:57.014<BR><BR>2. Ruben Xaus (Infostrada Ducati), 42:59.687<BR><BR>3. Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda), 43:03.404<BR><BR>4. Neil Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati), 43:03.788<BR><BR>5. Ben Bostrom (L&M Ducati), 43:06.368<BR><BR>6. Noriyuki Haga (Playstation 2 Aprilia), 43:08.997<BR><BR>7. Hitoyasu Izutsu (FUCHS Kawasaki), 43:24.674<BR><BR>8. James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati), 43:25.890<BR><BR>9. Chris Walker (FUCHS Kawasaki), 43:37.795<BR><BR>10. Juan Borja (Ducati), 43:40.269<BR><BR>Fastest Lap: Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) 1:42.178 on lap 3 (New Lap Record)<BR><BR>2002 World Superbike championship points (after 3 of 13 rounds)<BR>1. T Bayliss 150<BR>2. C Edwards 105<BR>3. R Xaus 79<BR>4. B Bostrom 77<BR>5. N Hodgson 96<BR>6. N Haga 60<BR>7. H Izutsu 47<BR>9. J Toseland 45<BR>10. C Walker 44<BR><BR><BR>More, from Bayliss publicist Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>TROY BAYLISS Racing - Media Information<BR>For immediate release<BR>Sunday, 7 April 2002<BR><BR>Round 3, 2002 Superbike World Championship<BR>Kyalami Circuit, South Africa<BR>Race report<BR><BR>BAYLISS CREATES NEW RECORD WITH DOUBLE VICTORY IN SOUTH AFRICA<BR><BR>Kyalami, South Africa: - Defending World Superbike Champion, Australian Troy Bayliss, has continued his blistering start to the 2002 Superbike World Championship by winning both of today's 25-lap races at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa and in the process wrote his name into the SWC record books by winning six consecutive SWC races.<BR><BR>No other rider in the fifteen-year history of the SWC has won more than five consecutive races, with the previous mark held by multiple World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty and American Ben Bostrom. His sixth win today has also extended the record for the number of consecutive race wins that any rider has scored to start a SWC season.<BR><BR>Bayliss had to overcome a number of fierce challenges in the opening laps of both races and even a clash of fairings and elbows with Aprilia's Noriyuki Haga in the opening stages of race two. In the end it was a combination of his own physical fitness and the performance of his Michelin shod Infostrada Ducati 998R that took him to victory over American Castrol Honda rider Colin Edwards by 4.119-seconds in race one and then a strong challenge from his teammate Ruben Xaus in race two, before taking his sixth win of the season by 2.673-seconds.<BR><BR>"The first race was crazy in the opening laps," said Bayliss, who now has a total of fourteen SWC race wins to his credit. "I just sat back a little and watched Nori (Haga) and Ben (Bostrom) go at it. I gave them a few laps to settle down and then decided it was time to get going. From that point I just put my head down and did my long run of laps as I do in practice. I made a mistake at the chicane on about lap fifteen and that cost me over a second. I went in a bit deeper than I normally do and rather than try and turn it in, I ran it wide. The next time around my pit board showed that Colin (Edwards) had closed the gap, so I just put my head down again and built up the gap.<BR><BR>"As for the second race, it was just unbelievable to get the win and get a new record at the same time," Bayliss added. "I'm not one for records really, I just like to win races. I did enjoy the second race. The pace was a lot faster and Ruben gave me hurry up in the middle stages, but I was then able to settle and do a lot of laps in the closing stages that I was happy with. The Michelin tyres, the Infostrada Ducati and the whole team did a great job here this weekend."<BR><BR>The Superbike World Championship heads to the Sugo circuit in Japan in two weeks time (20 - 21 April) for round four of the championship, presenting Bayliss with what could be his toughest competition of the year so far. The Japanese 'wild card' entries do extremely well at their home round, having won the last twelve SWC races. The last non-Japanese rider to win in Japan was Australian Troy Corser in 1996. For Bayliss, the two visits he has had their have brought little joy for him.<BR><BR>"All I can say about the next round in Japan is that if someone puts some money on me winning the double there, then they've got rocks in their head. I haven't had the best of results there in the past two years, but for sure I'll be there trying my best as always."<BR><BR>Today's double race victory gives Bayliss a total of 150 championship points, 45 clear of Edwards who finished the day with a second and third behind the Australian. After starting from eleventh on the grid, Xaus was the big mover recording a third and second, taking him to third overall in the championship with 79 points, two clear of American L&M Ducati rider Ben Bostrom who completed the day with a fourth and fifth.