Apr 6, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Edwards makes his mark at Kyalami<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Colin Edwards made his mark at Kyalami today when he took pole with a blistering 1:41.221 lap.<BR><BR>Norikyuki Haga improved on his final qualifying position, hauling himself up onto the front row from eighth. Ben Bostrom looked spectacular as he squirmed and slid around the Kyalami track, but his antics probably cost him a few tenths and he dropped to third from a provisional first. Afterwards he revealed that a problem on his main bike meant he had been forced to make a last minute switch to his ‘B' bike for the Superpole session. The 'problem' happened at the end of the pre-Superpole warm-up session when blue smoke issued from the pipes of his Ducati as he coasted to a halt on the circuit!<BR><BR>Troy Bayliss is second on the grid. Ruben Xaus went backwards in Superpole, he again looked scrappy and finished 11th, throwing away a provisional fourth on the grid. Neil Hodgson managed an excellent fifth, just ahead of the fastest man on four cylinders today, Hitoyasu Izutsu.<BR><BR>1: C Edwards USA Honda 1:41.221<BR>2: T Bayliss AUS Ducati 1:41.412<BR>3: B Bostrom USA Ducai 1:41.453<BR>4: N Haga JPN Aprilia 1:41.625<BR>5: N Hodgson GBR Ducati 1:41.825<BR>6: H Izutsu JPN Kawasaki 1:42.453<BR>7: P Chili ITA Ducati 1:42.475<BR>8: L Pedercini ITA Ducati 1:42.547<BR>9: J Borja ESP Ducati 1:42.671<BR>10: J Toseland GBR Ducati 1:42.841<BR>11: R Xaus ESP Ducati 1:43.054<BR>12: C Walker GBR Kawasaki 1:43.853<BR>13: M Borciani ITA Ducati 1:43.994<BR>14: G Lavilla ESP Suzuki 1:44.133<BR>15: S Foti ITA Ducati 1:44.395<BR>16: S Martin AUS Ducati 1:44.966<BR><BR> <BR>More, from a SBK press release:<BR> <BR>5th April - 7th April 2002<BR>Kyalami, 6th April 2002<BR> <BR>Superpole Qualifying Session<BR><BR>Edwards Sets Fastest Ever Kyalami Lap<BR> <BR>A superb performance from three-time Kyalami race winner, Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda), saw him break the record for a qualifying lap at Kyalami. His best lap of 1:41.321 was the fastest time set in either racing or testing at Kyalami, and gave him back-to-back Superpole wins after his success in Australia two weeks previously.<BR><BR>The Texan, third last away, made a mark that Troy Bayliss (Infostrada Ducati) and fastest qualifier from the regular sessions, Ben Bostrom (L&M Ducati), could not match. Bayliss was second after Superpole, with Bostrom third, although even Bostrom was only 0.232 seconds slower than Edwards.<BR><BR>A much improved Noriyuki Haga (Playstation 2 Aprilia) took fourth and the last front row position for Sunday's brace of 25 lap Superbike races, with a time of 1:41.625, riding hard on the brakes on one of his favourite circuits. The first five were away and clear of the next competitors, with the fifth fastest man, Neil Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) also on a 1:41 lap.<BR><BR>Hitoyasu Izutsu (Kawasaki Racing Team) put in a scorching lap compared to his previous best from regulation, to score a sixth place starting position, ahead of Pierfrancesco Chili (NCR Ducati) and Lucio Pedercini (Pedercini Ducati), who completed the second row.<BR><BR>Juan Borja (Spaziotel Ducati) and James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) took ninth and tenth places, on their privately entered machines.<BR><BR>A hugely disappointing performance from Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) dropped him from the upper echelons of the earlier qualifiers to 11th and the third row, just ahead of factory Kawasaki rider Chris Walker.<BR><BR>The fourth row starting positions lined up in the order Marco Borciani, Gregorio Lavilla, Serafino Foti and Steve Martin, with the latter using all the track and more on his DFX Pirelli Ducati.<BR><BR>In the Supersport Championship, Stephane Chambon's time of 1:46.146, set in the last moments of the final qualifying session, was enough to scoop pole position, and at record pace to boot.<BR><BR>With the 1999 World Champion setting off so late on his last run against the stopwatch, James Whitham (Yamaha Belgarda) could only watch his pole position status disappear before his eyes as Chambon (Alstare Suzuki) went faster at every split time.<BR><BR>Chambon's historic mark comfortably beat the previous qualifying record of 1:47.293, set way back in 1999 by Ruben Xaus; and was more than two seconds faster than Iain Macpherson's existing race lap record of 1:48.343, set during the 1999 race.<BR><BR>Andrew Pitt (Kawasaki Racing Team) could not dislodge Whitham or Chambon, and the Phillip Island race winner had to settle for third, and a much-desired front row start.<BR><BR>Christian Kellner (Yamaha Motor Germany) was on pole for a period with his best of 1:46.471, before the top trio set their more telling laps. The revitalised German, fully fit once more, was still a good fourth overall, the last rider on the front row.<BR><BR>All thirty of the Supersport entrants qualified for the race, even John McGuinness, who has been ruled out of contention through illness. The 25 lap Supersport race is scheduled between Superbike race one and two on Sunday 7 April.<BR> <BR> <BR>More, from a Castrol Honda press release:<BR><BR>EDWARDS AND SP-2 ON TOP IN SOUTH AFRICA<BR><BR>Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards took pole position for Sunday's third round of the World Superbike championship with a blistering lap in Saturday afternoon's Superpole final qualifying competition.<BR><BR>Edwards was 1.6 seconds inside the lap record as he recorded the fastest ever lap on a motorcycle around the 2.65-mile circuit on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Edwards also lapped 0.6s faster than he had all weekend as he took his second successive pole position on the SP-2 machine.<BR><BR>"I was so nervous," Edwards admitted. "I knew I could get pole position but I also knew what Ben (Bostrom) and Troy (Bayliss) were capable of so my lap had to be perfect. Michelin came to the last round in Australia with their new Superpole tyres and they're doing the job."<BR><BR>Defending champion Troy Bayliss will start from second place on the grid for the two 25-lap races with his Ducati team-mate Ben Bostrom third, as one tenth of a second separates the top three, with Noriyuki Haga improving from eighth place after qualifying to take fourth.<BR><BR>Neil Hodgson leads the second row from Kawasaki's Hitoyasu Izutsu, Pier-Francesco Chili and Lucio Pedercini. Juan Borja took ninth with young British rider James Toseland 10th after an exciting Superpole where nine of the top 11 qualifiers improved on their previous best lap times.<BR>