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Mar 22, 2002

Edwards Takes Superpole At Phillip Island

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Colin Edwards stayed in control as he blasted out a Superpole lap at Phillip Island today. His reward was the pole position for Sunday's two World Superbike Championship races.<BR><BR>Edwards looked cool on his Honda as he lapped at 1:32.767 and beat reigning World Superbike Champion and native Australian Troy Bayliss back into second on the grid.<BR><BR>Bayliss only had himself to blame after making a couple of mistakes on his lap and slipping off provisional pole into second spot.<BR><BR>Britain's Neil Hodgson made a big improvement on his qualifying position, jumping from a provisional 11th to the front row to take fourth spot. He'll line up alongside Noriyuki Haga who also moved up the grid, from sixth to third.<BR><BR>Ruben Xaus, who crashed in free practice just before Superpole, slipped from third to sixth. Pierfrancesco Chili was another crasher in practice, and he also dropped down the grid from fifth to ninth.<BR><BR>World Superbike Superpole times<BR>Phillip Island, 23 March 2002<BR><BR>1: Colin Edwards USA Honda 1:32.767<BR>2: Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati 1:33.316<BR>3: Noriyuki Haga JPN Aprilia 1:33.560<BR>4: Neil Hodgson GBR Ducati 1:33.629<BR>5: Ben Bostrom USA Ducati 1:33.715<BR>6: Ruben Xaus ESP Ducati 1:33.954<BR>7: H Izutsu JPN Kawasaki 1:33.961<BR>8: Juan Borja ESP Ducati 1:34.018<BR>9: Pierfrancesco Chili ITA Ducati 1:34.383<BR>10: James Toseland GBR Ducati 1:34.672<BR>11: Brock Parkes AUS Ducati 1:34.685<BR>12: L Pedercini ITA Ducati 1:34.909<BR>13: Steve Martin AUS Ducati 1:34.992<BR>14: Chris Walker GBR Kawasaki 1:35.081<BR>15: Gregorio Lavilla ESP Suzuki 1:35.145<BR>16: M Borciani ITA Ducati 1:35.752<BR><BR><BR>Superpole rider quotes<BR><BR>Superpole winner Colin Edwards, Honda, Michelin tires: "I've had to listen to the radio telling everyone to come to Phillip Island to support two Aussie World Champions and to be honest that's really been pissing me off. They're reminding me that I'm not the Champ while I'm on my way to and from the circuit everyday.<BR><BR>"Things are looking good for tomorrow, though, we've done 16 and then 22 laps on race tires and I've gone faster on race rubber than ever before here.<BR><BR>"I like the track, it's got everything, off-camber turns, on camber turns, undulations, a long straight and even some wind--everything you need to make a real rider's circuit<BR><BR>"Riders seem to lose time in sector two and I think that's only because it's much longer than the other two sectors. But to go fast here your bike needs to be working well in sector two.<BR><BR>"I don't think it will be a runaway start for any one rider in the races. You get a real big draftt here, if you're sat behind two guys you get such a big pull you can put your feet up and smoke a cigarette!"<BR><BR><BR>Second on the grid, Troy Bayliss, Ducati, Michelin tires<BR><BR>"I made a couple of mistakes on my lap, I think I was trying too hard.<BR><BR>"But I've had a good weekend so far and I'm generally happy and I'm on the front row.<BR><BR>"It's looking good for the Michelin guys, although I think the Dunlop riders have been struggling.<BR><BR>"The only pressure I've got this weekend is in my tires!"<BR><BR><BR>Third place on the grid, Noriyuki Haga, Aprilia, Dunlop tires:<BR><BR>"I like the circuit but speaking in English is difficult!<BR><BR>"I came here in February testing and didn't have such a good set-up then. I still don't have a perfect set-up and we have a few small problems.<BR><BR>"I think it'll be a struggle for the tires to make race distance."<BR>