Jul 7, 2001
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Ducati L&M rider Ben Bostrom held onto provisional pole position at his home circuit, Laguna Seca Raceway, despite a last-minute charge by Ducati Infostrada man Troy Bayliss. The Australian squeezed Eric Bostrom (Kawasaki<BR>Motorsports ZX-7R) out of the number two slot with a flying lap as the clock ticked away the final seconds of the qualifying session. Although he dipped into the 1:25 territory, Bayliss wasn't quite fast enough to demote Eric's brother Ben Bostrom. Only five riders got into the 1:25s; both Bostrom brothers, Bayliss, Corser and Doug Chandler.<BR><BR>Both Bostrom brothers failed to improve on their Friday times while Bayliss shaved half-a-second off his fastest time set in Friday's qualifying. Corser also improved his Friday time, setting a 1:25.749 lap on race tires, jumping from sixth to fourth on the grid in the process, behind Eric Bostrom.<BR><BR>Doug Chandler on the other Kawasaki Motorsports ZX-7R qualified fifth in front of Colin Edwards.<BR><BR>All the grid positions are provisional as the top 16 riders now have to face the challenge of Superpole later this afternoon. Superpole involves the top 16 riders only, with each rider getting one warm-up lap and one flying lap, all done alone on the circuit. The Superpole times then reshuffle the grid, so a fast time in Superpole can push a rider up the grid. Conversely, if a rider crashes or sets a poor time, he'll be demoted down the starting order. <BR><BR>Eric Bostrom hasn't ridden World Superbike before so the Superpole is new to him and it'll be interesting to see how he handles it.<BR><BR>Combined World Superbike Qualifying Results:<BR><BR>1. Ben Bostrom, Ducati, 1:25.248<BR>2. Troy Bayliss, Ducati, 1:25.435*<BR>3. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki, 1:25.556<BR>4. Troy Corser, Aprilia, 1:25.749*<BR>5. Doug Chandler, Kawasaki, 1:25.907*<BR>6. Colin Edwards II, Honda, 1:26.112<BR>7. Neil Hodgson, Ducati, 1:26.163<BR>8. Tadayuki Okada, Honda, 1:26.455*<BR>9. Pierfrancesco Chili, Suzuki, 1:26.514*<BR>10. James Toseland, Ducati, 1:26.598*<BR>11. Regis Laconi, Aprilia, 1:26.605<BR>12. Stephane Chambon, Suzuki, 1:26.706*<BR>13. Ruben Xaus, Ducati, 1:26.753*<BR>14. Akira Yanagawa, Kawasaki, 1:26.784*<BR>15. Steve Martin, Ducati, 1:26.867*<BR>16. Gregorio Lavilla, Kawasaki, 1:26.961*<BR>17. Robert Ulm, Ducati, 1:26.902*<BR>18. Mauro Sanchini, Ducati, 1:27.056*<BR>19. Marco Borciani, Ducati, 1:27.191*<BR>20. Lucio Pedercini, Ducati, 1:27.192<BR>21. Peter Goddard, Benelli, 1:27.200*<BR><BR>*indicates a quicker time than in Friday's qualifying session.<BR><BR>Italian Kawasaki rider Michele Malatesta crashed very hard during Saturday's qualifying session in turn six causing a red flag. From video replays of the incident, it was clear that Malatesta broke his left leg and required medical assistance.<BR><BR>Australian Ducati racer Broc Parkes highsided during the session at the exit of turn 11 and limped away from the scene.<BR><BR>L&M Ducati's Ben Bostrom was on a flying lap at the very end of the session. Bostrom had already went through the first split timer quicker when Bostrom was slowed in the corkscrew by Czech rider Jiri Mrkyvka. Bostrom's lap time was not faster, but he still retained the provisional pole heading into the Super Pole event scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PDT today.<BR>