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Jun 23, 2002

What A Suprise: Bayliss Wins First World Superbike Race At Misano

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By Glenn Le Santo<BR><BR>We all knew after Troy Bayliss' record breaking Superpole lap yesterday that a double win for him today was inevitable. That double is now even more likely after Bayliss cruised to yet another win in what is proving to be an incredible season for the Infostrada Ducati rider. Today's win came after Troy was forced to swap bikes after the sighting lap. Colin Edwards put Bayliss under some early pressure, and even held the lead for a few laps, but Bayliss wore him down to take the win.<BR><BR>Bayliss got the holeshot but Edwards dived inside at the first turn. But Bayliss was back at him in the next corner. The pair struck away out front with Edwards again in the lead, leaving Neil Hodgson, Ruben Xaus, Ben Bostrom and Nori Haga to fight over their crumbs. The battle got too hot for Xaus who stepped off on lap four exiting the chicane.<BR><BR>Hodgson made sure of third with some spirited riding. It was perfectly obvious just how hard he was pushing it ­ his HM Plant Ducati was doing its best to swap ends out of turns. Even Bayliss was having his moments, he saved a near highside early in the race, but it didn¹t slow him down at all. All Edwards could do was watch Bayliss ride off to a win. Hodgson settled down to take third in front of Haga in fourth and Bostrom in fifth. All three riders were alone for much of the race. <BR><BR>Pierfrancesco Chili broke away from a scrap with Chris Walker and James Toseland to take sixth.<BR><BR>With the result decided, bar a mistake on Bayliss' part, the attention turned to a titanic scrap going on between Toseland and Walker for seventh place. Walker lived up to his nickname, The Stalker, stalking Toseland for several laps before making his move on the last lap. He drove past Toseland's Ducati, wringing every ounce of power out of his Kawasaki. Both riders were leaving massive black lines out of every turn as their battered tires struggled with the heat and the pace. They swapped the position three or four times on that lap before Toseland got in a big slide a few turns from the end. He kept it pinned to try to keep his pace up and grabbed too much throttle coming out of the Variante Arena turn. The bike slipped, gripped and tossed the young British rider high into the air. Toseland kept hold of the bars, landed in the saddle and rode momentarily onto the grass. By the time he got the plot back under control, Walker had made seventh his.<BR><BR>First race results:<BR>1. Troy Bayliss, Ducati 998F02, 25 laps, 40:04.994<BR>2. Colin Edwards, Honda RC51, -2.906 <BR>3. Neil Hodgson, Ducati 998F01, -14.095 <BR>4. Noriyuki Haga,Aprilia RSV1000, -19.000 <BR>5. Ben Bostrom, Ducati 998F02, -33.644 <BR>6. Pierfrancesco Chili, Ducati 998RS, -42.275 <BR>7. Chris Walker, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -47.899 <BR>8. James Toseland, Ducati 998F01, -49.885 <BR>9. Lucio Pedercini, Ducati 998RS, -53.545 <BR>10. Gregorio Lavilla, Suzuki GSX-R750Y, -57.204 <BR>11. Marco Borciani, Ducati 998RS, -63.071 <BR>12. Mauro Sanchini, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -70.073 <BR>13. Steve Martin, Ducati 998RS, -75.226 <BR>14. Serafino Foti, Ducati 996RS, -86.304 <BR>15. Peter Goddard, Benelli Tornado 900, -93.220 <BR>16. Paolo Blora, Ducati 996RS,-1 lap <BR>17. Ivan Clementi, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, -1 lap <BR>18. Alessandro Valia, Ducati 996RS, -1 lap <BR>19. Mark Heckles, Honda RC51, -1 lap <BR>20. Bertrand Stey, Honda RC51, -1 lap <BR>21. Marjan Malec, Ducati 996RS, -1 lap <BR>22. Michele Malatesta, Ducati 996RS, -20 laps, DNF <BR>23. Broc Parkes, Ducati 998RS, -21 laps, DNF <BR>24. Giuliano Sartoni, Ducati 996RS, -21 laps, DNF <BR>25. Ruben Xaus, Ducati 998F02, -22 laps, DNF, crash <BR>26. Juan Borja, Ducati 998RS, -22 laps, DNF <BR>27. Alessandro Antonello, Ducati 998RS, -25 laps, DNF <BR><BR>More, from a HM Plant Ducati release:<BR><BR>Hodgson back on the podium at Misano<BR><BR>HM Plant Ducati/GSE Racing's Neil Hodgson finished third in the first race at Misano behind Troy Bayliss and Colin Edwards after 25 scorching laps of the 4km circuit near Rimini. Team-mate James Toseland was eighth on his HM Plant Ducati after a blistering battle with fellow British rider Chris Walker.<BR><BR>Bayliss got the holeshot into turn one only to be passed by Edwards midway through the first lap, with Hodgson holding a watching brief in third. The top three then pulled away from the rest of the field, with the only change in position recorded when Bayliss outbraked Edwards into Tramonto on lap ten. The remainder of the race was processional with Bayliss, Edwards and Hodgson finishing in their overall championship running order.<BR><BR>"I was able to get off the line well and got towed along by the leading duo for the first seven or eight laps," said 28-year-old Hodgson after his fourth rostrum position of the season. "After that I had a lonely but enjoyable ride and was even able to conserve my energy for the second leg over the last five laps. There was nothing that I could do about Troy or Colin. They've been fast all the way through testing and I knew that it would be difficult to beat them. I'll have to try harder – if that's possible – and see if I can get in between them in the next race."<BR><BR>The other two top British contenders in the World Superbike field had a close dice for seventh, but Toseland made a critical and ultimately decisive mistake on the last lap: "I was leading Chili and Walker in the early stages of the race, before Chili got passed me and pulled away. That left me fending off Walker and I thought I had seventh in the bag until the last lap. I overcooked it on the chicane, the back end came round and I had to back off, letting him through to take the flag."<BR>