Sep 7, 2001
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By Glenn Le Santo<BR><BR>Ruben Xaus carried on where he left off last Sunday, after winning in Oschersleben, by going to the top of the World Superbike timesheet again, this time in first qualifying session here in Assen, Holland. The new star of World Superbikes diced with Troy Corser to take the fastest time of 2:02.409. Corser took turns with Xaus to lead the timesheet. The Australian, who reverted to some older suspension settings at Oschersleben to cure the vibration problem that has plagued him at recent races, ended up second-fastest with a best lap of 2:03.409. <BR><BR>Qualifying was run in the dry although rain threatened for most of the hour-long session--as soon as qualifying finished the heavens opened to give the track a thorough soaking. If forecasts for Saturday are true, and it rains most of the day, then these times may well end up deciding the Superpole order. Troy Bayliss was third fastest, with Akira Yanagawa the first rider on a four-cylinder bike home in fifth. Britain's James Toseland had his bike going well straight of the crate, running fourth fastest.<BR><BR>Colin Edwards, one of the first to go fast early in the session, was pushed down to ninth as the speeds crept up. Troy Bayliss was the hardest working rider, he completed 22 laps, two more than anyone else. <BR><BR>The Aprilias look fast again here in Assen, Corser topped out at 282 kph (175.23 mph) in the session, with Regis Laconi at 280.5 kph (174 mph). The Aprilia pairing were the only riders to exceed 280 kph barrier. Edwards was closest on top speed; his VTR/RC51 was timed at 278.4 kph (172.997 mph). Surprisingly, the next fastest bike is Akira Yanagawa's Kawasaki at 275.5 kph (171.196 mph).<BR><BR>First timed qualifying session<BR>Assen, Friday, September 7<BR><BR>1. Ruben Xaus, Ducati 996, 2:02.409<BR>2. Troy Corser, Aprilia RSV1000, 2:03.216<BR>3. Troy Bayliss, Ducati 996, 2:03.329<BR>4. James Toseland, Ducati 996, 2:04.035<BR>5. Akira Yanagawa, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 2:04.124<BR>6. Gregorio Lavilla, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 2:04.375<BR>7. Neil Hodgson, Ducati 996, 2:04.407<BR>8. Stephane Chambon, Suzuki GSX-R750, 2:04.431<BR>9. Colin Edwards, Honda RC51, 2:04.447<BR>10. Regis Laconi, Aprilia RSV1000, 2:04.593<BR>11. Ben Bostrom, Ducati 996, 2:04.633<BR>12. Pierfrancesco Chili, Suzuki GSX-R750, 2:04.652<BR>13. Juan Borja, Yamaha YZF-R7, 2:05.522<BR>14. Tadayuki Okada, Hon RC51, 2:05.547<BR>15. Giovanni Bussei, Ducati 996, 2:05.605<BR>