Apr 28, 2001
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By Steve Reeves<BR><BR>Robbie Baird set the fastest time on a Radar's Team Yamaha YZF-R1 to secure pole position for this weekend's Yamaha Formula Xtreme event, held at Sydney's Oran Park Raceway.<BR><BR>Baird set a best time of 1:11.729 around the 2.62-kilometer (1.63-mile) Narrellan circuit, 0.254-second second quicker than New Zealand's Tony Rees on the Bikebiz Yamaha YZF-R1.<BR><BR>Yamaha YZF-R1s dominated qualifying and took the top five positions of the grid, with Damian<BR>Cudlin (Bikebiz Yamaha, 1:12.217) and the Radar's Team Yamaha pair of Jamie Stauffer (1:12.246) and Craig Coxhell (1:12.292), trailing the top two.<BR><BR>Baird, who currently leads the 2001 Yamaha Xtreme Tri-State Series, is quietly confident of increasing his points lead overall this weekend.<BR><BR>"I would have liked to have done a bit more testing and spent a bit more time on the bike before we got here, but so far things have worked out well," said Baird. "The changes that they have made to the bottom of the straight where the new pits are going in has meant that the line and speed through turn one is much different to before. It will definitely make things interesting at that part of the track. For tomorrow, I'll be looking for a good, clean start so that I can keep out of any trouble that may occur behind me and get the best results that I can to add to the points lead that I've got at present."<BR><BR>Stauffer had an uneventful day, but made steady progress with the YZF-R1 and is looking forward to tomorrow's four 9-lap sprints.<BR><BR>"It took a while to get the bike set up for this track as it is quite a bit bumpy in places, but I've got onto the front row, so that's a better starting place than where I was at Eastern Creek in February," said Stauffer. "The aim in qualifying was to get on the front row so that I could have every chance of being with the leaders from the start."<BR><BR>Young Coxhell, 18, recovered from a fall in the opening qualifying session to finish with the fifth-fastest time for the Formula Xtreme class. He bruised his right foot and hip after highsiding at the tight right-hander before the run up onto the bridge, but will be fit for tomorrow's racing.<BR><BR>"I'd been caught up with some slower riders and had just got a clear lap and was building up my speed when the rear just let go and flicked me over the top," said Coxhell. "It was a pretty big crash, but I'm not happy that it happened so early in the session. I had to change over to the spare bike for the second session and I was happy with the time that I set, considering that I was trying not to make any more silly mistakes."<BR><BR><BR>Qualifying<BR><BR>1. Robbie Baird, Yamaha, 1:11.729<BR>2. Tony Rees, Yamaha, 1:11.983<BR>3. Damian Cudlin, Yamaha, 1:12.217<BR>4. Jamie Stauffer, Yamaha, 1:12.246<BR>5. Craig Coxhell, Yamaha, 1:12.292<BR>6. Josh Brooks, Honda, 1:12.503<BR>7. Graeme Morris, Suzuki, 1:12.653<BR>8. Jay Taylor, Kawasaki, 1:12.754<BR>9. Alex Gobert, Honda, 1:13.130<BR>10. Luke Phillips, Honda, 1:13.410<BR><BR>