By Glenn LeSanto
A win in the second of two World Superbike races gave Australian Troy Bayliss a perfect weekend at Monza, Italy, riding for the Italian Ducati factory in front of 90,000 fanatical fans.
Bayliss’ double victory came with an added bonus, as he took a 28-point lead in the title after his Australian rival Troy Corser had two DNFs. The wins were particularly welcome after the Infostrada Ducati’s miserable weekend in Sugo in April, where Bayliss only scored four points.
The race looked ready to shape up to a repeat of the first race when Colin Edwards and Bayliss broke away from the pack in the middle of the race. But this time Bayliss was able to build up a small but useful advantage over the Texan to win by over three seconds. After the race Edwards admitted that Ducati had the best machine on the day.
“Ducati’s package was just a little bit better than ours today,” commented Edwards. “I don’t want to take anything away from Troy, though, he’s ridden two unbelievable races.”
Bayliss was obviously pleased with his performance, “I’ve had a great weekend,” said Bayliss. “I’ve waited a while for this win and to get two in one day is great. I was worried about the tires, but they weren’t get too bad and toward the end of the race I was able to get my head down and make a break.”
Akira Yanagawa took the last step on the podium with another third place ride for the weekend. “It was very hard in the second race,” said the exhausted Kawasaki teamster. “My bike didn’t want to steer, it wanted to go outside at every turn, so I had to fight the bike all the way through the race.”
Ben Bostrom, who fell in race one, didn’t start in the second race due to an injury to his knee.
Tady Okada, who crashed his Honda in race one, made it home in fourth, although he had to fight for the position with a determined Ruben Xaus and Pierfrancesco Chili. Troy Corser retired from the race citing tire trouble; there were reports that his tire was spinning on the rim, but these have not yet been confirmed.
World Superbike Championship
Race Two Result
1. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 32:57.108
2. Colin Edwards (Honda) 33:00.418
3. Akira Yanagawa (Kawasaki) 33:05.482
4. Tady Okada, Japan (Honda) 33:05.705
5. Pierfrancesco Chili, Italy (Suzuki) 33:06.294
6. Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 33:15.430
7. Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 33:16.698
8. Regis Laconi (Aprilia) 33:17.439
9. Stephane Chambon (Suzuki) 33:31.623
10. Alex Gramigni, Italy (Yamaha) 33:40.497
World Superbike points after five of 13 rounds:
1. Bayliss 150
2. Troy Corser 122
3. Edwards 120
4. Yanagawa 79
5. TIE, Ben Bostrom/Chili 74
7. Lavilla 68
8. Hodgson 58
9. Laconi 54
10. TIE/Makoto Tamada/Chambon 50
1. Ducati 173
2. Honda 164
3. Aprilia 141
4. Kawasaki 128
5. Suzuki 86
6. Yamaha 20
Next round: Donington Park, GB – May 27
Bayliss And Edwards Again In World Superbike Race Two At Monza
© 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
By Glenn LeSanto