World Superbike championship round nine -- Laguna Seca, USA

Bayliss and Edwards win at Laguna Seca on bumper Michelin day.

Defending champion and series leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada - Michelin) bounces back from practice crash to record 14th win of the year at sunny Laguna Seca circuit in California as home hero Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda - Michelin) sends home fans wild with victory.

Title rivals Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada - Michelin) and Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda - Michelin) won a race each in Sunday's ninth round of the World Superbike championship at a sun-scorched Laguna Seca circuit in California, USA.

The rampant Bayliss took advantage of a mistake by leader Edwards in the opening race to notch up his 14th win of a record-breaking season as Edwards continued his duel with his Australian rival.

Edwards ran wide with four of the 28 laps to go and Bayliss powered through, closely followed by team-mate Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada - Michelin) as Edwards was relegated to third place.

The pair remained in those positions to the chequered flag for an eighth, all-Michelin podium of the 2002 season. Wild card rider Nicky Hayden finished fourth with Neil Hodgson fifth and Eric Bostrom sixth.

A determined Edwards was in winning mood in the second race, edging out Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom for the lead of the race on lap four. The 28-year-old Texan then held control of the race on his "stars and stripes" liveried SP-2 machine as he took his third win of the campaign.

But only after Bayliss challenged for the lead in the closing stages, each time Edwards hitting back as the American rider proved he wasn't going to be denied a debut win at Laguna Seca.

Bayliss was left in a battle with Hodgson for third place and the two riders collided three times on the final lap as they fought out the final two podium finishes. Bayliss overcame the British rider halfway through the final lap to secure second place after one of the closest-fought Superbike races of recent years.

Early leader Eric Bostrom took fourth while his brother Ben improved on a first race eighth place to take fifth with young British rider James Toseland sixth -- moving up two places after Hayden and Noriyuki Haga crashed out, without injury, while battling for fourth place halfway through the race.

Xaus crashed on the warm-up lap, remounted but was to eventually to retire from the race, left to celebrate his runner-up place in the opening race.

-michelin-