WEEKEND OF MIXED FORTUNES FOR BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) AT THE LAUSITZRING
Lausitz (Germany), Sunday 10th September: Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) had an up-and-down weekend in the tenth round of the World Superbike Championship at the Lausitzring. The championship leader, who could have clinched the title this weekend, crashed out on lap 5 of race 1 while leading and then recovered from 23rd to finish seventh as Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) took the win from Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha).
"Like I said, you never know with racing!" declared Troy after the first race. "I got off to a good start and everything was going to plan. I built up a nice little lead and wanted to get it to 4/5 seconds. I just touched the ripple-strip and lost the front, it was just one of those little things that shouldn't happen but did".
Race 2 saw a fascinating three-way battle between James Toseland (Honda), Haga and Bayliss, but the top 3 positions remained the same for the second half of the race and Bayliss had to settle for third.
With 100 points up for the taking, Troy still has a comfortable 87-point margin over Haga and 93 over Toseland as the championship heads to Ducati's home race at Imola for the penultimate round.
"Hats off to James for his win, he rode a really good race, controlling things from the front. I was a bit more cautious but we also changed the front tyre and ran with the rear from the first race and I really struggled with some grip at the rear. In the end I thought it was better to finish a safe third than go for a win which I really wanted to do, but it was going to be very difficult. For me it's been a bit of a mixed weekend but I've still got a healthy points margin, now we move on to Imola and take it as it comes".
After starting fifth on the grid, team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi could only manage an eighth and a sixth place in the two Lausitzring races.
"An eighth and a sixth place were not exactly the results I wanted after my performance here last year", commented Lorenzo. "However we made a bit of an improvement in race 2 after making a better choice of tyres. The problem is that after ten laps, when I was there with Barros and we were catching the leading group, I had a drop in performance at the front which forced me to drop the pace. I tried to defend my sixth position until the flag and that was it. Here last year was the turning-point in my championship, this year I still haven't done what I hoped to do. There are two rounds and four races left at Imola and Magny-Cours, let's see if we can end the championship on a high note".