BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX TEAM) SMASHES SEVEN-YEAR-OLD PHILLIP ISLAND LAP RECORD TO GRAB SECOND POLE OF THE YEAR ON THE DUCATI 999F06
Phillip Island (Australia), Saturday 4 March: Troy Bayliss smashed Phillip Island's seven-year-old record lap time to take a second successive pole position of the year on the Xerox-backed factory Ducati 999 machine. In scintillating form throughout the weekend, the 36-year-old Australian was quickest in every practice and qualifying session and clinched pole with a time of 1m32.159s, a full second faster than Troy Corser's 1999 mark. Bayliss's Superpole lap also made it three world champions in the top three positions as he lines up with Corser (Suzuki) and James Toseland (Honda) alongside him, while Steve Martin completed the front row for the Petronas team.
"It's very nice to be on pole back here at Phillip Island, at the moment I'm having a bit of a dream run" declared Troy. "Everything's gone well today, my lap was good enough to take pole, but honestly I thought I was going to do a little bit better. It was messy and I had my feet in the wrong place in a few spots, but I'm happy. I'm not kidding myself however because I realise how hard tomorrow is going to be, with two long races and plenty of heat out there. I really need to get a good start if I want to try and do something special, but Phillip Island makes for great racing and it tends to bring the top few guys together and you end up having a race and then it gets sorted out at about two-thirds distance".
Team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi made progress in the morning's second session, when he qualified 15th, and the Italian followed that up with ninth quickest time in Superpole, which was good enough for the third row of the grid. "It has been a very difficult weekend for me" said Lorenzo. "We started off well on Friday morning then we encountered a bit of difficulty. I made a few changes on the bike, which didn't take us in the right direction but now it seems that I have got it more to my liking. I made a few errors in Superpole, without them I might have been able to get on the front row, or at least the second. So all things considered I'm in a better position than I was this morning. Hopefully I can get a good start, because the most important thing is to start with a win in mind or at least a good placing. It's going to be tough seeing as the two Troys are in such great form on this track, but my aim is to stay in the second group and do a good race starting from the third row".