BAYLISS AND THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM TAKE SECOND PLACE TWICE OVER IN VALENCIA
Australian Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) increased his championship lead today in Valencia after taking an impressive second place finish in Race 1 and then repeating that performance again in Race 2. Towards the end of Race 1 Troy was lying in fourth place but due to the unexpected crash between frontrunners Neukirchner and Checa in the very final stages, he took a very useful 20 points. In Race 2, a strong start put Bayliss immediately ahead of the pack but a hard battle against Haga ensued and ultimately Bayliss relinquished the win to the Yamaha rider.
Race 1 proved more difficult for team-mate Michel Fabrizio who, after a less than perfect start, quickly managed to move up several places but then pushed too hard in his efforts to pass Biaggi and came off in lap four, unable to get back on track. Fabrizio subsequently completed Race 2, fighting hard throughout, but had difficulty moving up through the ranks and problems with grip which meant he ultimately finished in thirteenth place.
Bayliss, the current championship leader, now has 128 points and a 48 point advantage over second-placed Nieto while Fabrizio lies in ninth place with 37 points. Ducati leads the manufacturers championship with 140 points.
Troy Bayliss (2nd place - race 1, 2nd place - race 2) "I was very happy with my results today, although it was a bit of a strange weekend, having had some problems with the bike in practice and qualifying. My congratulations go to Lorenzo (Lanzi), I'm very happy for him to have taken the win and he really deserved it. I thought I was going to finish in fourth and couldn't believe what then happened with Neukirchner and Checa on the last lap but that's racing I guess and gave me a second place finish. In race 2 I had a good battle with Nori. At one point I was in a position to fight for the win but in the end Hagi was in control. Anyway, I was hoping for good points as points make prizes and so we move on to the next round in a strong position."
Michel Fabrizio (DNF - race 1, 13th place - race 2)
"In Race 1 I didn't make the best start and then, although I was able to move up several places quite easily, unfortunately in trying to pass Biaggi, I just pushed too hard and went down. I already knew that this track is one of those places where, if you don't get a good start, it's very hard to catch up and in race 2 I demonstrated this. Anyway next week we go to test in Monza and then we have the next round in Assen, a track I really enjoy and have done well at in the past, so we'll carry on working hard and hopefully do better in Holland."