BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS AT PHILLIP ISLAND AFTER A FOUR-YEAR BREAK Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 5 March: Troy Bayliss put a first race disappointment behind him to take the Ducati Xerox Team's first win of the season...
BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS AT PHILLIP ISLAND AFTER A FOUR-YEAR BREAK
Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 5 March: Troy Bayliss put a first race disappointment behind him to take the Ducati Xerox Team's first win of the season and the Australian's 23rd World Superbike career victory at Phillip Island. It was the former world champion's first win since Laguna Seca in 2002 and helps to maintain a slim one-point lead in this year's championship. Bayliss set a storming pace in the first race, but excessive tyre wear in the final stages dropped him down to sixth behind eventual winner Troy Corser (Suzuki). Troy made amends in the second race when he fitted a harder rear tyre compound on his Ducati 999 and rode a more defensive race. He out-braked Toseland (Honda) into Honda corner on lap 16 to take the chequered flag in front of an ecstatic home crowd. Earlier winner Corser crashed out on lap 4.
"It's been a really good weekend, obviously I was on a bit of a downer after race 1, but that's racing", declared Troy. "It all went well because we've got a smart team and they know what to do. We obviously did a race distance on the tyre before but something strange happened. Anyway we put that behind us and we decided to use the hardest tyre Pirelli brought along. Then I made my move on Toseland at two-thirds race distance and although I was nearly in the same situation with the tyres with three laps to go, I still managed to pull a good enough gap to win. We're leading the championship again, so that's a bonus. Now we move on to Valencia and Monza which are places we like so I hope to keep the momentum going".
Lanzi, who had to start from the pit-lane after encountering a clutch problem during the warm-up lap, powered up the field to eleventh place, but was unable to make further progress as he struggled to maintain the pace. In the second race he was attempting to move up amongst the mid-field runners when he high-sided on lap 11. "It has been a pretty tough weekend, we didn't find the right direction immediately with the team and I made a few errors" commented Lorenzo. "This morning in the warm-up finally we found a good set-up to race maybe for the podium, but then we had bad luck with the clutch in race 1 and I had to start last. In race 2 I was recuperating places but I made a mistake and crashed. Muggeridge was ahead of me, and I brought him down when I high-sided. Now we've got a month and a half before the next race, so I can get back to 100% fitness, because here I was still in a bit of pain with my ankle and knee from the crash in Qatar".