BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) PUTS TITLE DEFENCE ON TRACK WITH A WIN AND A SECOND PLACE AT PHILLIP ISLAND Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 4 March: Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) put his title defence back on track with a win and a second place in ...
BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) PUTS TITLE DEFENCE ON TRACK WITH A WIN AND A SECOND PLACE AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 4 March: Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) put his title defence back on track with a win and a second place in an exciting day of racing at Phillip Island in front of a record 63,000 crowd. Team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi was out of luck and finished sixth and seventh in the two races.
Troy battled with James Toseland (Honda) throughout the first 22-lapper and eventually made his move on his British rival on lap 18 to take the win. "That's the sort of racing everybody likes to see at Phillip Island" declared Troy, "so to come out of top in a race like this is extra nice. We were a bit surprised as we've been struggling with the tyre all weekend but everybody's in the same boat and after 12/13 laps it was always going to be difficult. That's why Davide (Tardozzi) said go as slow as you can, but basically I had to hang on the best I could and see what we'd got at the end."
The second race was just as exciting, with a five-way battle for the lead that also included Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha) and Max Biaggi (Suzuki), but this time Toseland held off Bayliss for the win. "I was watching my board and the big screen all the time and I could see Nori and Max with me and James was preserving his tyres. I didn't want to get caught up behind anyone so I went into the lead but thought that this wasn't going to be any good because I'm going to destroy my tyre. Eventually when James put the hammer down we cleared off quite fast, the last three laps we were on the limit and my fastest lap was the last one. I threw everything at James but he still beat me in the second race so congratulations to him and his team."
Lorenzo Lanzi had a difficult weekend and could only manage sixth and seventh in the two races but is sixth overall in the standings on 44 points. "In race 1 I had a problem with the clutch at the start and was in twelfth position at the end of lap 1. I did everything possible to get back into contention and when I was with Haga and Biaggi I had totally finished my rear tyre, as we had chosen the softer one, so I had to try and salvage sixth place. In race 2 we didn't make the ideal choice of tyre, again the softer option, because we were thrown off guard a bit by the times I recorded in race 1. I was sixth and was catching on the guys ahead but the tyre went right off and I finished seventh in a photo-finish with Fabrizio."