Troy Bayliss grabbed his first Superpole of the year at the end of an eventful day for the 38-year-old Australian at Phillip Island. The Ducati Xerox rider crashed three minutes before the end of the morning Q2 session after setting the quickest...
Troy Bayliss grabbed his first Superpole of the year at the end of an eventful day for the 38-year-old Australian at Phillip Island. The Ducati Xerox rider crashed three minutes before the end of the morning Q2 session after setting the quickest time, earning himself eight stitches in his left elbow in the process, then he smashed the circuit record at the end of second free practice. Finally in Superpole he shaved a further three-tenths off that time to take the pole away from his fellow Aussie Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), leaving the mark at 1 minute 31.493 seconds. Young Italian Michel Fabrizio was next up for the Ducati Xerox Team, edging out Carlos Checa (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) for the final front row slot.
"It has been a bit eventful but I'm sitting here on pole and that makes me feel good about tomorrow's race" declared Bayliss. "Deep down I knew Troy was the man who I was going to have to beat. We always end up fast here and it was pretty close and I'm sure it's going to be a good race tomorrow. I did a long-run yesterday and planned to do another one today but the crash put paid to that. I did quite a few laps and I'm reasonably happy with the tyres and I feel sure the first few laps will be decisive up to about lap 8 and then it's definitely going to get slower and a lot harder for the rest of the race."
Corser said: "It's always great to race here at Phillip Island and see all the friends and family. Today the bike was working well, but we had a few problems in that last free practice trying to get the bike balanced. Unfortunately we were unable to use the qualifying tyre before Superpole so basically I was doing it for the first time on the qualifying tyre. We can't complain too much however and well done to Troy."
Fabrizio commented: "It's been a great weekend so far and hopefully I can continue. Let's see if I can stay with these two 'old' guys tomorrow! It's going to be a really tough race, I feel sure and for me to finish behind them will be a great satisfaction."
Carlos Checa declared: "I wasn't sure with the qualifying tyre, which I've only used a couple of times but all the team pushed me to use them whereas I wanted to use the race tyre. We are trying to understand better the bike, which is still young, but the feeling for the tyres is already good. This combination is working much better now and we are at a good level quickly."
Qatar winner Fonsi Nieto was fifth for Alstare Suzuki, followed by the rapidly improving Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati), Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha WSB) and Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki). Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati) had to abandon his Superpole run before entering the shoot-out lap after his gear lever snapped and the Italian will start from row 4 of the grid.
Australians dominated the second and final qualifying session for their home World Supersport round, picking up the top 3 positions on the grid for tomorrow's 21-lap race. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Andrew Pitt went half-a-second under Charpentier's lap record from last year to clinch pole with a time of 1'34.592. Josh Brookes was three-tenths slower on the similar HANNspree Stiggy Honda bike, with round 1 winner Broc Parkes making up the Aussie front-running trio in third. His team-mate Fabien Foret was a shade behind in fourth, ahead of the other Ten Kate and Stiggy machines of Jonathan Rea and Robbin Harms.
Alfa Romeo Superpole Award
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) is the second winner in the ALFA 159 SUPERPOLE AWARD contest, which was launched at the start of the season. The prize, an Alfa Romeo 159 3.2 Sportwagon Ti, will be awarded at the end of the year to the rider in the Superbike World Championship who has totaled the highest number of Superpoles. After two rounds therefore, the two Troys, Corser and Bayliss are level with one pole each.