BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) CLOSES HIS SUPERBIKE CAREER WITH 26TH POLE AT PORTIMAO; FABRIZIO FIFTH Portimao (Portugal): the last Superpole session of the 2008 World Superbike championship, held today at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve ...
BAYLISS (DUCATI XEROX) CLOSES HIS SUPERBIKE CAREER WITH 26TH POLE AT PORTIMAO; FABRIZIO FIFTH
Portimao (Portugal): the last Superpole session of the 2008 World Superbike championship, held today at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, was declared wet with the onset of rain just minutes before the start. Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) was one of few riders to go straight out in the first minutes of the 50-minute session and he immediately set the fastest time, a time that was unbeatable once the rain intensified. Team-mate Michel Fabrizio followed a similar strategy and recorded the fifth fastest time before the heavy rain prevented further fast times being set.
In the second qualifying session that took place this morning Michel was consistently lapping fastest, registering a quickest lap of 1m43.6s, to qualify first for Superpole. Troy had a more difficult session and qualified for Superpole in eventual twelfth place, though rectified this setback during the Superpole to qualify in first position for tomorrow's races.
Troy's Ducati 1098 today carried a special commemorative livery, with suit to match, to celebrate having won his third World Superbike championship title at Magny-Cours three weeks ago.
Troy Bayliss 1m58.5s
"The whole weekend has been strange and the weather has been a bit up and down. The track is dirty and wet too so it's not been easy. I'm very glad I went straight out and got a few good laps in very early at the start of the Superpole session. I was pretty happy with the wet setting and didn't need to go out again because it then started to rain more heavily half way through the session and no-one could match my time. I am happy to take my last ever Superpole; the 1098 has been working well as has the team, I have to thank them for all their hard work this weekend, and this season, without them I wouldn't have taken the title."
Michel Fabrizio 2m02.7s
"I am sorry I didn't do one more lap before coming back into the box because in doing so I would probably have put myself on the front row for tomorrow but anyway, I'm pretty happy. We have gone well all weekend, I was fastest in the qualifying sessions and with the unstable weather at least we know that we are set up pretty well for both the wet and the dry. My confidence has grown in each session and I'm feeling positive. I'd prefer a dry day tomorrow of course but I guess we have to wait and see."