Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bayliss takes Pole

Ducati's Troy Bayliss bounced back from a crash in morning qualifying to claim pole position for Sunday's World Superbike races at Phillip Island in Australia.

The Australian, race one winner at the season opener in Losail last weekend, delighted the home crowd with a time of one minute 31.493 seconds to take top spot by more than half-a-second from compatriot Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia).

Bayliss' performance in the Superpole session was all the more remarkable given that he was riding with eight stitches in his left elbow, the legacy of a sizeable off three minutes from the end of Saturday morning's second qualifying session.

"It has been a bit eventful. But I'm sitting here on pole, and that makes me feel good about tomorrow's race," said Bayliss.

"Deep down, I knew Troy was the man 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."

Corser admitted that he had struggled with the balance of his Yamaha, but declared himself satisfied with his Superpole performance.

"Today the bike was working well, but we had a few problems in that last free practice trying to get the bike balanced," he said.

"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."

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