Colin Edwards Looks to Philip Island

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
From an HRC Press Release:
Castrol Honda's Colin Edwards is aiming to continue where he left off whenthe World Superbike championship arrives in Australia this week for roundtwo of the 13-round series.

Edwards powered his VTR1000 to victory in last year's opening race atPhillip Island only for torrential race to force the cancellation of thesecond race and abandonment of the event.

"On paper I should have had another 25 points in the bag for a win thatday," recalls Edwards...

"We're at Phillip Island about a month earlier thanwe were last year so hopefully that will guarantee better weather."

The 28-year-old SP-2 Honda-mounted rider adds: "I love the Phillip Islandtrack, it's probably my favourite and I've always done reasonably wellthere. We tested there in February and I think we're in good shape with themachine and the Michelin tires for Sunday's two races."

Edwards will be looking to reel in some of the points deficit to seriesleader Troy Bayliss after the Ducati rider won both races of the openinground in Spain on March 10. Aprilia's Noriyuki Haga, second in both Spanishraces, and Edwards' fellow American Ben Bostrom are among the ridersexpected to challenge for victories in Australia.

After a disappointing start to the season Mark Heckles will be hoping toscoop some points on his Phillip Island debut aboard the Castrol Honda RumiHRC kit machine.

Fabien Foret will be hoping to repeat his opening round win the WorldSupersport championship after the diminutive Frenchman dominatedproceedings at Valencia.

The series leader, riding for the Dutch Ten Kate Honda team, is well awareof the challenge but believes the CBR600 machine is a match for anything.

"Phillip Island is a real horse power circuit and I'm confident we've gotthat," says Foret. "The circuit is not as technical as Valencia so I thinkthe race on Sunday will be close and exciting."

One of Foret's challengers on Sunday is expected to be young AustralianChris Vermeulen. The Van Zon Honda team rider finished fourth in theopening round in Spain and is relishing his return to home soil.

"Although I've actually not raced that much down at Phillip Island I dolove the track," says 19-year-old Vermeulen. "I was concerned only withgetting some points on the board in Spain and I was a little disappointedto lose third place on the last lap but I'm looking to win on Sunday in myhome race."

Phillip Island data:

2001 qualifying, fastest: Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 1:33.577s
2001 Superpole: Troy Corser, Australia (Aprilia) 1:33.576s
2001 race winner: Colin Edwards, USA (Castrol Honda) - second race cancelled due to weather
Lap record: Troy Corser, Australia (Ducati) 1:33.019s (March1999)

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