Philip Island Preview From Ducati
The spectacular Phillip Island circuit south of Melbourne plays host tothe second round of the World Superbike Championship just a fortnightafter the season opener at Valencia, where a brace of wins by reigningchampion Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) enabled the Australian to gethis 2002 campaign off to the best possible start. Bayliss returns to hishome country brimming with confidence now that round 1 is in the bag andwill be eager to score his first ever World Superbike victory on thistrack.
During late January testing at Phillip Island Troy was thequickest rider around the 4.445km track, clocking a best lap of1:32.944, just under the existing Superbike lap record. "I'm reallylooking forward to going to Phillip Island this year," declared Baylissafter his Valencia win. "We tested there a few weeks ago, unlike in 2001and as a result we've got a few things up our sleeve. I'm feeling veryconfident at the moment, especially after the two wins at Valencia andlooking forward to getting some more good results at the Island...
Eventhough living in Europe means that you are away from home most of theyear, it's nice to know you've got a lot of fans back home to cheer youon when you come back."
Troy will be backed up by his Ducati Infostrada team-mate, the youngSpaniard Ruben Xaus, who scored a fifth and a DNF in front of his homecrowd in the opening round. "I like racing at Phillip Island, thecircuit is really good, let's just hope the weather is better than lastyear! I fell off in Valencia, which was my fault, and I just have to putthat behind me and forget it. There are 26 races in a season and it'sdifficult to do them all without dropping any points. Once again I'll betrying to do my best and stay up at the top with the others thisweekend."
Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) will be looking to continue his excellent startto the season with more strong results to add to his 3rd and 4th in theopening round. "Phillip Island is going to be a real challenge,"declared Bostrom, "because I've never done particularly well here. Lastyear I was on the front row, but it rained and I crashed so it can't getany worse than that. I think it's all going to come down to tyres here,but you also have to ride well on this circuit -- and pray for goodweather! I think you also need to get dialled in to the speed prettyquickly, because coming from a slow track like Valencia to here wherenearly every corner is quick, a rider needs to get up to speed quickly."
THE PHILLIP ISLAND CIRCUIT
The Phillip Island circuit, situated two hours drive south of VictoriaState capital Melbourne, has been home to motor racing for more than 70years since the first Australian Grand Prix was held on a 6.5 mile publicroad course in 1928. World Superbikes first raced there in 1990 and sincethen many improvements have been made to the circuit, including apit-lane complex with 40 garages, a media centre and hospitality unit.The Phillip Island Motor Sports organisers are committed to maintainingcurrent high standards at the picturesque circuit, which is loved bydrivers, riders and spectators alike.
Lap Record: Corser (Ducati) 1:33.019 (1999); Superpole: Corser (Aprilia)1:32.193 (1999); Qualifying: Corser (Ducati) 1:32.623 (1999).
Race 1: 1. Edwards (Honda), 2. Okada (Honda), 3. Bayliss (DucatiInfostrada). Race 2: cancelled.
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