Philip Island Saturday Qualifying and Superpole

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) powered his Ducati 998 Factory to second place on the grid for tomorrow's Australian World Superbike Championship round at Phillip Island as his Honda rival Colin Edwards took pole. The reigning champion, who had been quickest all weekend at his home track, was last out for the one-lap dash, but could only manage a time of 1'33.316 around the 4.445 km circuit. The Australian had to settle for second best behind Edwards, the only rider to dip under 1'33 during Superpole...

"Colin did a really good job today and it just didn't happen for me," said Bayliss, who will be aiming for his first-ever WSBK win at Phillip Island tomorrow. "I made a couple of mistakes coming down into Honda and turn 11 and that was about it but I'm pretty happy to be on the front row for tomorrow. We did a long run today and that was OK so we're feeling confident for the race. The weather forecast is very hot for tomorrow but that doesn't worry me in the least. The weekend has been going great so far, am I feeling the pressure here at home? No, the only pressure I've got is in my tyres, I can handle it!."

Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) will line up in fifth place on the grid for tomorrow's two races after setting a time of 1'33.715, but the Californian felt he could have improved on that time after a good performance in the afternoon free practice session.

"The Superpole lap went wrong because I lost the front so bad through the 5th gear left-hander and my heart dropped!" said Bostrom. "I'm pretty sure I've got everything set up for tomorrow but we didn't really manage to do a good long-run on the race tyre. We only really have one option for the race, so we'll use that tyre tomorrow. The good thing today was my performance on the Q-tyre at the end of the second free session, when I set a time of 1'33.1."

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) will start one place behind Bostrom in sixth after his Superpole lap was hampered when his gear-shift remained in neutral. The young Spanish rider was happy to set a time of 1'33.954 and will start tomorrow's races from row 2.

"My Superpole lap would have gone well but I missed a gear and it stayed in neutral for three seconds at the Honda Corner" commented Xaus. "Despite that I'm pretty happy about my lap, even though I wanted to be on the front row of the grid. Today I felt good on the bike, the preparations for the race have gone well, I lapped under 1'34" on my race tyre and if I hadn't made that mistake in Superpole for sure I would have set a great time."

STARTING-GRID:1. Edwards (Honda) 1'32.767;2. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1'33.316;3. Haga (Aprilia) 1'33.560;4. Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) 1'33.629;5. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 1'33.715;6. XAUS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1'33.954;7. Izutsu (Kawasaki) 1'33.961;8. Borja (Ducati) 1'34.018;9. Chili (Ducati NCR) 1'34.383;10. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) 1'34.672.
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Brent Avis
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