Round Two Results From Philip Island

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
For those of you who don't want to know the results until after you've watched the race, stop reading here.

For those of you who want to know which racer won both legs of the second WSB round and who finished behind him, keep on reading....

Reigning champion Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) took his winning streak to four with two convincing wins in today's second round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island. The 32-year-old Australian, who becomes the first rider in the history of World Superbike to win the first four opening races, triumphed in front of 57,000 sun-baked spectators and now leads the table with a maximum 100 points. In both races the battle for victory was between Bayliss and Colin Edwards (Honda), who twice finished runner-up. Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) made it an identical podium in both races with two thirds, while Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) added more points to his championship total with fourth and fifth.

"It really has been a perfect weekend in front of my home crowd, I just missed out on pole and it would have been a clean sweep!" declared Troy. "My Ducati Infostrada bike worked perfectly all weekend and so did my Michelin tires. I don't know about it being easy though because when I was behind Colin in both races I was getting the hot air from his exhausts and I really had to dig deep in the last few laps. On my second to last lap of race two I was expecting something big from Colin but then I saw my pit-board with a good gap so I cruised to the win. The biggest problem I had all weekend was the 'big screen' up at Lukey Heights because every time I came over I was having a little glance at it and I made a couple of mistakes, so I tried to steer clear of it in the second race. All in all it's an exceptional start to the season for me, but there's still a long way to go and anything can happen."

Ducati Infostrada team-mate Ruben Xaus scored his best results of the season so far after battling to third in both races. Ruben twice had to recover from a slow start and after trying to stay on the pace of the leading duo, settled for two thirds and 32 points on the board.

"Both races were not easy today but as soon as I passed the guys in front of me they were OK," declared Xaus. "It's perfect for me to be on the podium twice this weekend, because it means I'm learning and getting better all the time. I didn't get a good start in either race and I think I probably destroyed the tires by trying to catch them and with my riding style. But I'm happy because If we continue like this we can be fighting for a top 3 position by the end of the year."

Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) had to struggle for two top 5 positions behind the leading group, but got the better of Neil Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) in race 1 before taking Haga (Aprilia) for fifth at the end of race 2.

"Race 1 was really long and I'm happy to have finished fourth but I really only like to race for the win and when you're not racing for the win, it takes a lot of the fun out of it" commented Ben. "The bike was great, I just had a few problems with the tire, but Neil and Haga were in the same situation. I put on a softer tire for race 2 and it went much better, even though I fried it trying to keep up with the other guys. Then I started to just cruise and it cooled off a bit in the last few laps and it went much better. I passed Haga one lap from the end and made it stick and then tried to pass Neil on the last lap around the last corner but just didn't have the drive."

NORIYUKI HAGA (Playstation2-FGF Aprilia rider) said, "It wasn't agreat day for us, and I thought I'd be able to come back with richerpickings. But we've only just begun and I'm sure not going to letthis get me down: this is only the second of thirteen races.Aprilia's got a fantastic engine and a great frame, but the hightemperatures put too much strain on the rear tire. Still, I knowDunlop and I'm sure they'll come up with the goods. We'll soon havewhat we need."

RACE 1:1. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA);2. Edwards (Honda);3. XAUS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA);4. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M);5. Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati);6. Izutsu (Kawasaki);RACE 2 :1. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) ;2. Edwards (Honda);3. XAUS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA);4. Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati);5. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M);6. Haga (Aprilia); etc.POINTS (after 2 of 13 rounds):Riders -1. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 100;2. Edwards (Honda) 69;3. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 53;4. Haga (Aprilia) 50;5. Hodgson (Ducati) 45;6. XAUS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 43;Manufacturers -1. DUCATI 100;2. Honda 69;3. Aprilia 50;4. Kawasaki 36;5. Suzuki 25.
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