Bostrom Fastest @Kyalami

Glenn le santo
by Glenn le santo
Ben Bostrom, who set the fastest time in practice on Friday, leads the field again as the riders head for Superpole. The Ducati L&M rider lead from early in the session and looked like dominating it until Troy Corser pulled a fast lap out of the bag to leap from well down the field into the front with a 1.42.227.

But Corser didn't stay there for long, Bostrom put in a blistering final lap to retake his place at the top of the timesheet, lapping at 1.42.089. Corser finished the session only two tenths behind the Ducati rider.

Pierfrancesco Chili had been second fastest early in the session, and seemed to have ironed out the set up problems he had experienced at Valencia. However, as the session heated up the Italian slipped back down the order to finish 6th fastest, just ahead of Tady Okada on the Castrol Honda. British hope Neil Hodgson, fastest around the Kyalami track in pre season testing, put in a quick time to pull him into the lead group, but as the session closed Edwards and Corser had leap-frogged the GSE Ducati rider. Edwards put in his fastest lap at the very end of the morning's session after fitting a qualifying tire to his Castrol Honda. Hodgson finished the session 4th fastest, in front of Regis Laconi (Axo Aprilia).

Superpole looks set to provide its usual high level of excitement this afternoon with Ben Bostrom riding aggressively and happy with his machine's set up. But Corser is a Superpole specialist, he's also now fully recovered from a bout of food poisoning that had him flat on his back earlier in the week, but he's on record as not being completely happy about the safety situation at Kyalami. He feels some of the catch fencing is too near to the track and a South African journalist claims that Corser has said he will ride with the entire season in mind, rather than just this race. Troy Bayliss struggled in the session, ending up 9th fastest, but he's in the Superpole and can't be written out of a front row grid position yet.

Colin Edwards shouldn't be forgotten; he's a proven winner at this circuit, having won both the races here last year (the second only after Haga was controversially disqualified for banned substances). Edwards was the subject of some controversy himself on Saturday after an interview in a South African Newspaper, The Saturday Star, claimed he had told them he would love to live in South Africa but only if they "nuked a few townships first". Townships are the communities in South African urban areas that house most of the indigenous Negro population. The quote was later flatly denied by Edwards who said he was "deep disappointed with the affair, especially in a country I love and thoroughly enjoy racing in."

Provisional Superpole entry list

1 Ben Bostrom Ducati 1.42.0892 Troy Corser Aprilia 1.42.2773 Colin Edwards Honda 1.42.6824 Neil Hodgson Ducati 1.42.7235 Regis Laconi Aprilia 1.42.8046 Pierfrancesco Chili Suzuki 1.42.9497 Tadayuki Okada Honda 1.42.9778 Akira Yanagawa Kawasaki 1.43.0839 Troy Bayliss Ducati 1.43.047
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