World Superbike Race Two

Glenn le santo
by Glenn le santo
It rained. Hard. So who's the rain master in the World Superbike paddock this weekend? This report reveals all...

Bayliss holds Hodgson at bay

Championship leader Troy Bayliss survived a huge last corner slide to take victory in the second World Superbike race at Lausitzring in Germany. Neil Hodgson had been putting pressure on the Australian for several laps and closed relentlessly on the Australian. As he got on the power coming out of the final turn, his back wheel slid sideways across the track, momentarily unseating the Infostrada Ducati rider. But Bayliss clung on and Hodgson, also riding a Ducati, wasn?t quite close enough to capitalise on the mistake. He also spun up the rear wheel when he tried to put on the power to pass the sliding Bayliss. The championship leader crossed the line just two tenths of a second ahead of the GSE Ducati rider.

Behind them - and by a fair distance - Colin Edwards recovered from a poor start to take an important third position finish. Troy Corser had slipped back down the order, losing valuable championship points as several riders passed him, demoting him from an early third place to a seventh place finish. The result means that Bayliss increased his lead again, having slipped back slightly in race one - which Edwards won. Bayliss is now on 205 points with Edwards in second spot on 182. Hodgson?s result is his third podium in four races.

Hitoyasu Izutsu, riding again this weekend for the Fuchs Kawasaki team, scorched through the back of the pack to take fourth. His progress was momentarily stalled when he tried to lap Kawasaki Bertocchi rider Michele Malatesta. The factory rider wasn?t pleased and made it known with a shake of the head as he finally rode by Malatesta. Izutsu might have caught Edwards with a few more laps, he was eating into the American?s lead on him by seconds each lap, but time ran out for the All Japan Superbike champion.

Pierfrancesco Chili was another rider who made progress through the field to finish fifth on his Suzuki. The luckless Ben Bostrom was going the other way. Despite his dirt track origins, the American has always looked uncomfortable in full wet conditions and slid down the order. He was actually lapped by fellow Ducati riders Bayliss and Hodgson. Bostrom finished a lowly twentieth.

Another Ducati pilot out of luck was Australian Broc Parkes. He was up with the leaders and looking strong until his gearshift lever retaining bolt flew out - ending his race. To say the Australian was disappointed at losing a possible podium finish through such a stupid problem would be a major understatement.

Bayliss leaves Lausitzring happy having consolidated his championship lead. Troy Corser is less pleased - he?s slipped from second to third in the rankings. And Colin Edwards? He summed up his weekend like this: ?I?m a bad loser and I?d rather have got the double win, but this is better than a poke in the eye.?

1 Bayliss, AUS, Ducati, 45m 57.655s2 Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 45m 57.884s3 Edwards, USA, Honda, 46m 20.577s4 Izutsu, JPN, Kawasaki, 46m 21.981s5 Chili, ITA, Suzuki, 46m 30.239s6 Ruben Xaus, ESP, Ducati, 46m 32.453s7 Corser, AUS, Aprilia, 46m 35.278s8 Chambon, FRA, Suzuki, 46m 36.256s9 Okada, JPN, Honda, 46m 37.950s10 Akira Yanagawa, JPN, Kawasaki, 46m 43.833s.World Superbike championship points after seven of 13 rounds:1 Bayliss 2052 Edwards 1823 Corser 1634 Chili 1435 Hodgson 1316 Ben Bostrom, USA Ducati 1027 Yanagawa 998 Lavilla (Kawasaki) 879 Okada 8210 Laconi, ESP, Aprilia 75.Manufacturers points:1 Ducati 2632 Honda 2283 Aprilia 1824 Kawasaki 1655 Suzuki 1556 Yamaha 20.Next round: Misano, San Marino - June 24
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