Ducati Struggling at Imola

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) set fifth andsixth quickest times on the first day of World Superbike testing at the Enzo& Dino Ferrari Circuit in Imola today. The two-day test, which sees theparticipation of factory teams from Ducati, Honda, Aprilia and Kawasaki, isin preparation for the final round of the championship scheduled at Imolafor September 30.

Championship leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada), who has never seen thetrack before, said that he was looking forward to racing again in Italy(where he has already won three races out of four this year) aftercompleting a massive 92 laps, setting a time of 1:51.53.

"This is my firstvisit to Imola and it's coming along nicely," declared the 32-year-oldAustralian...

"The circuit is not too bad and I'm glad we came testing. Thetrack was slippery this morning, but I'm sure tomorrow the grip will be muchbetter. I'm really pleased the last round of the season is in Italy, becauseit's close to the Ducati factory and that means there'll be a good crowd forthe race."

Double Laguna winner Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) was a fraction of a secondbehind Bayliss but the 27-year-old American was suffering with jet-lag afterreturning from California a couple of days ago.

"This is the first day and I'm feeling so tired," commented Bostrom, who completed 64 laps with a besttime of 1:51.80. "I've been here before to do some testing when it wasraining, but the track seems decent to me and I'm looking forward to racinghere in September."

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) crashed out in the morning session, sufferinga slight injury to his left collarbone, and the 23-year-old Spanish rideronly did a few laps in the afternoon before concluding his day's testing.

"I was going quite well on the old tyre but when I put a new one on, I lost therear end of the bike and high-sided at a slow speed. The track is quite nicebut very slippery," commented Xaus, whose best time over 42 laps was 1:53.040.

UNOFFICIAL TIMES:1° Edwards (Honda) 1:50.122° Laconi (Aprilia) 1:50.613° Okada (Honda) 1:50.904° Corser (Aprilia) 1:51.495° Bayliss (Ducati) 1:51.536° Bostrom (Ducati) 1:51.807° Antonello (Aprilia) 1:52.308° Yanagawa (Kawasaki) 1:52.709° Lavilla (Kawasaki) 1:52.9010° Parkes (Ducati) 1:52.9011° Xaus (Ducati) 1:53.04
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