Monza WSB Preview From Honda

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Honda's Colin Edwards heads to the historic Monza circuit in Italy forSunday's fifth round of the World Superbike championship in confident moodafter a win and a second place in the two races in Japan three weeks ago.

Edwards' round four success was long awaited for the 28-year-old after adifficult start to the season. Yet, despite his 24-point deficit to seriesleader Troy Bayliss, Edwards leads the way in terms of podium finishes in2002 with seven from eight races, more than any other rider...

His record at Monza is equally impressive. From eight starts since theTexan joined the Castrol Honda team in 1998 Edwards has never finishedlower than second place taking three wins, two in 1998 and one in 2000.

"Don't ask me what it is about Monza, I just love the place," says Edwards."It's a very special place as far as motor sport goes and I think I've beensucked into that nostalgia and the unique atmosphere there."

He continues: "This Sunday is all about winning races and taking morepoints from Troy Bayliss. We know the story with the Monza set-up and theMichelins have always been good there.

"The races at Monza are all about getting a good grid position, somewhereon the first two rows, then making a decent start but, more often than not,it will come down to the last few corners of each race to decide the winner."

Monza data:Superbike:2001 Qualifying: Pier-Francesco Chili (Suzuki) 1m 48.584s2001 Superpole: Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1m 48.649s2001 winner: Troy Bayliss (Ducati) x 2Lap record: Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda) 1m 48.913s (May 2001)World Superbike championship points after four of 13 rounds:1 Troy Bayliss, Australia (Ducati) 174,2 Colin Edwards, USA (Castrol Honda) 150,3 Neil Hodgson, GB (Ducati) 98,4 Ben Bostrom, USA (Ducati) 95,5 Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) 87,6 Ruben Xaus, Spain (Ducati) 86,7 James Toseland, GB (Ducati) 57,8 Chris Walker, GB (Kawasaki) 52,9 Hitoyasu Izutsu, Japan (Kawasaki) 47,10 Makoto Tamada, Japan (Honda) 45.Manufacturers points:1 Ducati 179,2 Honda 155,3 Aprilia 87,4 Kawasaki 74,5 Suzuki 38,6 Yamaha 16.
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