Silverstone Update From Ducati

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) powered to third quickest time in Friday'sfirst qualifying session at Silverstone today, as rainstorms lashed theGrand Prix circuit and made conditions difficult for the WSBK riders ontheir first visit to the Northamptonshire track.

Ducati HM Plant rider Neil Hodgson continued his recent run of good formto take the overnight pole mark ahead of Colin Edwards (Honda)...

As the track dried outin the last few minutes, championship leader Troy Bayliss (DucatiInfostrada) had a minor crash at Priory on his final run, ending thesession in tenth. Team-mate Ruben Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) was always upat the front throughout the hour and finished in provisional fifth place.Ducati wild-card riders Steve Hislop (Monster Mob) and Michael Rutter(Renegade) also put in excellent performances to finish seventh andeighth respectively.

"Basically I just lost the front right at the end in the twistysection," explained Troy. "I was pushing it a little too hard, we hadjust put a new tyre on and I was ready to go on the rapidly-drying trackbut just went down. There was a little bit of a damp spot there and Ihurt my finger a little bit, but no dramas. We were at the top the wholesession, just the last part let me down. I lost the front on anintermediate, I feel sure it would have been a good lap, but we'll be upat the front tomorrow."

"It was a really strange practice, you're going out and in all the timeand the lap times in the last five minutes went crazy," said Ruben. "Wedecided to put a slick on the back but it wasn't easy to set a quicktime in these conditions, especially when you come up on back-markers.There's only one line although it wasn't dry all the way round, andeveryone here is riding at a really high level so it's difficult to passbecause as soon as you make a move here you^Òre on the wet."

"We had a really bad middle split on my quick lap when I got caughtbehind a Kawasaki half-way round," declared Ben, "but I'm happy to bethird because if it rains tomorrow, it means I'm in the top four. Thebike and the tyres are great, I just didn't go fast enough. We've stillgot a bit more to learn around Silverstone, but I'm pretty happy with myperformance today."

FRIDAY QUALIFYING:1. Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) 1:54.095;2. Edwards (Honda) 1:54.404;3. BOSTROM (Ducati L&M) 1:55.098;4. Walker (Kawasaki) 1:55.795;5. XAUS (Ducati Infostrada) 1:56.146;6. Richards (Kawasaki) 1:56.216;7. Hislop (Monster Mob Ducati) 1:56.284;8. Rutter (Renegade Ducati) 1:56.382;9. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) 1:56.643;10. BAYLISS (Ducati Infostrada) 1:56.705.
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