Bostrom on Lausitzring Pole

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) powered to the top of the timesheets in firstqualifying for the German Round of the World Superbike Championship atthe Lausitzring today. The 28-year-old Californian's time of 1:48.335was set in tricky conditions on a damp track as the session was disruptedby light rain showers.

Britain's Neil Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) wassecond fastest ahead of Chris Walker (Kawasaki), while the DucatiInfostrada pairing of Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus both topped thetimesheets at some point during the session, ending up fourth and fifth...

Californian Bostrom (Ducati L&M) bolted on an intermediate tyre towardsthe end of the one-hour session and his time remained quickest, despitehim having a slow-speed crash in the last few minutes. "That feelsreally good because I haven't been in this position for a long time," declared Ben. "It was actually a terrible session because of theconditions, especially at the start when it wasn't wet enough to put areal rain tire on and I was outside Superpole. But then we were prettysmart because we started putting on intermediates. That put us right intothe top 10 and then I did my quick couple of laps on a soft intermediatethat put me first. In the last five minutes it started to rain again, andI stayed out one more lap than I should have and didn't even make threeturns because I crashed on turn 3. But we're OK, we've just got a fewmore changes to make on the bike and we'll be perfect."

Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada), who set 1:48.981 when he switched tointermediates, was not too concerned about his fourth quickest timedespite being caught out by the rain in the final few minutes. "I washaving quite a good time in the rain and doing really well at the startof the session," commented Troy, "but then I put a rain tire on thefront and an intermediate on the rear and the time I ended up doing wasnearly a second slower than what it should have been because I got caughtbehind a few guys on that lap. Then I came in and put an intermediate atthe front but it started to drizzle a bit more and it wasn't worthpushing it because my position is quite good. Everything's working wellbut I don't need to be fastest every time."

Xaus (Ducati Infostrada) ended up fifth quickest with a time of1:49.028, but showed his ability in the difficult conditions with astring of quick laps half-way through the session. "That wasn't so bad,we're working well and have had no crashes or problems," declared Ruben.

"Today the track was difficult and it makes you want to try more, butwhen you get so much confidence, it's easy to make mistakes. It'sFriday and I wanted to get the bike ready, I tried gears, tires andsuspension and the bike feels good, I'm half a second off the lead.It's important to be up at the front without any problems and get thebike working well and be ready for strange conditions like Silverstone.We're in the top 5 and that's good enough."

FRIDAY QUALIFYING:1. BOSTROM (DUCATI L&M) 1:48.335;2. Hodgson (HM Plant Ducati) 1:48.725;3. Walker (Kawasaki) 1:48.751;4. BAYLISS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1:48.981;5. XAUS (DUCATI INFOSTRADA) 1:49.028;6. Martin (DFX Ducati) 1:49.815;7. Lavilla (Suzuki) 1:49.951;8. Chili (Ducati NCR) 1:50.212;9. Edwards (Honda) 1:50.610;10. Sanchini (Kawasaki) 1:50.736.
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