Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bayliss takes the double at record pace

Monza : Superbike - Races
With the Monza weather proving to be gloriously sunny, it shone brightest of all on Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) as he scored the wins in race one and two. He had serious problems from Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga on occasion, but taking the new lap record of 1'46.815 in race two to boot, he performed immaculately once again.
RACE ONE – The opening 18-lap race at Monza was the personal property of Bayliss, who won by over three seconds from eventual second place man Alex Barros, who had to work through the pack in assured fashion. Troy Corser took a close third, with Noriyuki Haga just squeezed off the podium in fourth.

A last gasp attempt to get on terms with this trio resulted in James Toseland crashing at the Parabolica on lap 17. A multiple rider first corner pile up, involving 7 riders in total, reduced the midfield and allowed the top riders to make a clean break at the earliest possible opportunity, as the rest picked through the fallen bikes and riders. No riders were seriously hurt in the crash.

RACE TWO – Bayliss had a three rider fight with Corser and Haga in race two, before stretching the legs of his loping Ducati twin to secure his second win of the day, and his fifth SBK race in a row. A slower starting Barros claimed fourth place, when a battle between himself and Toseland was terminated by Toseland slowing as his bike ran out of fuel. Toseland was clear of the following pack when trouble struck, and took fifth.

BAYLISS EXTENDS LEAD BUT CORSER STILL IN TOUCH – Bayliss now sits on a meaty 175 points from a possible 200 so far, while 2005 champion Corser is still well in the hunt with seven rounds remaining, having scored 139. A close battle is developing for third, with Toseland on 97, Barros on 95 and Haga on 93.

AUSSIES COME ON LEAPS AND BOUNDS – On another good day in SBK for Australian riders, Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia) scored a fifth and a sixth, putting smiles on the faces of his team, which is based only a couple of kilometres from Monza. Karl Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda) finished one place behind Pitt in each race, an encouraging pair of results for a rider recovering from recent spinal injuries.

KAWASAKI RIDERS UP AND DOWN – Régis Laconi (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) ran with the leading bunch in each 18-lap race and enjoyed his team's best individual finish of the weekend, with seventh in race one. He was forced out of race two with an electrical problem, and his team-mate Fonsi Nieto scored the top Kawasaki slot, in eighth, one place up on Chris Walker. Nieto was one of the unlucky seven who crashed in the first chicane of race one, an event in which Walker finished 11th.

ROLFO MAKES THE TOP TEN, ABE RACES AND NAKATOMI SHINES – Robby Rolfo (Ducati SC Caracchi) scored an eighth and a tenth place at Monza, in front of his home fans, and was the best scoring home rider of the weekend. Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France Ipone) raced on Sunday despite his huge crash of Friday, and also missing all of Saturday's practice.
Taken out by the melee on lap one of race one, he rode to 16th for pride's sake in race two. His team-mate, Shinichi Nakatomi, had two good rookie rides at Monza, taking tenth and 12th places.

LANZI TOP TEN AND THEN 11th – Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) did not have his best home weekend, running to a ninth and 11th place finish. A miserable Monza for Michel Fabrizio only gave him two points for 14th in race two, while Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Berik) was one of the first corner fallers in the opener, and took the last point on offer in race two.

SUPERSTOCK 1000 FIM CUP – Alessandro Polita (Celani Suzuki) jumped to the immediate lead in the Superstock 1000 race, with Danilo Dell'Omo (TCM Team Cruciani Corse) and Ricardo Chiarello (Lightspeed Kawasaki) in the second podium slots. At the end of lap three Chiarello had pushed through to second and was closing on the championship leader from then on.

He was unable to match the speed of the Suzuki man, but took a close second, only 0.357 from the win. Badovini made it a good day for the local MV factory, taking third on his Biassono Unionbike F4. In the championship Polita leads Badovini, with 50 points to Badovini's 32 and Chiarello third on 22.

SILVERSTONE NEXT UP FOR SBK HORDES – Silverstone, on May 28th, will form the first of two British races for the SBK field this season.


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