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Bayliss takes stunning home win
4 March 2007
Xerox Ducati's reigning World Superbike Champion, Troy Bayliss took a superb race one win at round two of the Corona Extra Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island.
Britain's James Toseland lead for the bulk of the race but lost out on the last four laps as his tyres gave up the ghost.
Third place went to Max Biaggi on the singular Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki, following a big battle with Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga. Biaggi's team-mate Yukio Kagayama was under doctor's orders not to race following a heavy crash during qualifying which has left him with lung damage.
Off the line it looked like Bayliss had the hole shoot, but Biaggi muscled his way through from the second row of the grid. However his lead was short lived as Toseland swooped round the outside to snatch it from him.
Troy Corser on the Yamaha Italia wasted no time in getting in on the action, passing Biaggi for third place and one lap later he dispensed with Bayliss to take second. Haga had also got the better of the Roman Emperor and Biaggi was left languishing in fifth place.
The front three started to gap the chasing pack with Toseland leading from Corser and Bayliss in third. Lap seven saw Bayliss make his move taking Corser for second place. Corser didn't have an answer to this move and from this point on he started to drop back slightly due to tyre wear.
Bayliss waited until lap seventeen before he tried to take the lead. He made a move at MG corner but Toseland took it back in quite a rough manner – some fairing bashing went on! A couple of corners later Toseland waved an apology to the Ducati rider. But one lap later he shoved his Ducati under Toseland's Honda and made the move stick. Toseland's tyre was spent and he was unable to challenge any further.
Meanwhile the battle for third was hotting up with Biaggi catching Corser who was sliding around and out of his seat trying to hold onto his Yamaha. With two laps to go Biaggi took third place while poor Corser was pushed further back by hi team-mate Haga who still had some life left in his tyres and was able to take fourth place from him.
Josh Brookes had an impressive run on the Alto Evolution Honda finishing in twelfth place. His team-mate Karl Muggeridge didn't race due to crashing during second free practice; he knocked himself cold and dislocated his ankle.
Steve Martin was the only DFX Treme Honda to finish with his team-mate Michel Fabrizio retiring five laps in. Martin finished his home round in tenth place.
After the race Biaggi said, “We have had a problem since Friday, I don't feel comfortable on the bike especially on the bumps. I got a good start but I need to fix something on the bike but not too much. I need more speed but I had fun with Haga and Troy Corser. Third is better than fourth but I want to do better.”
Toseland admitted he had nothing left once Bayliss came by, “I controlled the race and was waiting for the gap, and I kept watching my board and it said plus zero. He came passed me and I pushed one hundred percent but he gapped me.”
Bayliss was his usual chirpy self commenting, “That was a good race for everyone except the other riders! James was fast from the start and I was kept busy with Troy Corser so by the time I looked at my board there were eight laps to go. I showed him a wheel and let him hear I was still there. He covered his lines well and I tried round the outside, but then he moved more to the middle of the track so I went up the inside. My tyres were gone and next time I'll leave it longer.”
WSBK race (1) results – Phillip Island:
1. Troy Bayliss
2. James Toseland
3. Max Biaggi
4. Noriyuki Haga
5. Troy Corser
6. Lorenzo Lanzi
7. Ruben Xaus
8. Max Neukirchner
9. Fonsi Nieto
10. Steve Martin
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