Troy Bayliss has increased his World Superbike Championship lead slightly, despite coming away from the Brands Hatch round of the series disappointed with his performance.
Having set a furious pace in practice and qualifying, Bayliss was expected to be the rider to beat in the two races, but while he led each exchange in the early stages, he would come away with a second and 11th place finish.
Embarking on a thrilling tussle with Ryuichi Kiyonari in the first race, Bayliss admits he lost out on the chance to secure a final win at Brands Hatch after struggling with tyre wear issues on his Xerox Ducati.
Giving up the lead to Kiyonari on lap 21 of 25, Bayliss nonetheless held off a late charge by Max Biaggi to secure second place and a valuable 20 points to his title challenge.
However, there was little joy in the second race as Bayliss changed the tyres in a bid to find some further performance. It would prove to be the wrong choice though as he steadily dropped down the order to an eventual 11th place – one of his lowest classifications of the season.
"I'm quite disappointed to tell the truth as I hoped to do a lot better today,” he said. “By the last few laps of the first race the rear tyre wear was pretty bad and that's why we changed the tyre before Race 2. Unfortunately that was the wrong choice and there wasn't much I could do after the first few laps.”
Despite his race two result though, Bayliss has extended his lead in the championship to 82 points, with only four rounds – and 200 points – remaining.
“I am however happy with podium in race 1 as those 20 points have meant that I've increased my overall lead, even though it's by just a few points. That was a great race this morning and my congratulations go to Kiyo who really was fantastic here today."