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Bostrom claims deserved second race success
1 April 2001
Ben Bostrom claimed his first World Superbike victory as a non-wild card rider with a hard fought victory in the second race of the day at Kyalami after taking advantage of Colin Edwards misfortune after a superb dice that lasted more than half the race.
If race one at the 2.649-mile AA Kyalami was devoid of any edge-of-the-seat action, the World Superbike regulars more than made up for that in the second race of the day as Ben Bostrom claimed his first WSBK victory as a factory Ducati rider.
There was possibly more action in the opening two laps of the second 25-lap race at Kyalami than there was in the whole of race one as once again Australian Troy Bayliss got the jump on fellow factory Ducati rider and pole position holder Ben Bostrom into the first corner although on this occasion the L&M rider was able to force his way back to the front through the very quick Goodyear sweep to lead the opening lap as Troy Corser further demoted Bayliss at Wesbank.
With race one winner Colin Edwards stuck in fourth on the opening lap, Bostrom was keen to make a break in the early going and despite numerous lurid moments the Californian rider was able to make a break and open out more than a second of breathing space as Edwards fought past Bayliss on lap two and then Corser in a fine late braking move at Wesbank a lap later.
Edwards then set about cutting into Bostrom's lead taking a tenth here and a tenth there over the next ten laps until the Castrol Honda VTR1000 was completely tucked in behind the Ducati on lap twelve. However Bostrom proved to be a harder nut to crack than many people anticipated and he brilliantly fended off the attentions of Edwards, who tried several very determined manoeuvres into Goodyear and Wesbank before finally taking the lead with what can only be described as an inch perfect move through the first two corners on lap 16 where the two men came within centimetres of colliding as Edwards stuffed the Honda down the inside of Bostrom as the pair went side by side through the very quick Welkom curve.
Edwards' joy lasted precisely four corners as his bike suddenly slowed going into the Winfield esses and the Texan could do nothing but curse his luck as he toured back to the pits to record his first retirement of the season.
Edwards' demise left Bostrom in the clear as by this time his lead over second place man Bayliss, who usurped Corser going through the quickest point of the track known as the mineshaft on lap 8, was a healthy 2.5 seconds.
Despite a determined effort from the Australian rider, Bayliss had to settle for his fourth consecutive runner's up spot as Bostrom wheelied over the line with more than four seconds to spare for his first World Superbike win since Laguna Seca 1998 and his first as a factory rider.
Corser gave Aprilia another podium result with a lonely third place on a bike that suffered from overheating brakes throughout the two races while Neil Hodgson scored his first points of the day with a fine fourth place after Tadayuki Okada once again retired the second Castrol Honda with electrical difficulties just as he began to threaten Corser for third.
Ruben Xaus came home in a fine fifth spot after holding off the attentions of Regis Laconi for virtually the entire race while Gregorio Lavilla continued his consistent points scoring record with seventh place, more than half a minute behind Bostrom.
Pierfrancesco Chili was a disconsolate eighth on the best of the Suzuki's, which started the weekend with a lot of promise and then faded away over the longer race distances and ninth place Giovanni Bussei was within striking distance of the veteran Italian at the end of the race after another strong run in the NCR Ducati.
Stephane Chambon finished in his almost customary tenth place ahead of Brock Parkes, Robert Ulm and Michele Malatesta, who scored his first points for the Bertocchi Kawasaki team with 13th spot. Completing the points scorers were Lucio Pedercini and Bertrand Stey while James Toseland was all set for another top ten finish when he went missing with seven laps to go joining Akira Yanagawa on the retirement list after the Japanese driver crashed his factory Kawasaki on lap two.
After four races of the 2001 World Superbike Championship Troy Corser still holds the championship lead by virtue of his double victory at Valencia and a pair of thirds here in South Africa although his advantage has been cut to just two points by the even more consistent Troy Bayliss while Colin Edwards and Ben Bostrom are also well placed to snatch Corser's lead away when the WSBK circus reaches Phillip Island in three weeks time.
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