WSBK » 29 July 2001
Bostrom blasts to Brands double.
Eager to avoid a repeat of race one where Hodgson had repassed the American several times, BB kept his pace up and soon had a comfortable 1.3secs buffer to the Brit.
By lap twelve attention switched to the Edwards/Chili battle for third, as the WSB veterans fought for supremacy – passing and repassing each other as they attempted to stay ahead of the charging Bayliss – who was now up to fifth on his #21 Infostrada Ducati.
With ten laps to go BB caught backmarkers up front, but these provided little obstacle for the man-of-the-moment in WSB racing BUT as he and Hodgson crossed the line it was apparent that the reigning BSB champion had closed the gap significantly (to 0.58secs).
Two laps later and Hodgson looked to be ready to pounce, the Englishman once again faster through the Hawthorns, Westfields, Dingle Dell section of the track, while his horsepower disadvantage to Bostrom was reduced by slipstreaming the American along the straights.
With the huge crowd now on tenterhooks, BB sensed the challenge and dug deep to produce ultra fast lap times once again, while Hodgson seemed unable to respond - slowing slightly.
Meanwhile, Bayliss had joined the two-way battle for third, with less than four laps to go, and slipped inside Chili at Surtees, before rocketing up to the back of Edwards – his main championship rival.
Bayliss took the final podium position the next time around at the Dingle Dell corner, and set about defending the position, with his leading teammate Bostrom (and Hodgson) by now way ahead of the Australian.
Into the final lap and BB had enough of a buffer to hold off Hodgson – and the #155 rider took an amazing fifth WSB race win in a row, with Hodgson less than a second behind after giving his all in the final laps on an apparently ailing machine.
Bayliss duly won the battle for third to extend his points lead to 53 over Edwards, who lost fourth to Chili in the dying moments, while Toseland finished an excellent sixth ahead of top wild card John Reynolds on the Red Bull Ducati.
The 100,000 strong crowd cheered Hodgson all around his slow down lap, but it was little consolation for the Englishman who had his heart set only on winning his home event.
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