Reigning Superbike champion Troy Bayliss made it three in a row in the 2002 Championship with victory in Australia today.
The champ made it look all too easy over the 2.762-mile Phillip Island circuit. Honda Pole sitter Colin Edwards came home in second place some two and a half seconds behind Bayliss' Ducati.
Edwards had led away from the start with Bayliss tucking comfortably in behind. Under a perfect blue sky, Bayliss waited until lap 6 to make his way past Edwards and into the lead. As he made his move his team-mate, Ruben Xaus, almost following him through past the American.
And so it was to settle up front: Bayliss from Edwards from Xaus. The lead three had quickly built up a break from the rest of the grid and an their own race up front.
Edwards kept Bayliss in sight but the expected challenge for the lead never materialized. An uncharacteristic mistake, a missed gear, from the Texan on lap 18 left Bayliss unchallenged to the chequered flag.
By this time Xaus on the other Infostrada Ducati was more than ten seconds down on his team-mate. Further down the field, Ben Bostrom rode an unspectacular race to fourth place, finishing ten seconds behind Xaus. He only gained the place on the last lap by nipping past Brit Neil Hodson on the HM Plant Ducati.
Sixth place saw another strong performance from Kawasaki rider Hitoyasu Izutsu who had been involved in a race-long battle with Suzuki rider Gregorio Lavilla and HM Plant Ducati rider James Toseland.
Chris Walker and Lucio Pedercini rounded up the top ten.
Aprilia rider Noriyuki Haga was not able to go the distance in the race and retired some 13 laps from the end citing lack of brake pressure as the reason.