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Who can better Bayliss?

Ducati riding World Champion Troy Bayliss yet again proved himself to be class of the field in the second race today at Kyalami.

The Australian now finds himself firmly ensconced in the record books. Prior to today the most races won in a row in the World Superbike championship was five, scored first by World Superbikes legend Carl Fogarty and repeated by American Ben Bostrom. The most victories scored consecutively at the start of a season was four.

Both Noriyuki Haga and Ruben Xaus tried to displace the Australian World Champ from the lead, and Haga even lead for a good few laps early on, but at the end of the second race today, Bayliss had raised both records to six wins.

Though the latter part of the race was the familiar Ducati/Bayliss promotional run, the majority of the race was action at every corner. At the start, Bayliss streaked into the lead only to be set about by Noriyuki Haga. The Japanese rider saw fit to vent his frustration and aggression from his first race exit on the Ducati rider. Haga physically pushed and elbowed Bayliss out of the way to force his way to the front. Bayliss even momentarily took his attention away from the track to look around to see what on earth the Aprilia rider was playing at.

And so the two were to battle tooth and nail for the first couple of laps. Back and forth the lead changed. 'Nitro Nori' was most determined to be in front and take the early advantage that his Dunlops offer. And by the second lap the Aprilia rider was doing just that and beginning to get a lead.

Further down the field and team-mate to Bayliss in the Ducati Infostrada team, Ruben Xaus, had powered his way up from his lowly 11th place on the grid to get him into fifth place by lap two. Colin Edwards found himself sitting in third place watching Bayliss getting left behind by the Japanese Aprilia rider, Haga, and receiving rather a lot of early attention from Brit Neil Hodgson on the HM Plant Ducati.

By lap three Haga was really stretching his lead and almost to show that he really as pushing, managed to throw up some dirt on to the track. Ruben Xaus was by this time harrying Hodgson for the fourth place found his way past on this lap. Hodgson fought back, briefly, but his efforts were merely to put him briefly in the grasp of Ben Bostrom.

Haga in this early streak into the lead beat his fastest time around the circuit, but Bayliss kept him in sight, closing in again and letting Haga know that he was there. Behind them Ruben Xaus continued his march to the South African front and muscled his way through past Edwards.

And when it came it was very easy. Bayliss seemed to just power his way past Noriyuki Haga. The determined Japanese rider kept the battle with Bayliss for a couple of laps but was soon being homed in on by the young Ruben Xaus.



Related Pictures

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Xaus and Bayliss celebrate on the podium at Phillip Island WSBK 2002
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Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team [credit: Kawasaki Racing]
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Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team [credit: Kawasaki Racing]
Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team [credit: Kawasaki Racing]
Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team [credit: Kawasaki Racing]
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