Xerox Ducati's Troy Bayliss has taken his sixth back to back win at the fifth round of the Corona Extra Superbike World Championship at Silverstone in the UK.
“Nori and myself have had some good races over the years and we had another one today,” said Bayliss, “With three laps to go I nearly let it go. I knew Corser was out but in the end you still want to win races so I gave it another nudge and it worked out.”
Second place went to Noriyuki Haga on the Yamaha Italia machine, who led for the bulk of the race and had quite a battle on his hands trying to fend off Bayliss. “I was enjoying riding with Troy. I don't have disappointment for this result for we don't find good setting this weekend but good to get podium so I am happy,” commented Haga. “I didn't make mistake on last lap, but tyre was already finished and me finished also. Hungry a little bit, need lot of food for traction!” he smiled.
The final step on the podium went to James Toseland on his Winston Ten Kate Honda after an excellent start from fourteenth on the grid to seventh by the end of the first lap. The determined Brit just chipped away at his times and reeled in the front runners to take a very well deserved podium. “I just needed five more laps! It was my fault for not getting my finger out in superpole and putting it on fourteenth place on the grid,” he lamented, “Corser crashed in front of me which held me up. I was remembering Qatar with Haga crashing and taking Kagayama with him, I would have paid a fiver for that to happened again!”
Ruben Xaus on the Sterilgarda – Berik Ducati was back to his old self running at the front and challenging Bayliss for a podium finish. He managed to break the lap record twice during the race, setting a new one at 1min 26.785secs.
The race was action packed with a first corner pile up which kicked off when Troy Corser high sided on the way into Copse corner. The ensuing chaos saw Corser's team-mate Fabien Foret go down, along with Fonsi Nieto on the PAG-1 Kawasaki and Alex Barros on the Klaffi Honda. Barros had a very luck escape as his bike burst into flames and was coming straight at him, he had to get to his feet quickly and jump over his flaming machine!
The drama continued when Craig Jones of Foggy Petronas had a massive high side, “It was just one of those things,” he said, “One of the Ten Kate machines went across the grass and rejoined. A rider in front of me throttled off and I rolled off too, got back on the gas and the rear suspension had unloaded and I just went down. It was a shame as I was in a decent place having missed the first corner carnage.” Vittorio Iannuzzo got caught up in the crash and went down too.
The red flags came out at that point and although Jones did initially line up on the grid he opted not to race. Jones' team-mate Steve Martin suffered a technical on the nineteenth lap so neither Petronas made it to the finish.
Corser also lined up for the restart but crashed out at the final chicane on the first lap of the restart.
Tommy Hill on the virgin Mobile Yamaha had a steady run in the top ten for most of the race and finished in a creditable twelfth ahead of factory Ducati rider Lorenzo Lanzi.
Max Neukirchner's run of bad luck continued when he crashed out on the last lap having avoided the previous crashes.
WSBK race results (1) – Silverstone:
1. Troy Bayliss
2. Noriyuki Haga
3. James Toseland
4. Ruben Xaus
5. Andrew Pitt
6. Chris Walker
7. Regis Laconi
8. Karl Muggeridge
9. Alex Barros
10. Norick Abe