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Bayliss Storms to Provisional Pole in Friday Qualifying - March 3rd 2006


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    Troy Bayliss continues to make the headlines for the Ducati Xerox Team on his return to World Superbikes. The Australian former world champion set a time of 1m33.387s in glorious conditions at the spectacular Phillip Island track to take the provisional pole today. Ducati Xerox team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi was fifth quickest in the cooler morning free practice session, but was outside the top 16 in qualifying. Brazil's Alex Barros took advantage of a Bayliss slipstream to record second-quickest time while former Ducati Xerox rider James Toseland (Honda) and Troy Corser (Suzuki) make up the provisional front row.

    "Things went well this morning for the first exit, and I expected to go quite a bit faster in the second session but actually in the end the track was quite hot and a bit slower and I only bettered the time by a tenth of a second" said Troy. "I stayed out and did ten laps on the race tyre and my second-last lap was only two-tenths off my best. So it all went quite well but took a little while to get going, then in the end it all came together. We'll see how tomorrow goes, we've got second qualifying first thing in the morning, when it'll be cooler and I think it's going to be better. I didn't know Alex was behind me, which was when he did his time, but I know he's going to be coming in the future anyway, that's no problem. All I know is that I was consistent on my race tyre and that's the main thing at the moment. At the end of the session the guys thought I was only going to do 3 or 4 laps to see how the bike was, but it was feeling really good so I ended up doing 10 and ran out of petrol on the way into Honda corner but luckily I could roll all the way back to the pits!"

    "We started off with a rear tyre that was too soft and this led us astray for a bit, and as we only have a limited number of tyres available, we couldn't put on another set to do a quick time" declared Lorenzo. "This morning I went well so I'm pretty relaxed about everything. For tomorrow we had already decided to have the extra tyre that we didn't use today. For sure tomorrow the weather will be fine and the times will come down because it won't be as hot in the morning session. It's a pity we made the wrong tactics because it meant that we went in the wrong direction immediately at the start of the session".

    James Toseland - SBK Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (3rd position - 1'33.851);

    "We stuck a new tyre in the bike near the end and still did a pretty decent time. This tyre was spinning towards the end a lot more than the others so I think if we had the same tyre in the rear as we had earlier we could have challenged even more. The power of the Honda is awesome now so we need to try and get as much grip as we can. It's no good to have this power and just get it spinning. But the bike is good, and I'm happy that I'm riding consistently."

    Alex Barros: "I only had a few days for testing and we had to work hard on the settings of the Klaffi Honda Fireblade. Meanwhile I also got a good grip on the bike. And we are on the best way to reach our target. Conditions are nearly perfect now and I hope to improve my lap time tomorrow."

    Times;

  1. 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1m33.387s
  2. 2. Barros (Honda) 1m33.790s
  3. 3. Toseland (Honda) 1m33.851s
  4. 4. Corser (Suzuki) 1m33.868s
  5. 5. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m34.461s
  6. 6. Martin (Petronas) 1m34.501s
  7. 7. Haga (Yamaha) 1m34.577s
  8. 8. Walker (Kawasaki) 1m34.589s
  9. 9. Chili (Honda) 1m34.601s
  10. 10. Nieto (Kawasaki) 1m34.618s