Troy Bayliss took victory on board the Ducati 1098 F08 in the opening race of the 2008 World Superbike Championship.
BAYLISS POWERS TO VICTORY IN RACE 1 AND LEADS THE SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ROUND 1 IN QATAR
Losail (Qatar), Saturday 23rd February: Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) stormed to victory on board the Ducati 1098 F08 in the opening race of the 2008 World Superbike Championship today, a spectacular result for the team and a significant maiden win for the new F08 machine. Bayliss then narrowly missed out on a podium place in race 2, finishing fourth just ahead of team-mate Fabrizio. Young Michel Fabrizio made a determined start to his year and leaves Qatar with 18 championship points, accumulated from his tenth (race 1) and fifth (race 2) place finishes. Bayliss, with 38 points, leads the World Superbike championship after round 1 here in Qatar.
Troy Bayliss (1st place – race 1)
"It’s a very good start to the season for the team, exactly what we needed! Overall I’m very happy with the results. In race 1 I didn’t make the greatest start and so it took me a while to make it to the front of the pack. The last eight laps were a bit of a battle against Max but I was finally able to get past him and, although I made a couple of small mistakes, I was pretty comfortable and took the win. I would have loved to take another podium in race 2 but it wasn’t to be and I come away from this round leading the championship by 2 points so I can’t exactly complain. Now I’m ready to move on to Phillip Island where I hope to have another great weekend."
"I wasn’t happy with race 1 as although I didn’t have any problems with the bike I wasn’t totally comfortable with my leather suit. I think I could have gone better if it hadn’t been for that issue. Race 2 went much better and although I got a bad start I was able to move up through the field from ninth to fifth place. Anyway, we’ve made a good start and I am seventh in the championship after the first round so that’s a positive start for me and the team I would say."
RACE 1: 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 2. Biaggi (Ducati); 3. Corser (Yamaha); 4. Xaus (Ducati) 5. Neukirchner (Suzuki) 6. Checa (Honda) 7. Nieto (Suzuki) 8. Kagayama (Suzuki) 9. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox)
RACE 2: 1. Nieto (Suzuki) 2. Xaus (Ducati) 3. Biaggi (Ducati); 4. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 5. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 6. Lanzi (Ducati)
POINTS (after 1 of 15 rounds): Riders –1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 38; 2. Biaggi (Ducati) 36; 3. Nieto (Suzuki) 34; 4. Xaus (Ducati) 33; 5. Corser (Yamaha) 25; 6. Neukirchner (Suzuki) 19; 7. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 18. Manufacturers – 1. Ducati 45; 2. Suzuki 36; 3. Yamaha 25; 4. Honda 16; 5. Kawasaki 5