Troy Bayliss set the second quickest time for the Ducati Xerox Team in the opening World Superbike qualifying session at the Autodromo di Monza. The 37-year-old Australian, who knocked four-tenths of a second off his own circuit lap record, set way back in 2002, was just a fraction behind provisional poleman Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha). “I haven’t been to Monza for four years but the first exit hit the memory button and I remembered the place pretty well. Also the bike felt pretty good straightaway,” declared Troy. “After the first session I was a couple of tenths under my old lap record from 2002 so it was nice to go faster than that. This afternoon we tried a few things but the track wasn’t in great condition because there was a bit of rain, but I did a race simulation and was really fast. I had Nori sitting on me the whole way which made me go a little faster because he was in the slipstream but honestly I expect a few more people to do that pace if they are with me as well. It’s only Friday anyway so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi, who was riding a World Superbike machine for the first time at the high-speed Monza circuit, was relatively satisfied with his twelfth-quickest time but confident there was more to come as he gains more experience with the track.

“It’s the first time for me on this track with a Superbike, so I spent much of the day on a learning curve,” commented Lorenzo. “It wasn’t easy because this is a very fast track and you have to have a keen eye. In the afternoon I was improving but then it started to rain. I stayed out and in the last quarter of an hour I was the only rider to lap at a quick pace, together with Corser. I didn’t improve much but all the others had done their times in the first ten minutes when I didn’t have the right choice of tyres on. All things considered I’m quite satisfied. I did a lot of laps despite the light rain and I’m in Superpole which is always a good thing. Tomorrow let’s hope it doesn’t rain, but if it does, it’ll rain for everyone.”


Photos and text courtesy of Ducati Motor S.p.A.


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