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Posted on: Friday, Feb 24 2006

Australian former world champion Bayliss, who returned to Superbikes this year after three seasons in MotoGP, was the only rider to dip under the two minute mark as he powered his 999 to a time of 1m59.696s to take the first pole of the year, while his Italian team-mate Lanzi more than made up for yesterday's qualifying session by grabbing the second place grid slot, three-tenths behind Bayliss. Both riders took the unusual step of running race tyres in the one-lap Superpole dash, because Ducati Corse engineers had correctly judged that the performance of the Pirelli race tyre on the 999 was better than the qualifying tyre over the entire lap.

"It feels great to be back in Superbikes and it's always nice to have pole position" declared Troy. "I did three years in MotoGP and it did me a lot of good so now I've come back as a stronger all round rider. I actually expected to do a little better in Superpole but I did enough to get pole and I'm happy with that. We'll see how things are looking tomorrow, but I'll try and get the best possible start and then play it by ear. There are two or three guys who can give me a few problems, starting with Lorenzo, who's going well at the moment but we mustn't underestimate Corser and Pitt as well.

"It feels great to start on the front row alongside Troy" declared Lorenzo, "and we couldn't have asked for a better start for the Ducati Xerox Team in this year's championship. Yesterday we had a few problems with the wet conditions and I was very careful not to ruin things by making silly mistakes, but today I immediately got on the pace and I believe that I showed in qualifying and the Superpole that I can be up there at the front. The bike is going great and the suspension modifications really help me to have a good feeling. Tomorrow I'm sure that the two races will be really difficult because there are a lot of aggressive riders out there but I am really satisfied with my performance today".

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