WSBK – Qatar: Bayliss stuffing turkey in Losail … –

Qatar: Bayliss stuffing turkey in Losail…

WSBK - Qatar: Bayliss stuffing turkey in Losail ... -

Ultra domineering in the Superbike world championship for years, Ducati stalled this weekend: why did the Italian manufacturer stumble in Qatar, the first event of the season? Our special correspondent A. Laffût asked himself the question.

Ultra domineering for years in the Superbike world championship, Ducati marked the Saedi step in Qatar, at the launch of the 20th season of the championship (read).

It’s hard to understand how a champion like Troy Bayliss finds himself so far from the podium for two races. Fifth in the first round and eighth in the second, the Australian is already 26 points behind the championship co-leaders Toseland and Biaggi…

What are the reasons Ducati stumbled this weekend in Qatar? How the hell a driver of the caliber of Troy Bayliss – reigning world champion (read), winner of the last GP of Valencia (read) and systematic leader of the offseason tests (read) – can he find himself chasing after the points ?

The answer lies in the specific geometry of the Ducati and in the wear of the front tire. The Losail track is in fact famous for tormenting the front axles: with heavy downforce and violent braking, the front tires are very stressed on a track made very abrasive by the desert sand which settles there..

On the other hand, the Ducati has its own geometry: the weight distribution of the Italian twin has nothing to do with that of the Japanese four-cylinder. Suddenly, it requests the front axle even more…

But then, why did Bayliss have a great time this winter at Losail in 1’58.1 (read), which no Superbike rider has yet managed to match, not even this weekend during the extraordinary Superpole which saw Biaggi and Corser clash below 1’59 ?

Quite simply because the Australian rider was trying at the time of the very powerful Pirelli that the Italian manufacturer chose not to offer to the pilots this weekend … One reason for that: this tire would not have lasted. of the race.

But there is no doubt that Troy will be at the forefront again in Australia next weekend, to fight on equal terms with Biaggi, Toseland, Corser and Haga … !

A. LAFFUT – Photos DR

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