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Former WSB boys find the going tough at Donington

Former WSB boys find the going tough at Donington

Former WSB boys find the going tough at Donington

Reigning World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards and his title predecessor Troy Bayliss arrived at their first Cinzano British Grand Prix last weekend hoping massive local support and previous Donington Park experience would help push them on to their best MotoGP performances of the season. Both riders spent much of the weekend contesting the top places on the time sheets before qualifying on the third and second rows respectively, but found the going a lot tougher once the race got underway on Sunday.

`I had a small problem with the clutch at the start and then another rider touched me and I had a bad collision with Ukawa,´ explained Edwards, who eventually finished tenth on the Aprilia. `So I decided to start my recovery overtaking Hopkins, Hayden and Jacque easily. When I passed Jacque I banged my right knee against the white line and lost the slider. That forced me to change my riding because in the left corners I used my knee as normal but in the right corners I was unable to touch the asphalt. The problem is that there are only 3 left corners at Donington so I lost a lot of time!´

Bayliss was also undone by the combative opening laps, getting embroiled in a tough battle in the pack before finally escaping to finish fifth. `I got a reasonably good start until everybody started sticking it into me!´ said the Ducati rider. `I found it hard to get into a rhythm. There was a bit of paint swapping going on, people crashing and I wasn´t with it there for a while. Even if I didn´t get mucked around so much over the first eight laps or so I think I would have still been fourth or fifth, which is what I expected before the race. Maybe I would have had a better dice with Loris or something but I got into a good rhythm for the final two thirds of the race and my times at the end were quite good - but still they weren´t good enough to be at the front so we are missing something and we have to keep working hard to find out what it is´.

MotoGP, 2003

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