Monza (Italy), Sunday 13 May: Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) battled his way to a couple of hard-fought podium finishes in front of an 108,000 strong crowd at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Troy finished runner-up in the first race and then almost picked up the same result in the second encounter as Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga took a double victory. There was little joy for team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi, who finished seventh in race 1 and then had an electrical problem on the grid which meant he was a non-starter in race 2. Bayliss is still in fourth place in the table after gaining just three points on championship leader James Toseland (Honda).
"It was really hard work out there today, hats off to everyone on the podium, they were all riding brilliantly" declared Troy. "I didn't get off to a very good start in race 2 and had to be very forceful in the early laps. I then did my best laps in the second part of the race, but honestly I'm just happy to have been on the podium two times this weekend because we knew it was going to be very difficult here. Our bike is exactly the same as last year and we've managed to be nearly seven-tenths faster just through the settings. That's all good but there's nothing else we can do. There was a lot of action on the last lap. I was coming really strong at the end, Max made a pass on James, then Max got a big tank-slapper out of the chicane, I then had a good run on James, but I lost the front in the Parabolica and ran wide and James just had enough time to get under me but I'm quite happy with the two podiums today.
"For sure my start in race 1 could have been a bit more uneventful!" commented Lorenzo. "I made contact with Rolfo and had to ease off the brake. When I braked again I was going way too fast so I cut through the chicane to avoid causing an incident, and that was my race over at the start. Pity because the team and I had made an excellent choice of tyres, the set-up was perfect and I lapped well throughout the race. Doing those times was very important on this track. I wanted to get a better start in race 2 but unfortunately my 999 had an electrical problem on the grid. I put my hand up but the race started and I was unable to restart from the pit-lane."
Race 1: 1. Haga (Yamaha); 2. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox); 3. Biaggi (Suzuki); 4. Toseland (Honda); 5. Corser (Yamaha); 6. Kagayama (Suzuki); 7. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox); 8. Fabrizio (Honda); etc. Race 2: 1. Haga; 2. Toseland; 3. Bayliss; 4. Rolfo (Honda); 5. Biaggi; 6. Corser; 7. Kagayama; 8. Laconi (Kawasaki); etc.
Points (after 6 of 13 rounds): Riders - 1. Toseland 229; 2. Haga 194; 3. Biaggi 191; 4. Bayliss 164; 5. Corser 135; 6. Lanzi 107; 7. Xaus 106; 8. Neukirchner 81. Manufacturers - 1. Honda 238; 2. Yamaha 217; 3. Ducati 209; 4. Suzuki 191; 5. Kawasaki 77.