Motorcycling: Corser's surprise in qualifying issues challenge to Bayliss

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The Independent Online

Bayliss, the championship leader, dominated a recent testing session in Italy on his twin-cylinder Xerox Ducati, and was expected to repeat the performance in Valencia. But he had to settle for second fastest yesterday, 0.004sec slower than Corser's four-cylinder Alstare Corona Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Another Australian, Steve Martin, achieved an astounding lap on the British-built Foggy-Petronas FP1 of former Superbike champion Carl Fogarty, finishing third on the 900cc machine. His time of 1:35.653 was only 0.733sec slower than Bayliss recorded on his 1,000cc bike.

The British contender James Toseland, who is only one point behind Bayliss in the title chase, travelled to Spain knowing that his Ten Kate Honda is not suited to the tight track, and finished the day in 11th place, 1.196sec off provisional pole.

"It was one of those days where we had to try a lot of things, even if we didn't have much success with most of them," Toseland said. "At the end we were doing consistently good lap times, and we have a pretty good base to work on for Superpole, when I'm sure we can erase all the things from today. I feel quite comfortable with our settings."

Roger Burnett, Toseland's manager, said: "If it rains it could play into our hands. If not, the weekend could turn into a bit of a damage limitation exercise."