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WSBK: Ducati Xerox Team kicks-starts 2006 campaign at Losail


by Flagworld



The Ducati Xerox Team officially gets its 2006 World Superbike campaign underway this weekend in the Gulf state of Qatar, the venue for the opening round of the championship at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday 25th February. The team will compete in this year's 13-round championship for production-based machines with a totally new rider line-up. Australian Troy Bayliss returns to Ducati to spearhead the squad and he will be flanked by the talented young Italian Lorenzo Lanzi, who earned his place in the team with two late wins at the end of the 2005 season.

BAYLISS IS BACK: Troy Bayliss is, to put it simply, a legend for Ducati. The 36 year-old from Taree in Australia burst onto the World Superbike scene in 2000 as replacement for the injured Carl Fogarty and then won the title the following year. After finishing runner-up to Colin Edwards in 2002, Troy moved to MotoGP in 2003 and 2004 with the factory Ducati team, with whom he obtained some superb results, in particular in 2003. Troy has now opted to return to the championship where he made his name, and the Ducati Xerox Team rider will surely be one of the protagonists in this year's series.

"The biggest thing is that it feels like I'm coming home ... and I don't mean to Australia!" commented Bayliss. "Even though the bike has changed quite a lot, the engine is still very similar and has been much improved since I've been away so it's a built-in package already waiting there for me. It reminds me of the bike I rode in 2002, especially after the couple of changes we made during the recent tests in Qatar. I think I'm pretty much there, it just needs a little bit of fine-tuning because we're already at the level we expected to be. The championship is looking strong now, all the manufacturers are back and it's going to be great to be there with Ducati and challenge all the other guys for the title".
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