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Hello, Ruben Xaus

Ducati’s WSB squad is an interesting lot. Troy Bayliss is leading the championship, but it has been quite some time since he was the fastest rider on the team.

First, Ben Bostrom goes on a tear . . . winning five straight races. Now, Ruben Xaus emerges as, perhaps, the quickest WSB rider at the moment.

Xaus, whose crashing and inconsistency earlier this year would have destroyed the confidence of just about any rider, seems to know he is destined for WSB glory and has now come through with a victory (in the last round) and a provisional pole at Assen (for the weekend). What happened?

Xaus is an enormous talent. Carl Fogarty is his mentor, and Fogarty has been waiting for Xaus to emerge. The wait is apparently over. Xaus looks like he could be faster than either Bostrom or Bayliss. The bottom line is that Ducati has a great bike, and a great depth of talent this year. Indeed, Bayliss’ teammates are responsible for taking many championship points from him. If he can stay ahead of Honda’s Colin Edwards, however, he will win the championship.

Perhaps, the real story this season is the emergence of Bostrom and Xaus as WSB stars of the future.