“Dominating . . . Untouchable . . . Supremely Confident . . . Flawless.” Do you remember when these words were applied to Troy Bayliss and his Ducati just two months ago? Bayliss started this 2002 WSB championship like a major league all-star playing in the minors. He had no peer. Now, Honda and Colin Edwards are receiving the same adjectives, as Edwards goes into Assen this weekend having won five straight races (beginning with race two at Laguna Seca). Having complained the first half of the season that Bayliss had a faster bike (we didn’t believe him at the time, but now we are not so sure), Edwards now has the upper hand with a revised Honda engine that seems to walk away from the factory Ducatis.
The level of Bayliss’ dominance made this season seem strange, and now the complete reversal (with Edwards on top) makes it seem even stranger, but more interesting. Still 29 points behind Bayliss, Edwards will need more than a victory in each of the final four races (two rounds). He will need Bayliss to finish well off the podium at least once, and that is still an unlikely prospect.