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Benelli??? Have they been in a SBK race this season?? This is the first I've heard of them this year. I thought they weren't racing 'till next year.. Are they only testing, or do they plan to race? Are they doing the full season?? Who's riding the bike(s)?
 

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this is benelli's first race. Peter Goddard is going to race for them. According to Benelli, they are going to race the rest of the season including Laguna Seca.



They are racing for Superpole and the experience. So far they are racing at a pace which puts them in the middle of the pack. Considering how early in the development this engine is in, that is an achievement in itself.
 

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Ducati 996r Factory vs. 996rs

http://www.motonline.com/superbike/racing/moto.jhtml;$sessionid$5RNGOE3VTBGUACRMKMMCFFD5AAAACIV1?categoria1=Superbike

The above lists all the bikes currently running in World SBK. What it doesn't make clear is that the factory bike is just that, supported directly by the factory. I'll give you one guess which version Bayliss gets.
 

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Re: 996R vs 996RS

The 996R is a 2001 model with the 998cc Testastretta engine. The 996RS is the 2000 model with the 996cc engine. Neil Hodgson in WSB rides Bayliss' 2000 racebike while Bayliss, Xaus and Bostrom ride the 2001 998cc Testastrettas. 996R = 2001 Factory machines, 996RS = 2000 Factory machines.
 
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