Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) smashed all existing lap records at the Lausitzring circuit as he scorched to a provisional pole position for Sunday's tenth round of the World Superbike championship in Germany. The Australian's time of 1m38.331s was over one second quicker than the 2002 lap record, well inside Lorenzo Lanzi's Superpole time from last year and two-tenths quicker than fellow countryman Troy Corser (Suzuki). Team-mate Lanzi also got his weekend off to a good start, setting sixth quickest time but lapping within two-tenths of a second of Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) in third place.
"It was a good start to the weekend" declared Troy. "Luckily we got some reasonable weather but it was a little bit cooler than when we tested here in July and the track is in reasonably good condition. The tyre I did the long-run here in the test doesn't seem to be working well now so we used a harder one and still did some pretty good lap times. Already we've got a pretty good solution for the race and just hope to get some good weather again. I did 17 laps on the one tyre and some really good laps towards the end of the run. Then I put a new tyre on before the end of the session and went a little bit faster than what I'd done before. So far it's looking good but we'll take it day by day".
"I am quite pleased with today but seeing as I dominated the weekend last year I thought I could come here and be right there with the leaders this time as well" commented Lorenzo. "However we are in sixth place, which is not bad, two-tenths of a second off third place. We did a lot of work today and tried a number of solutions on the bike. There's still space for improvement tomorrow and that's important. We were able to get a good idea of which tyres to use for the race, both front and back, but tomorrow and Sunday maybe it'll be hotter so the strategies will change. Let's see if we can stay up at the front and not mess up the Superpole this time".
Karl Muggeridge - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (5th Position - Fastest Lap 1'38.948 - 23 Laps);
"We're just trying to improve the handling characteristics. Our outright speed is OK and our lap-by-lap is pretty good, we're just trying to get some more life out of the tyres. The climate change tomorrow, when it is supposed to be warmer, should help. If it doesn't, then we will keep working away. It was frustrating today sometimes, because very time you wait to the end to try and go quicker you find traffic, and some guys just sit in the middle of the track. It was difficult to find a clear section but things are generally going the way we want them to."
James Toseland - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (8th Position - Fastest Lap 1'39.347 - 23 Laps);
"We didn't have a perfect setting at the beginning of the timed session, and then right at the end we tried something now, so no big problems. This morning we had a problem with the gearbox, which is now solved. We are slowly getting the bike to where we wanted it to be and now it's pretty good."
Troy Corser- 2nd, 1:38.550:
Well that's the happiest I've been for a long time on a Friday afternoon. I was the quickest out there today, but then I think that Bayliss stuck in a softer tyre right at the end of the session. The grip was definitely up since this morning and that made quite a difference to our set-up. We tried some different gearings this afternoon and it was better in some places and not so good in others, so now we'll change the internals and we should be able to improve quite a bit. But, as I said, I'm pretty happy this afternoon.
Yukio Kagayama- 3rd, 1:38.869:
This morning my body felt a little tired but I think that?s because I was fighting a cold or maybe flu. But, in the afternoon I felt much better and I was more comfortable on the bike because I was able to concentrate harder. The lap times this afternoon are not so bad, but I prefer a higher position! I had a problem with one tyre today, but apart from that nothing serious. Tomorrow we'll change the rear suspension a little to see if I can get the power down better exiting the turns.
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia);
"Not a bad day. The bike feels a little different from when we tested here, which I think could be down to the higher winds today. We've got a few things to try out for tomorrow. The bike's working well so we are just trying to make it a little easier and more consistent to ride. The rear tyre is the critical thing just now. The temperatures are lower today than when we tested and as a result we're seeing much higher wear today."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia);
"The feeling with the bike is good but the lap time could be better, so maybe I must ride faster! I did a lot of long runs today and also did quite a lot of laps on my number two bike. We came here with a good setting and now both bikes have the same feeling, so I am happy. I have a few things to try tomorrow and I am confident that we can be in good condition before superpole."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France);
"We still have a few things to try and make the bike better for tomorrow but overall it's not too bad. The times are all very close so if we can make a small improvement then we can make it into superpole."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Motor France);
"This is a very tight circuit so I am learning all the time. Normally I can expect to make an improvement for Saturday and I think that the more I learn the faster I can go."
- 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1m38.331s
- 2. Corser (Suzuki) 1m38.550s
- 3. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m38.869s
- 4. Pitt (Yamaha) 1m38.871s
- 5. Muggeridge (Honda) 1m38.948s
- 6. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 1m39.048s
- 7. Haga (Yamaha) 1m39.101s
- 8. Toseland (Honda) 1m39.347s
- 9. Barros (Honda) 1m39.572s
- 10. Walker (Kawasaki) 1m39.591s