Troy Bayliss set second quickest time for
the Ducati Xerox Team as his battle with reigning champion Troy Corser
(Suzuki) continued in first qualifying at Valencia. Just 43/100ths of a
second separated the two Australian rivals after the one-hour session while
another Aussie, Steve Martin (Petronas) and Japan's Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)
made up the other two slots on the provisional front row of the grid.
"I can't be fastest all the time but all things considered everything is
going OK" declared Troy. "We made a couple of minor changes to the bike in
Misano and everything seemed to work quite well. When we came here the bike
is so close to what it was last time we were here but we seem to be missing
a little bit of feeling in the front. So one bike we're definitely going to
have exactly the same tomorrow morning and test it again, but honestly we're
going OK and the times are good. Valencia is a bit strange in the afternoon,
you struggle for grip but on the race tyre, I'm using the hardest one
possible and it seems to be working well. This morning I did a lot of laps
on it and this afternoon we were just making a few changes here and there.
It maybe wasn't as good a session as it could have been but it was OK".
Lorenzo Lanzi improved later in the session to eighth place but then crashed
out with a couple of minutes remaining. "I was pushing hard because tomorrow
it looks as if it's going to rain and I wanted to be as far up the
timesheets as possible. I was doing another good time after the one that put
me into eighth place, then I crashed in the second right hander. The front
of the bike just turned in on me, I tried to keep it up and finish the curve
but there was nothing doing. But there's no problem and I'm not hurt".
James Toseland - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider - (11th position - 1'36.116);
"Not such an easy day but basically because we have been testing things we did not get the chance to at the Misano test we missed. Not new parts or anything, just a different setting to solve a problem we have. We have tried a lot of things here and one bike is quite a lot different to the other bike, just to see how this affects the problem we have. We tried another tyre which proved to be better, and a new rear shock as well, and the final time was nearly a second faster. But I am not so sure how much was in the tyre and how much in the rear shock. It was one of those days where we had to try a lot of things, even if we didn't have much success with most of them. At the end were doing consistently good lap times, and we have a pretty good base to work on for tomorrow, when I'm sure we can erase all the things from today. Our position in the times does not tell you where we really stand and I feel quite comfortable with our settings."
Giovanni Bussei - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider - (25th position - 1'37.520);
"That was not so easy, and it has been quite along time for me without riding a race bike. So coming here in Valencia, where all the riders tested quite recently, was not so easy. This morning I was just trying to get comfortable as I built up speed. We looked for balance on the bike and we found some good improvements. I hope that it will not rain tomorrow, so that I can continue to improve. I look forward to being competitive on Sunday, although it is not going to be simple. But this afternoon was a lot more comfortable than this morning."
Alex Barros: "The suspension was not really better. Tomorrow we will
work in the different direction. Also I used my tyres economically and
the bike became worse in the end of the session."
Steve Martin said: "The day has gone really well, although we had a few niggling electrical problems throughout the day. We carried on where we left off for the test, but it is not easy to be up there because every rider here is so fast it's not funny! The forecast for tomorrow was not great so I put a softer rear in at the end of the session, knowing that I might not make it into Superpole otherwise, and put everything into it. But, as well as the fast laps, we managed to do a lot of race testing and we will now be concentrating on our race distance set-up."
Craig Jones said: "I can't remember a day like today and it's frustrating, having had five trouble-free days of testing. The bike doesn't seem to have been running properly all day. I actually got into a decent rhythm mid-session and was expecting to knock another second off. But I am only four tenths off the time I set in testing here, although I know I should be doing better as the chassis feels great."
Friday qualify times, Superbike World Championship, round 3, Valencia, Spain:
- 1. Corser - 1:34.920
- 2. Bayliss - 1:34.963
- 3. Martin - 1:35.653
- 4. Haga - 1:35.658
- 5. Kagayama - 1:35.670
- 6. Xaus - 1:35.721
- 7. Abe - 1:35.974
- 8. Lanzi - 1:35.999
- 9. Nieto - 1:36.004
- 10. Foret - 1:36.026
Friday free practice times:
- 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1:35.605
- 2. Xaus (Sterilgarda - Berik) 1:35.746
- 3. Corser (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:35.968
- 4. Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:36.009
- 5. Martin (Foggy PETRONAS Racing) 1:36.242
- 6. Barros (Klaffi Honda) 1:36.407
- 7. Haga (Yamaha Italia) 1:36.413
- 8. Nieto (PSG-1 Kawasaki) 1:36.548
- 9. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 1:36.463
- 10. Laconi (PSG-1 Kawsaki)