Troy Bayliss pulled a last minute quick lap out of the bag to clinch provisional pole position for the Ducati Xerox Team at a hot and humid Misano Adriatico circuit on Friday. The Australian was languishing in a lowly top 10 position for much of the session as he completed a race simulation, but then bolted a fresh tyre on towards the end to produce two stunning laps that just edged him ahead of fellow Australian Troy Corser (Suzuki) and the Kawasaki duo of Règis Laconi and Chris Walker.
"I had just done a long run with the hardest tyre Pirelli have got" declared Troy. "The first lap was just like the last lap which was not incredibly fast but at the end of the race it could come in handy and tomorrow I'll do another long-run with the next softer one and we'll see which one is the safest and fastest and go from there. I want to go faster than two months ago but you can't because the track's not in good condition as it's really hot. But we did a bit of a long run and we've got one tyre picked already. The tyre I did my quick lap on is the one I'll use for the long-run tomorrow and those are the two options I've got. We've basically got the same bike from Brno, not the same as the one we used in the tests here because today it's 15° warmer and that makes a big difference."
Team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi qualified in provisional thirteenth place but with the top 15 riders all within one second of each other, the 24-year-old Italian is within striking distance of the men in front.
"I was feeling really good this morning when I set fourth quickest time but this afternoon we concentrated on testing several different tyres seeing as my race pace is already pretty good. I was lapping close to Troy so that gives me confidence for tomorrow and the race day" commented Lorenzo. "When we fitted a slightly softer tyre to do my time there were a lot of riders out on the track and I made a big mistake, which ruined my lap and then there was no more time left to do another one."
Troy Corser - 2nd, 1:35.016:
Second quickest is ok, considering I wasn't chasing a lap time. We're trying to find a good set-up and that's what we've been working on today. We made some changes to the bike after Silverstone and this has been my first chance to try them out. In some areas the bike feels stronger and in other areas a bit weaker, so now we'll try and find a good balance. I had a little tip-off this morning when the bike went into neutral going into the first left-hander, but fortunately I didn't hurt myself. Because of my recent attack of chicken pox and the high temperatures today, my energy levels are bit down now, but it's no problem when I'm on the bike.
Yukio Kagayama- 9th, 1:35.561:
I'm happy today because I am enjoying riding the bike much more. The clutch feeling is better and I have more control of the bike which means I can rider harder and still stay consistent. So much more fun! My hand gets a bit sore after many laps and also my back. My back is a bit of a problem in the long turns and the chicanes but I only notice the discomfort after I get off the bike. But this is my life and it's no problem when I am on the racetrack.
James Toseland - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (8th position - Fastest lap time 1'35.553);
"We were consistently one of the quickest and just with the new race tyre we have one problem around the long left corner, when it's in a lower gear at maximum torque. The times are very close, so I'm not too worried about eighth place right now, because the bike feels good and the team is working well."
Karl Muggeridge - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (15th position - Fastest lap time 1'35.965);
"We had a few things to try in that timed session and we ran out of time a bit, so we didn't get a chance to put in a new front tyre with the new rear, to find the best overall setting for today. So I just went with a front that had done a dozen laps and the rear was brand new. It gave me a few warnings but on the last chicane, even though it all felt right until I fell, I ended up on my head. It's not the way it's supposed to be. Otherwise things feel pretty good, we have good speed from the bike, and I am confident we can do it; but we don't need these little setbacks along the way. But we have another qualifying tomorrow anyway."
Alex Barros: "The new traction control is ready for one of his bikes as
planned. But the work on the suspension of the front fork and the
perfect choice of the tyres took much time today. So I didn't want to
loose precious time with the new system. We still have some work to do."
- 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1'34.903
- 2. Corser (Suzuki) 1'35.016
- 3. Laconi (Kawasaki) 1'35.166
- 4. Walker (Kawasaki) 135.255
- 5. Martin (Petronas) 1'35.313
- 6. Pitt (Yamaha) 1'35.448
- 7. Fabrizio (Honda) 1'35.466
- 8. Toseland (Honda) 1'35.553
- 9. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1'35.561
- 10. Nieto (Ka wasaki) 1'35.667