Despite a first qualifying session that was red flagged twice, and suffering a highside crash at the slow Priory corner, James Toseland (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) scored the fifth fastest time of a disjointed first day. Karl Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda) slotted into eighth place on the grid, with all the times improving as the track dried out after a wet opening unofficial practice session.
Several riders fell during the single hour of qualifying, but Muggeridge kept his machine upright throughout, to qualify for Superpole with ease, should the final qualifying session on Saturday prove to be wet.
Ronald Ten Kate - Team Manager;
"I am quite happy about how the weekend has started for us on the Superbike side of things. James did very well all day; even in the wet this morning, he was up there. This afternoon we had a dry session, which started off really well, but then he hit some dirt or something on the track, which caused him to crash. We had to go to James' second bike and we had to make some adjustments throughout the session to make the bike work the same as his number one machine. We are quite happy because in the first three sectors we are quite fast, but we have to focus a bit from now on the last sector. James was frequently up on the first splits only to lose his pole time in the final part. For Karl it is good to see him getting back up to fitness and getting on better with the bike. To have both riders in the positions they are in right now is good, but we know we have a lot of work to do to improve the bikes. I'm sure all the staff will work as hard as ever to make the bikes the best they can be."
James Toseland - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (5th Position - 1'27.418);
"I fell on some oil or dirt on the track. Troy Bayliss and I fell at the same time, and I landed on my ankle and my knee, but I am OK. We have quite a few things to try tomorrow, because we are losing a lot of time in just one particular section. I'm having to do it in first gear at the moment but I want to do it in second, like I did last year."
"Two crashes in one session, you wouldn't exactly call that going to plan," declared Troy. "It's a typical British track, the sort of thing I remember from the British championship, you always encounter weather like this and it always makes for strange accidents. The first one was in the first series of rights before the back straight, I ran a bit wide but touched the wet ripple strip and it was like soap on a window. I went down quite hard on my hip but I was OK. I got going on the second bike and a lot of guys crashed on damp patches at the same corner, after you come under the bridge just before Priory. I went in and was looking at Toseland picking himself up, and then before I knew it the back came around and flung me through the air and down I went, cracking my head. James came and helped me up which was nice of him! I thought my session was finished but the guys had fixed the first bike which had mowed the grass basically and I got in a rhythm again and we ended up with the fastest lap which is what it's all about."
Lorenzo Lanzi also crashed out in the slow Complex part of the track 25 minutes into the session and was unable to make the provisional cut-off mark for Superpole.
"It's a pity because for the moment I'm just out of the Superpole," commented Lorenzo. "I went for a slide at the start of the session, where Troy, Toseland, Walker, Borciani and Martin all crashed so I'm in good company! The conditions of the track were very slippery but at the end we managed to recover a bit. The only problem was the others put on new tyres in the last ten minutes and we had used them half-way through the session so everyone improved at the end. That's probably the only small mistake we made. Tomorrow let's hope it'll be dry, I must get into Superpole, I've always gone well here in the past, it's a track I like a lot so I'm sure I can do it."
Troy Corser - 2nd, 1:27.068:
I'm reasonably happy with how today went - especially considering the wet conditions this morning. For the first session we didn?t have the best set-up and we struggled a bit. In the afternoon, when the track dried out, we went back to the set-up we used here last year and it worked pretty well straight away. There was some damp on the track but I tried to keep away from it as it really wasn?t the line I wanted. I hope that it is dry tomorrow because Silverstone is a one-line track at the best of times, so the last thing we need is a wet race.
Yukio Kagayama- 7th, 1:27.599:
My wrist and ankle is still a little sore, but once I am on the bike it is no problem. My experience allows me to be able to ride in this condition ok. When the track was full wet, the grip was so-so, but when the track was half wet it was difficult. Today I had many small problems and because we did not have so much dry track time, it was a little difficult to know which direction to take tomorrow. I will sit down with my technicians and we will decide which way to start. For me this track has four sections. I am ok in the first three, but the last one is where I am losing some time, so I need to improve this area tomorrow.
Karl Muggeridge - Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider (8th Position - 1'27.648);
"My back is a bit stiff right now but I will have a good rubdown and then I'll be good for tomorrow. We are trying a lot of things on the bike at the moment, even which one to use as a number one bike. We are not really clear in that we need to achieve, so after this session it will become clearer when we sit down and work out what to do tomorrow. I'm not 100% satisfied right now and we basically need to improve the handling, so we can soak up the bumps and keep the line. We also need to get more traction and in different parts of the track we need to work on different things."
Alex Barros: "This was my first practice here under dry conditions
though it was slippery in the beginning. The track is new for me and I
had some problems. There are still some things we have to try and to
optimize. - The Silverstone race track is not so much a technical but a
physical challenge. I have to improve myself and I hope it will be dry
Craig Jones, 24th fastest, said: "Every time I was getting into a rhythm there was an interruption. I was black-flagged for no reason, next there was a red flag when Steve crashed, and then we had to test something for tomorrow right at the end of the qualifying session when I felt I could have gone quicker. While a lot went wrong, we still came out with a decent result which is not too far off the Superpole pace. And I have been concentrating on set-up today so I can chase times a bit more tomorrow. I am not too focused on making Superpole, as I don't need to be on the first four rows to have a good start. But this year is all about learning for me and it would be nice to try a qualifying tyre. We are going to concentrate on gearing overnight and try and shorten the bike so that I have more grip through the twisty sections."
Steve Martin, 27th fastest, said: "Things were looking good in the afternoon when I hit a patch where seven riders went down in the afternoon, so something was wrong with the track there. It was a massive high-side and I landed on my back and couldn't really walk straight after. It is difficult to get back in a groove after a crash like that, particularly on my second bike. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow so that we can make further improvements but it is going to be tough to make Superpole tomorrow, although this is the kind of place where a little set-up change can make a big improvement."
- 1. Bayliss - 1'27.011
- 2. Corser - 1'27.068
- 3. Nieto - 1'27.205
- 4. Haga - 1'27.364
- 5. Toseland - 1'27.418
- 6 Pitt A. Yamaha - 1'27.539
- 7 Kagayama Y. Suzuki - 1'27.599
- 8 Muggeridge K. Honda - 1'27.648
- 9 Walker C. Kawasaki - 1'27.656
- 10 Laconi R. Kawasaki - 1'27.721
- 11 Gimbert S. Yamaha - 1'27.730
- 12 Hill T. Virgin Yamaha - 1'27.807
- 13 Xaus R. Ducati - 1'27.810
- 14 Barros A. Klaffi Honda - 1'27.940