Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) shrugged off sweltering temperatures at the Misano World Circuit to clinch provisional pole position in Friday qualifying. The 38 year-old Australian let all his rivals do all the work for much of the session before slipping in a quick time of 1m36.479s in the last few minutes to take the top slot. Team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi on the other hand was out of luck in the final stages as he slipped down from a provisional sixth to tenth place at the end of the session.
"Sometimes I wonder why you go testing because you're a second and a half slower than what you were in the test. They've resurfaced the track and it's 20° hotter as well so you might as well just go to the beach!" joked Troy. "Apart from that it went OK. My best lap was still half a second slower than what I did on my last lap of the long-run when we came here so of course I'm not so happy about that. It can't be faster anyway when the conditions are like this. It's really hot out there, almost 50° on the track, but there's a lot of wind as well and there's no feeling at all down the fast right on the back straight but everyone's in the same boat and we just have to get on with it. I'm worn out because we're trying to get the bike setting better from the one in the tests which didn't work well".
"I expected a bit better because of the good results we did in the tests here a short time ago" declared Lorenzo. "It's a lot hotter here now and we struggled a bit with the bike setting because we had to change a lot of things. Then five minutes from the end I was sixth with a good time. The others put on softer new tyres and I didn't because I think that the track will be quicker tomorrow morning and I'm keeping an extra set of tyres to do a good time. It's going to be tough for the race because it's difficult to pass here, although the long fast right is really exciting in fifth gear and much better than before. I like this track but the important thing is to get things set up right tomorrow morning for the race."
"I'm pretty happy with today. For the first time at the new circuit, the team has worked really well and we've found a setting on the bike in just one day so that's not so bad. The average time was pretty good on race tyres - we didn't use the soft tyre at the end because I wanted to concentrate on race tyres. We haven't really found a completely comfortable set-up yet and there's still a long way to go. However, on times we haven't got so far to go, it's only a second. We'll get our heads together tonight and discuss everything about the new track and the problems we've got and I think then tomorrow will be good."
"I am not so happy this afternoon. We changed the set-up slightly after the morning practice and the feeling was better at the beginning of the session, but towards the end it was very warm and it was difficult to do a good lap time. Towards the end I had some slower riders with me and I tried to push to do a fast lap alone but it was not possible. I think we will think about what to do on the bike for tomorrow morning because the grip will be better in the morning so that will be a very important session. I like the new track, I think the only complication is when the it gets very hot it is more slippery. In any case, it's ok and I like it."
Yukio Kagayama - 3rd, 1:36.803:
"Considering this is my first time here I am pretty happy to be third just behind two riders who have tested here before. It is always a bit difficult when you come to a new track because you have to learn it before you can go fast. The new layout is very technical and there are quite a few bumps, so there is a lot to discover - quickly. I knew about the bumps beforehand, so I was expecting them, but they were not as bad as I was led to believe. The grip level of the track is not bad but, as usual, when the temperature goes up the grip goes down. We made some improvements to the chassis setting today and now we have to see if we can make the bike better tomorrow. I still have to get more knowledge about the track, but I feel this could be quite a positive weekend for us."
Max Biaggi - 11th, 1:37.766:
"Today, especially this afternoon was a little frustrating. First I had to learn the track before I could push hard. The track is ok, but it is quite bumpy and that is unusual for a new track, or a track with a new surface. The grip level is so-so, but my biggest problem this afternoon in timed qualifying was that my bike cut out a couple of times. I think there was about seven minutes until the end of timed qualifying and I wanted to set a quick lap or two, but when I was on one of my fast laps, the bike just cut out. I managed to restart it ok, but then it did it again and basically I lost any chance of improving my lap times. Afterwards I spoke with my mechanics and they think that maybe a sensor was playing up and it sent the wrong information and that's why the bike stopped. They will check everything, look at the data and hopefully they will find the cause of the problem. It is a pity because I feel I could've qualified much higher up the grid if I had not had that problem."
Troy Corser (2nd - 1'36.524 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team);
"Today's been good and we've pretty much got the bike set up as it was at the test here last month. The conditions today are similar to those at the test so we already have some good data to go on. We made some small changes from the morning session to this afternoon because the track temperature was fifteen degrees higher. My biggest concern is with the tyre wear and the number of laps we're due to do in this heat; right now the tyres are wearing out after too few laps because of the track temperature but I'm sure we're not the only team suffering. I'm reasonably happy though with today's progress."
Noriyuki Haga (5th - 1'37.453 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team);
"Today I've tried some different settings; I haven't yet found the right one but I have found which direction we need to go in. We will continue to work on that tomorrow. We only used one tyre today which is good because it means we have more saved for tomorrow. We will spend some time tomorrow doing race distances on our tyre choices to find out what will be best for us. I had a small crash this morning when the front washed out on me but it was nothing serious. The track feels okay but it is so different to the old track; I'm glad we tested here last month as it has given me a bit of a head start."
- 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1m36.479s
- 2. Corser (Yamaha) 1m36.524s
- 3. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m36.803s
- 4. Xaus (Ducati) 1m36.879s
- 5. Haga (Yamaha) 1m37.453s
- 6. Nieto (Kawasaki) 1m37.512s
- 7. Toseland (Honda) 1m37.522s
- 8. Fabrizio (Honda) 1m37.594s
- 9. Laconi (Kawasaki) 1m37.645s
- 10. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 1m37.692s