Following the second day of World Superbike qualifying at Silverstone today, HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Tosleand will start tomorrow's 28-lap race from the front row of the grid. Team-mate Roberto Rolfo qualified in thirteenth position for a fourth row start.
As the predicted rain held off, Toseland continued his good form of yesterday by setting the fastest lap four times in this afternoon's second qualifying. The last of these set a new best Superbike lap at Silverstone with an impressive time of 1'24.999. Troy Corser just got the better of Toseland in the closing minutes by two tenths of a second.
The British rider entered the Superpole one-lap dash as the second fastest rider and put in an impressive performance to secure third place on the grid. His lap time was 1'24.621 - just 0.063 seconds behind pole sitter Troy Bayliss.
After a good start to the weekend yesterday, team-mate Rolfo was less fortunate today and starts tomorrow's race from the fourth row of the grid. However, the Italian is confident that he can fight his way to the front to secure two good results for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"We have moved up the grid compared to last year when James started from fourteenth. We had a wet Superpole and it didn't work out, then we had a dry race. Now we are facing a different challenge with today being dry and rain forecast for tomorrow. Anyway, we are happy with the results achieved. For Roberto, it's a pity we just couldn't get the package dialled in. We have seen some good results in the rain from him already so let's just wait and see what happens when we open the garage tomorrow morning."
"I am happy with the front row. In the end I was only 0.063 seconds off pole so it's not a bad result. We have a great set-up for the race and fingers crossed the weather will hold out for another day, although I'm expecting the worst. If it does rain, we are all in the same boat - I just have to take it as it comes."
"Actually it's been a little bit up and down for me all weekend. We've been going around in circles a little bit, but now I'm back inside the circle and I'm starting to feel more confident on the bike again. I've been struggling really on the first split which is not such a difficult section but we finally got it right this afternoon. It's possibly going to rain tomorrow and that throws a spanner in the works for everybody. Our bike is working OK but we can only really use one race tyre, the hardest one, and honestly the grip's down on that. If anyone can get away with using the softer one it's going to make it difficult for us but I honestly think that after 15 laps anyone who chooses that tyre is going to be going backwards pretty quick."
"I'm really pleased with my performance today, here it's very important to start from the front row because there aren't many places to overtake on this circuit and it'll probably rain tomorrow which will create some more problems for everyone. Over the past two days we've prepared well for the race in dry conditions, but haven't had much chance to try a wet weather setting. For the moment let me enjoy this front row position, which for me is very important. I felt that I went through that chicane in the second sector in a truly spectacular way, the feeling with the bike was perfect and I'm feeling confident about the races tomorrow".
Noriyuki Haga (2nd - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team);
"Today's Superpole was good. I had a good lap with no mistakes and even got my best lap time so far this weekend. It is annoying to be beaten by such a small margin but I am happy with front row. Tomorrow I hope it is sunny but I suspect it won't be! If it does rain it will be a bit of a gamble as we have not had a wet practice yet this weekend. It could end up being a survival race if we have no wet practice but a wet race - we will have to wait and see."
Troy Corser (5th - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team);
"Today we have made a lot of adjustments to our set up, constantly checking and refining where possible. I still lack some confidence in braking at the end of the back straight which we will work on before the race. It was good to see my name at the top of the board after the qualifying session this morning, it shows we have made progress and have the potential to win here. If it rains everyone will be in a similar position so it could prove very interesting."
"It's been a bit frustrating for me today because I couldn't get the feeling right on the bike. After Monza I felt very good, but I am not sure what has happened today. Anyway, I have been able to get up to the front from the back rows in previous races so hopefully I will be able to do this tomorrow. The forecast is for rain and I am usually quite strong in the wet, but I just have to wait and see what happens."
- 1. T. Bayliss - 1'24.558
- 2. N. Haga - 1'24.577
- 3. J. Toseland - 1'24.621
- 4. L. Lanzi - 1'24.810
- 5. T. Corser - 1'25.164
- 6. R. Xaus - 1'25.299
- 7. Y. Kagayama - 1'25.597
- 8. M. Biaggi - 1'25.866
- 9. K. Muggeridge - 1'25.886
- 10. J. Brookes - 1'26.116