Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox Team) set a record-breaking lap time of 1m30.370s at the Donington Park circuit to power to his 14th Superbike career pole. The Australian, who turned 38 yesterday, was seven tenths clear of second-placed Yamaha man, Noriyuki Haga and a full second quicker than Régis Laconi (Kawasaki) and James Toseland (Honda), who make up the front row of the grid. Lorenzo Lanzi made a massive improvement today to shoot up to fifth place after qualifying fourth in today's final session.
"There seemed to be a lot of wind out there, I didn't do the first section well and went a bit wide on the left down through Craner but tried to keep cool for the rest of the lap" declared Troy. "I was a little bit disappointed as I thought I could do a 29.9 because, although most of us are pretty even on the first two splits, I'm really strong on the last section of the track. That could come in handy tomorrow because it's a long hard race and that's a good place to pass up the inside. We tried a long-run this afternoon but times started dropping off after about thirteen laps, so we tested another tyre, the lap times were a bit slower but we're very confident for the race. It's looking good for us, hopefully there'll be some good weather and some good racing for everyone."
"Fifth place is not bad but I thought I could get onto the front row" commented Lorenzo. "I said yesterday that I had to improve in the final split but instead of improving I made a mistake on my Superpole lap. At the penultimate corner I came in too fast and didn't open the throttle quick enough. I thought I could have done a low 1.31 lap which would have been enough for the front row. However it's OK, the feeling with the bike is good, race set-up is not bad either so we'll see how it goes tomorrow. From Friday to Saturday we have changed quite a lot to improve the feeling even though I had a crash today. I'll try and get a good start tomorrow. I'm right behind Troy on the grid so for both of us to get away from the rest would be great!"
"I made a mistake on my Superpole lap through Craner Curves and nearly lost the front end. I needed an advantage going into the Melbourne loop section of the track because that has been my weak point. The mistake meant that I didn't get that advantage and that is disappointing. I'm on the front row and I will give it my all tomorrow to please the home crowd."
"I am very satisfied after Superpole. The bike is not perfect yet but the team worked well and improved the performance. I really wanted to get under 1'31 in Superpole but I slid a little into the first bend and lost a bit of time. We'll see tomorrow but we have tried out our race tyres today and I felt good. I did 13 laps and no problems; the rear tyre was OK. I will use warm-up to try and make the bike go around here even easier, and feel better to go fast with.
Troy Corser (8th - 1'31.132 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team);
"The wind kicked me out on the first corner and I just couldn't keep it up; it just means that I'll start from the second row. I'm feeling confident about the bike; it really feels like mine now. Since we lost time yesterday due to the weather we've still got a final rear tyre option for the race to test tomorrow morning during warm up."
Noriyuki Haga (2nd - 1'31.084 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team);
"We only needed to make some small changes to the bike from yesterday and it is feeling good now. I had problems yesterday with the weather because it was still wet on my line so I could not push too much. Today the dry weather has given us a better opportunity to set the bike up well."
Max Biaggi - 7th, 1:31.689:
"I was happier after my performance in the untimed session this afternoon, but I knew Superpole would be hard. I managed to go a bit faster on my Superpole lap, but so did some other riders and so I ended seventh. But the second row of the grid is not so bad, especially if I can make my usual good start. There are two very long races tomorrow and anything can happen, so we'll just have to see how it goes. I'll be aiming for two good starts and two good results - hopefully podiums."
Yukio Kagayama - (non-starter):
"I wanted to race today but the doctors said 'no!' This morning my back was a bit sore but that was all. I could remember everything form yesterday, no problem. But if the doctors tell you not to race, that is that! Now I'm looking forward to the next race at Valencia and putting these disasters behind me."
"I think I could have gone a bit faster because in T1 and T2 I going very well but I lost so much in the last section and because of that I can do no better in the lap time. My general pace was good but we still lose some time there. We have to push hard in race and I have to make a good start to get the best finish."
"I worked really hard during the free practice and tried to find a better balance on the bike. At the end of the session I felt ready and I was confident for the Superpole lap, but unfortunately I had a problem with the brake and had to run onto the gravel during the warm-up. It was disappointing but I will try my best to do well tomorrow."
- 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1m30.370s
- 2. Haga (Yamaha) 1m31.084s
- 3. Laconi (Kawasaki) 1m31.377s
- 4. Toseland (Honda) 1m31.399s
- 5. Lanzi (Ducati Xerox) 1m31.504s
- 6. Xaus (Ducati) 1m31.686s
- 7. Biaggi (Suzuki) 1m31.689s
- 8. Corser (Yamaha) 1m31.132s
- 9. Muggeridge (Honda) 1m32.077s
- 10. Nieto (Kawasaki) 1m32.178s