MIXED FRIDAY AT ASSEN FOR DUCATI XEROX TEAM - TOSELAND TAKES OVERNIGHT POLE, LACONI CRASHES TWICE Assen (Netherlands), Friday 2 September: Friday's first qualifying session at Assen produced mixed fortunes for the Ducati Xerox Team pairing of ...
MIXED FRIDAY AT ASSEN FOR DUCATI XEROX TEAM - TOSELAND TAKES OVERNIGHT POLE, LACONI CRASHES TWICE
Assen (Netherlands), Friday 2 September: Friday's first qualifying session at Assen produced mixed fortunes for the Ducati Xerox Team pairing of James Toseland and Regis Laconi as they line up for the ninth round of the World Superbike Championship. On great form throughout the one-hour session, Toseland produced a superb last-minute effort on his Xerox-backed Ducati 999 to grab the overnight pole from points leader Corser (Suzuki) and the Honda duo of Muggeridge and Vermeulen.
"I felt pretty comfortable this morning and we haven't made any changes to the bike, it was pretty good already" declared Toseland. "We just wanted to do more laps because it was good enough to go faster with the setting we had and we didn't want to change anything. We just tried a couple of rear tyres, the front's working pretty well and we've already found a rear. It's Friday afternoon and I'm ready to race! There haven't been many problems all year with the bike set-up to be honest. We haven't really changed much on the bike and now it's going as it should do.
"The new bits on the circuit are a bit tricky because you are used to going that fast down the back straight and scaring the hell out of yourself to now having to brake really hard for that right-hander and every lap you want to take it 5 mph too fast and you go wide. But luckily there's plenty of space to go wide and you have to get a judgement for it. But it hasn't spoilt it, Assen is still Assen and I still love it here" concluded Toseland.
Despite being on the pace, Laconi had a difficult afternoon session, the Frenchman twice crashing at the same point and ending up in the Clinica Mobile with a gashed right elbow, which had to have eight stitches put in, and lacerations down his lower left leg. No bones were broken in the incident but the mobility of Laconi's arm will be reviewed in the morning to see if the Frenchman is in a position to continue the weekend.
"The first crash came when I lost the front, I haven't done that for a long time" commented Laconi in the Clinica Mobile. "The second crash was exactly the same place, the second curve, but this time I was coming out of the pits on my first lap, not even going fast, when I opened the throttle and the bike went away and high-sided me. I remained under the bike sliding down the tarmac, the bike was on top of me all the time. I've got a big hole in my elbow where they're stitching me up and lacerated my leg and little toe. We'll just have to see how I feel tomorrow morning."