Troy leads the way!

Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Troy Corser is on provisional pole after the first day of qualifying at Imola. The track was damp when the thirty-four riders went out this morning and, at one stage, Troy was nearly six seconds ahead of his nearest rival. The track then began to dry out and soon the lap times fell. In the afternoon timed session, the pace hotted up, but Troy kept his GSX-R1000 Suzuki at the top of the pile nonetheless. In the end, Troy finished just over a tenth of a second ahead of Chris Vermeulen (Honda). Third quickest today is local hero Lorenzo Lanzi, who has been given a full factory Ducati for this and the next race, with Steve Martin (Petronas) fourth. It was Troy's team mate Yukio Kagayama's first time at the circuit, but he took to the 4.933 kilometre track like a duck to water and ended up a superb sixth quickest.

TROY - 1st, 1:49.161
In our recent test, I found a really good feeling with my bike again and we've carried that over to here. I think the same set-up works pretty well here, so we were in the ballpark straightaway. We tried some different gearings today and also spent quite a bit of time playing around with different tyres to try and find the best ones for the race. But this afternoon, the temperature was quite a bit hotter and the track felt less grippy, so we're are not sure which tyres to go for at the moment. However, I feel pretty relaxed and ready for the races.

YUKIO - 6th, 1:50.126
My first impression of this track was that it seemed very difficult and very long, but straightaway I had a good feeling with it because it is the kind of track I like. It goes up and down a lot and there's many hard-braking areas - and I like these things! I am getting to know the track better each time I go for a lap, but I know I am losing a lot of time in the final split and the Rivazza corner. This is the area I must make up, if I want to challenge for a podium - and that is what I want.