World Superbike Set For Final Showdown as Toseland and Laconi (Ducati Fila) Qualify 3rd And 5th at Magny-Cours
Magny-Cours (France), 2 October 2004: The final round of the World Superbike championship at Magny-Cours is set to be a thriller as all three championship contenders, James Toseland and Regis Laconi (Ducati Fila), together with outsider Chris Vermeulen (Honda), qualified within one tenth of a second of each other for tomorrow's two races.
By setting third quickest time of 1'41.856 in Superpole behind eventual poleman Corser (Petronas) and Vermeulen, Toseland has a slight advantage over his team-mate Laconi (with a time of 1'41.969) in fifth place on row 2, but both riders are confident that they have the right package for tomorrow's two 23-lap races.
"Although I didn't feel my Superpole lap was anything special, we did a really good job today so a big thanks to the team" declared Toseland. "I've just been trying to get every problem out of the way, be precise with the changes on the bike and spend as much time out there on the track as possible this weekend.
"We're third on the grid, which is perfect for me. It's a front row start, that's what I wanted because it gives us the best chance tomorrow. We've been consistently quick on race tyres all through the weekend and I'm looking forward to the challenge" concluded James.
"I'm quite happy to make this time, because the first part of my Superpole lap was not good" explained Laconi. "We have really worked hard for the race, we have found the right choice of tyre and I am confident about the feeling of the bike for the race tomorrow.
"I did a lot of laps in 42.8/9s with the race tyre, I think that will be the pace for the race. You never know, you have to see at the start but for me the second row is not a big problem. It's just important to make sure everything is right for the race, get off to a good start and ride well tomorrow. There's not much between me, James and Chris and I feel sure it will be a fantastic battle tomorrow".
Lanzi (Ducati Breil) Finds The Going Tougher in Final World Supersport Qualifying Session
Magny-Cours (France), 2 October 2004: Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Breil) found the going a bit tougher in the second and final qualifying session for the final round of the World Supersport championship at Magny-Cours, France as the top nine riders were separated by less than a second.
The 22-year-old Italian, who held a promising overnight sixth position, improved his best lap time by six-tenths of a second in today's second session, but lost three places and will now start from ninth on the grid for tomorrow's 23-lap race.
"Supersport is a tough category, just look at today - I improved by six-tenths of a second, but lost three places" commented Lanzi. "I knew that I also had to make a big improvement but unfortunately there always seemed to be traffic when I was on my quick laps and I never managed to get a totally clean run. I am a bit disappointed about that because I missed out on the second row of the grid".
"I am really quick for two-thirds of the lap, but lose out in the final part. We can't change the gearing very much to improve this because then we will lose out over the rest of the lap.
"My race pace is good however so hopefully I can get another good start like at Imola and get up there with the leading group" concluded Lanzi.