TOSELAND AND LACONI (DUCATI XEROX TEAM) FIND THE GOING TOUGH IN FIRST QUALIFYING AT MAGNY-COURS
Magny-Cours (France), Friday 7 October: Both Ducati Xerox Team riders James Toseland and Regis Laconi uncharacteristically found the going tough in the first qualifying session for the final round of the World Superbike Championship at Magny-Cours.
The 2004 world champion was down in seventeenth position following the first qualifying hour while his French team-mate was two places further adrift. Italian Lorenzo Lanzi on the third Ducati 999F05 machine, entered by the Ducati SC Caracchi team, was in good form again today, clinching a provisional front-row grid position behind pacesetter Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki), and the surprise Australian duo of Karl Muggeridge (Honda) and Andrew Pitt (Yamaha). Lanzi's time was set on race tyres.
Toseland, who set sixth quickest time in the morning's free practice session, improved in the afternoon but his time of 1m42.033s left him outside the top 16. "It was a tough session. We had a few problems this morning and even though we were sort of going in the right direction, for some reason we haven't found a good base setting yet" explained Toseland. "That's strange because the base setting we've had for quite a few rounds has been all right and here it's just not gelling. I'm trying my hardest, doing bad lap times and that's the worst scenario. I know where the bike needs to improve, but we tried something and it didn't really work. We just dropped the forks a bit from this morning, nothing major. I went point four of a second quicker but everyone else went so much quicker as well".
Laconi was still feeling the effects of his Assen crash which left him with tendon damage in his right arm. "I just can't seem to be able to use my arm well enough and that causes a lot of bother because all the heavy braking is for the right-hand curves. I had a feeling it would be like this here even before Imola, which unlike Magny-Cours is an anti-clockwise track, and it proved to be true. For the first part of the lap it's OK but when there is a change in direction I can't brake well. Here unfortunately most of the hard curves are right-handers and coming down the hill to the last one, it's terrible for me. Let's hope things go better tomorrow".