WORK TO BE DONE, BUT TIMES CLOSE.
Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli know that there's more to be done after they ended the first day of qualifying at Magny-Cours with the 10th and 14th quickest lap times. Leon's tenth place was just over three tenths of a second off pole and Sylvain is half a second adrift on a day that saw the top sixteen riders separated by lees than a second.
Italian Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) set the day's quickest lap in qualifying, with a time of 1:38.856, with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) second and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) third.
Leon - 10th, 1:39.238
It was just one of those close lap times days and really there's all to play for tomorrow. Basically though, today was not so bad and I am happy with the changes the team made from practice to qualifying. We made some adjustments to the gearing and now we need to work on some grip issues because that's where we were suffering. We need some more time on softer tyres so that we can work out which tyres we'll use for the races and we need to get the right set-up. The times are close and really there's only one split where I'm losing time and that could even be just one corner! So, if we can improve, we're going to be in the hunt for sure.
Sylvain - 14th, 1:39.431
Today was quite good for a Friday, for me! Often my Fridays are not so good and I spend the rest of the weekend playing catch-up, but today was better than usual. I'm only half a second down on pole, but fourteenth on the grid, so you can see that the times are very close - just like they have been all year!
I've got some issues with rear grip, but sometimes that's to do with the track being a bit 'green' on the opening day. All season we've been having some problems with grip when the track is 'green' and hasn't got much rubber down. Tomorrow, we'll try a few different things on both bikes and see if we can find some more rear grip and what works best.
-source: suzuki alstare