Five Ducatis in top six - Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Bostrom (Ducati L&M) 3rd and 4th - Hodgson quickest for HM Plant Ducati. Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) powered to third and fourth position respectively in...
Five Ducatis in top six - Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Bostrom (Ducati L&M) 3rd and 4th - Hodgson quickest for HM Plant Ducati.
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Ben Bostrom (Ducati L&M) powered to third and fourth position respectively in first qualifying for the Italian round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza on Sunday. Championship leader Bayliss, who won both races here last year, set 1'49.036 on his Ducati 998 Factory, seven-tenths of a second away from polesitter Neil Hodgson, who was in excellent form on an HM Plant Ducati. Californian Ben Bostrom was a fraction slower than Bayliss on his L&M Ducati 998 Factory to make up the provisional front row. Ruben Xaus could only manage seventeenth fastest time on the second Infostrada Ducati 998 and risks missing out on Superpole if it rains in tomorrow's second and final qualifying session.
"I was expecting to do a bit better today after recent testing here," declared Bayliss, "but we ended up by being half-a-second off last week's pace on the same tyres. The set-up of my Ducati Infostrada 998 is not so bad, but I need a bit more grip at the rear and then I'll be a lot happier. We're going in the right direction and we tested a few things today, but we've still got some way to go."
"I was a bit disappointed with my time despite being fourth quickest," commented Bostrom. "Troy and I went out together at the end of the session, but there were five guys in front of us and I couldn't get a good lap on a softer tyre. I'm pretty happy with the changes we made to the steering, they've made the bike feel much better. Hopefully the weather will be good tomorrow so we can fine-tune the set-up and get comfortable with the new bike settings, and then we should be right there."
"I didn't test here last week like the other guys so it's taking me a bit of time to get used to riding again and I was unable to get a good set-up on the bike," said Xaus. "My hand is not giving me too much trouble, but for the moment I'm not able to lap as quick as I would like. When the time came for me to go out and set a quick lap at the end of the session, I found traffic on the track, but that's life. Tomorrow hopefully it won't rain, which will give me a chance to qualify for Superpole."