Monza: Team Ducati first qualifying report

Hodgson and Xaus (Team Ducati Fila) third and fifth in first Monza qualifying. Team Ducati Fila riders Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus were third and fifth quickest in Friday's first qualifying session for the Italian Round of the World Superbike ...

Hodgson and Xaus (Team Ducati Fila) third and fifth in first Monza qualifying.

Team Ducati Fila riders Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus were third and fifth quickest in Friday's first qualifying session for the Italian Round of the World Superbike Championship today at Monza as James Toseland (Ducati 998) took provisional pole for the HM Plant team.

Neil completed a total of 23 laps in the one-hour session and constantly improved his times as he lapped almost exclusively on race tyres. His time of 1'47.898 was four-tenths slower than the lap record but good enough for a provisional front row position.

"This morning wasn't very good because nothing seemed to go right, but we worked hard between the two sessions and everything feels much better now" declared Neil. "The three important things at Monza are top speed, through the chicanes and braking. We're fine with the first two, we just have to work to make the braking that little bit better now".

Ruben did the most laps this afternoon - 25 - and finished with a time of 1m48.101s, which he set at the end of the session. "My tyre performance is good and that's important here at Monza" declared Ruben. "We did a lot of laps and managed to sort out the settings pretty well. The bike feels stable at speed and is good through the chicanes. For me however it's not important to be on the front row of the grid for Sunday, it's important just to win the races and that's what I'm aiming to do".

TIMES: 1. Toseland (HM Plant Ducati) 1'47.713; 2. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) 1'47.723; 3. Hodgson (Ducati Fila) 1'47.898; 4. Laconi (NCR Ducati) 1'47.903; 5. Xaus (Ducati Fila) 1'48.101; 6. Lavilla (Suzuki) 1'48.371; 7. Walker (HM Plant Ducati) 1'48.557; 8. Borciani (Ducati DFX) 1'48.691; 9. Pedercini (Ducati) 1'48.994; 10. Blora (Ducati) 1'49.534.

TV COVERAGE : Eurosport (Europe) - Sunday 18 May, Race 1 1200 (live), Race 2 1900 (delayed). RAI (Italy) - Saturday 17 May, Superpole 1620 (highlights), Sunday 18 May, Race 1 1240 (delayed), Race 2 1705 (delayed).

-td-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Neil Hodgson , Ruben Xaus , James Toseland