Phillip Island: Ducati Saturday qualifying notes

Second successive pole for Hodgson (Ducati Fila) at Phillip Island - Xaus eighth after Superpole crash. Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila) stormed to a second successive pole position in blustery conditions at Phillip Island with the factory Ducati ...

Second successive pole for Hodgson (Ducati Fila) at Phillip Island - Xaus eighth after Superpole crash.

Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila) stormed to a second successive pole position in blustery conditions at Phillip Island with the factory Ducati 999. Crowd favourite Pierfrancesco Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) will line up alongside for tomorrow's two 22 lap races, while NCR Ducati's David Garcia, in his second ever World Superbike race, and HM Plant Ducati's Chris Walker will join them on the front row.

With Garcia setting the benchmark at an impressive 1'34.185, Hodgson and Chili had it all to do as they set off in that order on their one-lap dash. Despite not running a perfect lap, Neil's time of 1'33.030 was a full second quicker than the Spanish rider while Chili just edged Garcia out for second place.

"I think I was lucky because the wind wasn't there for my Superpole lap" joked Hodgson after the session. "Seriously though, I had a couple of moments so it wasn't perfect. It's always windy when you come here so it's really difficult to be consistent. I wasn't relaxed on the qualifying tyres at all because I've done so many laps this weekend on race tyres, and when you put one on it provides you with a lot of grip and the front was moving around so much, so that's why my lap looked more ragged than it should have done. I'm happy with the set-up and I did a race distance on a rear tyre this morning and it looked fine so I'm feeling really confident because the tyre has done the distance even though Phillip Island is a circuit where conditions can change really quickly."

Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila) crashed out for the third time this weekend when the front of his Ducati 999 slid away from beneath him during his Superpole lap and he will line up on the outside of row 2 in eighth position. "I'd like to apologise to the team for this, the guys have worked hard all weekend and it's all my fault" declared Ruben. "The crash was the same as the one this morning. With the riding style I have, I came hard into the corner, braked too late and the front end just went away from me. Despite this, I have a good set-up on the bike, I did a good race pace on my long-run, and I feel confident for the races tomorrow."

<pre> TOP TEN STARTING GRID: 1. Hodgson Ducati Fila 1'33.030 2. Chili PSG-1 Ducati 1'34.118 3. Garcia NCR Ducati 1'34.184 4. Walker HM Plant Ducati 1'34.211 5. Toseland HM Plant Ducati 1'34.329 6. Corser Foggy Petronas 1'34.512 7. Lavilla Suzuki 1'34.585 8. Xaus Ducati Fila no time 9. Martin DFX Ducati 1'34.598 10. Laconi NCR Ducati 1'34.712.

TV COVERAGE:

Eurosport (Pan-European) Sunday 30 March: Race 1 0615 CET (delayed) Race 2 0715 (live)

RaiDue (Italy) Sunday 30 March: Race 1 0355 CET (live)

Monday 31 March: Race 2 0055 CET (delayed)

-df-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Neil Hodgson , Ruben Xaus , Chris Walker , Phillip Island