TRACK CONDITIONS DECIDE ALL IN FIRST 2006 SEASON QUALIFYING SESSION With the heavy rains that characterised most of the opening day of track action at Losail stopping before the end of the first timed Superbike session, Winston Ten Kate Honda...
TRACK CONDITIONS DECIDE ALL IN FIRST 2006 SEASON QUALIFYING SESSION
With the heavy rains that characterised most of the opening day of track action at Losail stopping before the end of the first timed Superbike session, Winston Ten Kate Honda rider Karl Muggeridge and James Toseland had to work hard to try and get into contention. With wet weather settings in place at the start of the one-hour timed session, but a drying line appearing slowly, the riders had no opportunity to adjust their machines to match the new conditions. Each rider is aware that today's results may count for little, with the advent of better weather expected in the final qualifying and Superpole sessions on Friday.
Muggeridge and Toseland opted not to take part in the morning session, held in fully wet conditions, but on the drying track in the afternoon Muggeridge was 13th fastest, Toseland 18th. An indication of the prevalent track conditions comes from the fact that fastest rider Troy Bayliss was still some 16 seconds from the previous track best.
Ronald Ten Kate -- Team Manager
"Today did not work out the way we wanted. The boys went out in timed qualifying but did not feel too comfortable on the bikes. We adjusted their bikes to make softer settings and then a dry line started to appear, so the adjustments proved to be the wrong way. Towards the end they could not improve their lap times, as the bikes were set-up for a wet track. Tomorrow will be dry and we will be moving up quite a bit then."
Karl Muggeridge -- SBK Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(13th -- 2'21.152)
"Not the best start but the good thing is we tried something we had never tried before in the wet. In the beginning it was not too bad, but in the end, when the track dried out, the feeling was terrible. By that stage, we had no time left to change. So we crossed paths, but we know how to improve in the dry tomorrow. I am not too bothered about today, the bike is running well and we are looking to tomorrow. No drama."
James Toseland -- SBK Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(18th -- 2'21.732)
"It took me a little while to get used to the conditions today. We put a softer spring in and put the ride height up, but maybe a bit too much. Going into the corners we had very little grip. We just ran out of time at the end to adjust the bike, and when you don't have the right set-up in those conditions life is very difficult. To only be four seconds off, the way I was sliding and struggling, I felt that I would be ten seconds off. Tomorrow should be dry and Saturday the same, but even if it is wet, we now know how adjust the bike to suit now."