Sugo: Ducati Fila final qualifying report

Hodgson (Team Ducati Fila) misses out on front row start in Superpole - Xaus down in twelfth. Team Ducati Fila riders Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus will start the Japanese Round of the World Superbike Championship at Sugo from row 2 and 3 ...

Hodgson (Team Ducati Fila) misses out on front row start in Superpole - Xaus down in twelfth.

Team Ducati Fila riders Neil Hodgson and Ruben Xaus will start the Japanese Round of the World Superbike Championship at Sugo from row 2 and 3 respectively after this afternoon's Superpole session.

29 year-old Hodgson set the pace in the morning's second and final qualifying session, ending up with a time of 1m30.708s, but an improvement of just one-tenth of a second in the one-lap dash left him fifth quickest, half a second away from eventual polesitter Regis Laconi (NCR Ducati). "I didn't put a good lap together really and you only get one chance. I had a few slides and pushed hard but it didn't feel right at all" said Neil. "My set-up for the race is not 100% perfect but I don't think anyone will have a perfect set-up, we just didn't get enough lap time. I set my quickest qualifying time on my race tyre and did a good long-run so I'm pretty happy with the way the bike is. Starting from row 2 shouldn't be that much of a problem because you can judge the start a little bit better".

Team-mate Xaus continued to struggle on the second factory Ducati 999 and will start from row 3 after setting twelfth quickest time. "All weekend I haven't had the right feeling and I can't even do a 1m31s lap time" declared Ruben. "I think it's a set-up problem because I know I'm not that slow. The 999 is a new bike and it's quite difficult to ride around this circuit, the other guys have gone pretty fast so what we needed to do was find the right direction to go and we didn't do that. If I get a good feeling in the races, I can fight for top 3 but I need that feeling, otherwise I'm not going to push hard for nothing. I've started from row 3 before, it's not so good but that's not the problem for me. I need to ride the bike and at the moment the bike is riding me."

STARTING GRID:
1. Laconi (NCR Ducati) 1m30.064s
2. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) 1m30.084s
3. Lavilla (Suzuki) 1m30.496s
4. Watanabe (Suzuki) 1m30.582s; 5. Hodgson (Ducati Fila) 1m30.636s
6. Walker (HM Plant Ducati) 1m31.033s
7. Toseland (HM Plant) 1m31.053s
8. Corser (Foggy Petronas) 1m31.369s
.... 12. Xaus (Ducati Fila) 1m31.843s.

TV COVERAGE : Eurosport: Sunday 27 April - Race 1 0500 (live), Race 2 0830 (live). RaiTre (Italy): Saturday 26 April - Superpole 1620 (delayed); RaiDue (Italy): Sunday 27 April - Race 1 0455 (live), Race 2 0055 (highlights).

-df-

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