Ducati Fila Take 1-2 in Valencia Superpole
Valencia (Spain), 28 February 2004: First race of the year for the Ducati Fila team and first pole position for Regis Laconi at Valencia in the opening round of the 2004 World Superbike Championship. After dominating the two qualifying sessions with his Ducati 999 Factory '04, the 28 year-old Frenchman then amazed the entire field with a lap of 1'35.935, a full second ahead of the rest of his rivals. Second place for his 23 year-old team-mate James Toseland with a time of 1'36.973, ahead of Chris Vermeulen (Honda) and Leon Haslam (Renegade Ducati 999).
"Like yesterday the conditions were very difficult, the track was still cold and the wind changed direction all the time, but I am really pleased with my second ever Superbike pole position" declared Regis. "I wanted to get down into the 1'35s and I did, but only just!. Everything is going well, we did a good job with my team this weekend and I am very happy. The tyre I chose for my long-run wasn't entirely satisfactory, but then we tried another tyre that I liked and so I feel confident for the races tomorrow."
James Toseland declared: "Everything is OK, despite my crash in the last minute of the free practice session just before Superpole. It's not easy going from a crash to a quick lap in one go however. We found a good base set-up for the race, I set my quickest time on my race tyre, so I'm sure we'll be able to give it a go tomorrow. For the moment there's a second gap between me and Regis, but I am sure that tomorrow there won't be!. Regis is riding really well, he's got more experience than me, but I'm getting there, I probably just need a bit more time to get up to his level but I'm sure I'll be there pretty soon."
TIMES: 1. Laconi (Ducati Fila) 1'35.935; 2. Toseland (Ducati Fila) 1'36.973; 3. Vermeulen (Honda) 1'36.977; 4. Haslam (Renegade Ducati) 1'36.980; 5. Martin (DFX Ducati) 1'37.050 ; 6. Haga (Renegade Ducati) 1'37.074 ; 7. McCoy (NCR Ducati) 1'37.278; 8. Borciani (DFX Ducati), etc.
TV COVERAGE: La7 (Italy): Sunday 29 February, 1230 Preview, 1400 Race 1 (delayed), 1530 Race 2 (live). Eurosport (pan-European): Saturday 28 February, 0045 Preview; Sunday 29 February 2345 Race 2.
ROW 4 START FOR LANZI (DUCATI BREIL) ON SUPERSPORT DEBUT
Valencia (Spain), 28 February 2004: Lorenzo Lanzi will start tomorrow's opening round of the World Supersport Championship at Valencia from the fourth row of the grid after qualifying in sixteenth position with the Ducati 749R.
Ducati's latest Supersport creation, which sports the colours of new title sponsor Breil, is making its international debut at Valencia, while Lanzi is also taking part in his first-ever World Supersport race.
"I hoped to improve a bit in the second qualifying and get into the top 10, but unfortunately I couldn't do it" declared Lanzi. "Today we made a few changes to try and get the settings more to my liking for the race, but we are still in a development phase and three quarters of an hour is just not enough to find the best solution. I have to say I'm pleased with the engine, which is really powerful and our bike is one of the quickest overall. Tomorrow I think I can have a good race, if the tyres give me a hand, because I've got a good feeling with the 749, even though we still have to do a lot more work to make it more competitive."
TIMES: 1. Muggeridge (Honda) 1'37.765; 2. Parkes (Honda) 1'37.910; 3. Foret (Yamaha) 1'38.314; 4. Charpentier (Honda) 1'38.383; 5. Curtain (Yamaha) 1'38.427 ; 6. Van der Goorbergh (Yamaha) 1'38.522; 7. Fujiwara (Suzuki) 1'38.676; 8. Kellner (Yamaha) 1'38.752 ... 16. Lanzi (Ducati Breil) 1'39.694.
TV COVERAGE: La7 (Italy): Sunday 29 February, 1230 Preview, 1445 Race (delayed). Eurosport (pan-European): Saturday 28 February, 0045 Preview; Sunday 29 February 0045 Supersport.