Laconi and Toseland (Ducati Fila) Head The Field in First World Superbike Qualifying at Valencia.
Valencia (Spain), 27 February 2004: Regis Laconi and James Toseland (Ducati Fila) powered their 999s to the top of the timesheets in first qualifying for the opening round of the World Superbike Championship at the Valencia circuit in Spain.
In extremely cold but dry conditions, Laconi was quickest straight out of the box and the 28 year-old Frenchman ended up with a time of 1'36.323.
"The feeling with the bike was much better than this morning and we have put the same settings as I had in the tests" declared Laconi. "It was very hard to ride in the wind, but the weather is the same for everyone. I made my quick time with my race tyre after 10 laps and I feel good about that. I didn't use a qualifying tyre today, we will see tomorrow. I had more problem with rear grip than in the tests because of the cold and the track is a bit dirty, but I'm not finding an excuse, I don't have to, I just have to be fast!".
James Toseland crashed early in the afternoon session but then moved comfortably into second place in the timesheets behind Laconi with a time of 1'36.683, which he set on his other machine.
"I crashed but had a bit of fun out there today, there was a hurricane blowing at turn 1 and no other rider had it, just me" joked James about his crash. "You've got to be careful out there, it's very dusty and dirty.
"We tried something in the early part of the session but it didn't work that well so when I crashed we went back to the settings on my no.1 bike, which was much better. I'm just a bit disappointed about scratching the bike!" Toseland added. "We're in the ballpark, fastest this morning and second fastest this afternoon, we're riding well and the bike's good!"
TIMES: 1. Laconi (Ducati Fila) 1'36.323; 2. Toseland (Ducati Fila) 1'36.383; 3. Martin (Ducati DFX) 1'36.778; 4. Haga (Renegade Ducati) 1'36.901; 5. McCoy (Ducati NCR) 1'37.208; 6. Borciani (Ducati DFX) 1'37.212; 7. Corser (Petronas) 1'37.254; 8. Vermeulen (Honda) 1'37.713; etc.
LANZI (DUCATI BREIL) DEBUTS IN WORLD SUPERSPORT WITH PROVISIONAL TWELFTH PLACE
Valencia (Spain), 27 February 2004: Italian Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Breil) took the all-new 749R to a provisional twelfth place in today's opening qualifying session for round 1 of the World Supersport Championship at Valencia.
Lanzi, who was European Superstock runner-up in 2003, had a difficult start to his Supersport career as icy temperatures and blustery winds prevented any record times being set, but the 22-year-old from Cesena, Italy said he was reasonably happy with twelfth quickest position.
"I am quite pleased with the way things went today on my debut" declared Lanzi. "Overall we had a better session than in testing here a couple of weeks ago even though our time was not as quick.
"We made a few changes but with the wind it was difficult to get a good idea. Tomorrow we'll test them again and then hopefully we'll be on the right path because in my opinion we can improve.
Lanzi added: "I had a bit of a problem with the clutch on my final lap and without that I'm sure I could have got my time down even further".
TIMES: 1. Charpentier (Honda) 1'39.065; 2. Muggeridge (Honda) 1'39.128; 3. Parkes (Honda) 1'39.128; 4. Foret (Yamaha) 1'39.239; 5. Fujiwara (Suzuki) 1'39.457; 6. Curtain (Yamaha) 1'39.457; 7. Daemen (Honda) 1'39.657 ; 8. Corradi (Honda) 1'39.670 ...... 12. Lanzi (Ducati Breil) 1'40.576.