HANNspree Ten Kate Honda completes first Valencia qualifying The fourth round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship kicked off at a warm and sunny Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia today. The threat of rain did not materialise as the ...
HANNspree Ten Kate Honda completes first Valencia qualifying
The fourth round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship kicked off at a warm and sunny Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia today. The threat of rain did not materialise as the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders took to the 4km track for the first qualifying session. James Toseland and Roberto Rolfo secured third and seventeenth places respectively.
Toseland bounced back from a head cold to battle it out in the top three with Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus. The focus during the 45-minute session was finding a good race set-up for the Honda CBR1000RR. With this in mind, the British rider secured several consistently fast laps before settling into third place with a final best time of 1'35.147.
The first day of qualifying proved more difficult for team-mate Rolfo as he fought hard to get to grips with the challenging Valencia track. The team will work on the set-up of the bike overnight in the hope that the Italian rider can turn his fortunes around in tomorrow's second qualifying session.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"James did really well today. Considering that we didn't have the test here a couple of weeks ago when we didn't join because we had a lot of planning to do, it seems it is possible for him to be fast around this track anyway. We concentrated a lot on race tyres today so that we didn't use the soft tyres in case of rain tomorrow. At the moment the forecast for Sunday is no rain so we wanted to make sure we had a good dry set-up. With Roberto Rolfo we are all a bit unpleasantly surprised because in Donington he really picked up the pace. For some reason it is not working here. We are checking all the data overnight because he must be capable of moving up the grid and I'm sure he and his crew can manage that."
"It's not been too bad today. We have been trying to find a good set-up on race tyres while it is dry. I'm just starting to feel like myself again and I think we've got off to a really good start. In previous years this has not been the best track for Honda, but we've really made a lot of progress and I think we can be competitive tomorrow. I'm just hoping for good weather!"
"I am obviously disappointed about today. After Donington I was feeling good about my riding style on the bike, but here it is just not going right for me. It is a very different track so I just have to work hard to adjust my style again. We will do a lot of work this evening and I hope that I can improve for tomorrow."