Assen: Suzuki Alstare Friday report

LEON IN TOUCH, SYLVAIN NOT. There were mixed fortunes for Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli on day one of the fourth round of the Superbike World Championship at Assen today. Leon kept up his impressive start to ...

LEON IN TOUCH, SYLVAIN NOT.

There were mixed fortunes for Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli on day one of the fourth round of the Superbike World Championship at Assen today. Leon kept up his impressive start to the season by posting the fourth fastest time of the day, but Sylvain struggled in both sessions and only ended 17th quickest. Sylvain at least ended in good company though, as Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) are just in front of him in 16th and 14th places respectively. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) once again showed his liking for Assen by taking provisional pole position, with Jonathan Rea (Honda) second and Troy Corser (BMW) third. Leon in fourth and Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) means that the top five places are filled by five different manufacturers.

Leon - 4th, 1:36.618

I'm quite happy to be fourth at this stage because today we were just going through the usual motions and trying out a few things. We tried some different brake options, but didn't really try any soft rubber, so to end fourth is pretty good, I think. Tomorrow, we'll try altering the balance of the bike and see if we can make more progress.

The new section of the track is going to improve the lap times for sure. It's still quite technical and high-speed, but that's the kind of corner I like. The track felt a bit dusty today, but I'm sure it will get better as the weekend goes on. I feel pretty confident about our prospects and I'm looking forward to tomorrow and the races on Sunday.

Sylvain - 17th, 1:37.684

I'm not sure where I was today and could not get a comfortable feeling at all. All day, I struggled and could not find any confidence in the front end of the bike and I felt like I was losing the front everywhere. On our last run of the day we made a radical change to the chassis and we will carry on in that direction tomorrow. It should be better because it can't be worse!

I know that the bike is a really good package and it's up to me to get my head round what's going on and work with my mechanics to find the improvement we need so much. I feel confident that tomorrow will be a lot better than today and I will end up at the right end of the grid.

-source: suzuki alstare

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Noriyuki Haga , Leon Haslam , Jakub Smrz , Sylvain Guintoli , Jonathan Rea , Cal Crutchlow