Laguna Seca (USA), 10 July 2004: James Toseland (Ducati Fila) put in his most impressive Superpole performance of the year to set second quickest time in the final qualifying session for round 7 of the World Superbike Championship at a sunny...
Laguna Seca (USA), 10 July 2004: James Toseland (Ducati Fila) put in his most impressive Superpole performance of the year to set second quickest time in the final qualifying session for round 7 of the World Superbike Championship at a sunny Laguna Seca, California.
Australian Steve Martin (DFX Ducati) edged Ducati Fila's 23-year-old British rider out by just three-hundredths of a second to take the top slot, while France's Regis Laconi (Ducati Fila) could only manage sixth quickest time and will start tomorrow's races from row 2 of the grid.
Toseland was one of the best improvers in the crucial Superpole session, the 23-year-old knocking half second off his morning qualifying time to take the second grid slot.
"I always enjoy racing at Laguna Seca and I feel I'm riding really good around here" he declared. "We've made steady progress all weekend, it's all suddenly come good and we're second on the grid. The tyres are working really well, I've got the bike settled in and I'm feeling more confident than I've ever done with it so hopefully this is the start of something good. The races are going to be interesting and close, there have been ten guys in a second all weekend so it'll be fantastic to watch and I'm looking forward to getting two podiums instead of the one last year."
Third quickest in qualifying, Laconi slipped down to sixth after Superpole but is still confident of getting good results in tomorrow's two races.
"I didn't do a particularly good Superpole lap, after going a bit wide in the first corner and if you lose immediately you do a bad lap. I tried to push hard but we always seem to be losing a little bit in the final split. For tomorrow we will try different gear ratios because I think we are losing there, we are too much on the limiter. The bike's general set-up is fine, and I am really satisfied with the tyres I have chosen so I am sure of doing a couple of good races tomorrow."
STARTING-GRID: 1. Martin (DFX Ducati) 1'26.912; 2. Toseland (Ducati Fila) 1'26.943; 3. Vermeulen (Honda) 1'26.987; 4. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) 1' 27.200; 5. Corser (Petronas) 1'27.441; 6. Laconi (Ducati Fila) 1'27.485; 7. McCoy (Xerox Ducati) 1'27.518; 8. Haslam (Renegade Ducati) 1'27.597; etc.