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WSB: Assen Friday Results
WSB: Assen Friday Results
By Ken Hutchison
The new look Assen circuit was alive with World Superbike riders battling for the top time during a dry qualifying session on Friday afternoon. With rain in the forecast for Saturday's final qualifying session the pressure to perform was turned up a notch. When the day came to a close it was Ducati Xeros's Troy Bayliss atop the provisional qualifying list with a 1'39.336.
"I'm really pretty happy with the way things are going," says Bayliss. "I had a nice break in the three weeks since Brands, hopped back on the bike this morning and basically fell straight into a good rhythm. The team worked really good today and it's just nice to know I'm back where we left off. Both Lorenzo and I did a good job today - let's hope it can continue throughout the weekend. I quite like the new part of the track actually, for some reason the old part was more flowing but I always had a bit of trouble there. Now the bike works really well round there for me and I've got nothing to complain about. Apparently there'll be a change in the weather for the worse tomorrow but I'm not bothered. We've got a good dry setting and we can work on the wet setting if it does."
Behind the 2001 world champion is his teammate Lorenzo Lanzi, the only other rider besides Bayliss to dip into the 39s, followed by DFX Treme Honda's Michel Fabrizio and Winston Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland.
"The bike was OK at the start, but we need to put in a little bit of work and for me to just get back into the riding," explained former champ James Toseland. Both Karl and I have to improve on the first sector, so we maybe just have to do a little bit more work on the bike for that really tight section. On the other sections the bike is really good, so I don't really want to sacrifice three-quarters of the track just for one quarter. We just need to work a bit more on the bike but our speed is quite consistent."
Klaffi Honda's Alex Barros looks good in the fifth position with his new crew chief apparently paying dividends right out of the gate.
"The first sessions today were rather okay for us," reports Klaffi team manager Klaus Klaffenbock. "Position 5 in Friday's Qualifying is much better than at the last two events. The conditions are nearly perfect and additional to this there is a new team member to join us. It is our new crew chief Ramon Forcada. He worked several years for Alex in MotoGP and will be with us at Assen, Imola and Magny Cours. So, Ramon has two jobs from now just to the end of the season. He is working for Casey Stoner in MotoGP and for Team Klaffi Honda in World's Superbike."
Current championship runner-up Nori Haga on the Yamaha Italia machine is ninth while number one plate-holder Troy Corser and his Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki ended up in 12th.
"Not so bad," explains Haga. "It's a new circuit now so it was important to learn the layout. The new part is slower not a problem for me, but we have a bit of chatter and I would like some more rear traction. We'll change some settings for tomorrow and I think that this will be a solution. I hope so, but as always we must just wait and see what tomorrow brings."
Behind the Ducati duo, less than one second separates the next thirteen riders, a testament to the talent on display this season.
Provisional Qualifying Results:
1. Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1'39.336
2. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1'39.888
3. Michel Fabrizio (Honda) 1'40.171
4. James Toseland (Honda) 1'40.242
5. Alex Barros (Honda) 1'40.415
6. Andrew Pitt (Yamaha) 1'40.474
7. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1'40.567
8. Ruben Xaus (Ducati) 1'40.581
9. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) 1'40.612
10. Karl Muggeridge (Honda) 1'40.746
11. Regis Laconi (Kawasaki) 1'40.796
12. Troy Corser (Suzuki) 1'40.837
13. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) 1'40.848
14. Fonsi Nieto (Kawasaki) 1'41.001
15. Frankie Chili (Honda) 1'41.034
16. Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha) 1'41.104
The WSB races at Assen will air on Speed Channel. Race 1 is scheduled for Sunday, September 3 at 12:00PM (EST) with Race 2 set for Tuesday, September 5 at 2:00PM (EST).
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