Bayliss and Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) faced difficult climactic conditions today as the 2008 World Superbike championship officially got underway. Winds of up to 40 km/h meant that riders were unable to record any particularly fast laps and the morning practice session was instead used to check the settings of the new Ducati 1098 F08 machines. The afternoon qualifying session went ahead in similar conditions at the Losail International Circuit with both riders attempting to improve on the times recorded in the morning.
Troy Bayliss 1m59.8s
“I’m reasonably happy with how it went today but we all found it tough and every lap had to be ridden in a different way simply due to the conditions. The wind meant that I was never completely comfortable and there is only so much we can do to change the settings of the bike because conditions may be different again tomorrow. Looking at this weekend’s entry list I reckon it’s going to be a very competitive championship this year, we’re a strong field and I’m looking forward to the competition!”
Michel Fabrizio 2m00.9s
“It was very difficult out there today and although sand on the track wasn’t such a problem, I wasn’t totally confident on the bike with the strong winds. Having said that, there were several of us who were lapping around the 2 minute mark so we were all having similar problems with the weather I think. We’ve changed a few settings on the bike throughout the day and I hope that we can make better progress tomorrow.”