Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) and his Ducati 1098 F08 took provisional pole in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Assen’s TT Circuit. Despite a bad fall while training on his bicycle in Montecarlo two days ago, Bayliss was the only Superbike rider to lap in under 1m40s today. Dry conditions meant that all riders were nevertheless recording some very quick times with the 19 fastest riders behind Bayliss all lapping within a second of each other. Fellow Ducati Xerox Team rider Michel Fabrizio had a fall on his first lap out during the morning’s practice session but was unhurt and subsequently able to make strong progress in the afternoon, to conclude the first qualifying session in seventh position.
"It’s the first time we’ve been here on the 1098 but we started out pretty confident and feel that we have progressed in the right direction during this morning’s practice and then in qualifying this afternoon. There are a few things we want to test tomorrow morning if we have dry weather. I feel pretty good on the bike and am quietly confident so if we can make a few modifications to make my riding a bit more smooth then I’ll be very happy. Everyone is riding well today and the track always makes for close racing, with guys in all the classes going pretty quick. It would be great to have a dry weekend but here you never can tell - we’ll see how we go.”
“This morning, just a few moments into the session, I was exiting a curve and just didn’t see a wet patch on the track in time. It was a shame I fell because then I only had the second bike to use for the rest of the session and we had spent less time preparing that machine. This afternoon went a lot better, as I went back to riding the first bike and I’d say we’re going well, although it was a shame we had the two red flags right at the end of the qualifying session, as I think I could have gone faster. Anyway tomorrow we’ll try a few different things but I can say that I am satisfied with my performance today.”