Ryuichi Kiyonari claims there are still some improvements to come, despite securing second on the provisional World Superbike grid at Donington Park.
Former British Champion Kiyonari is many people's bet for victory this weekend following his double triumph at Brands Hatch last month and he showed as much in both practice and Qualifying 1 by rarely dropping out of the top three.
However, his day wasn't without drama after a heavy fall with twenty minutes of the free practice session remaining saw him sit out the remainder of the hour, while the tumble also damaged the Ten Kate Honda.
Nonetheless, Kiyonari returned to claim a spot on the provisional front row later in the day, even if the Japanese rider insists there is still more pace to come from the machine.
“The conditions were very bad today and the track was very slippery,” he said. “But we improved the bike from this morning and I had a very good feeling. We need to improve some areas tomorrow and try to get a longer run together. It is not normal for me to crash and I must apologise to my team because I have made a lot of work for them.”
A good day all round for the Ten Kate team, Checa completed the day in eighth place having run as high as fourth.
“The conditions are the same for everyone, of course, but the weather is very bad. I need to get used to the bike and tyres in these conditions and to find the best way to go fast. It's not the easiest circuit to do that when it's wet, but I'm feeling quite positive. I have been to Donington many times in the wet before and I know that the CBR100RR is really very good. We have some ideas to try tomorrow and I'm sure we can improve the position.”
Kenan Sofuoglu also had a strong day, with 13th place keeping him inside the provisional Superpole positions, while the Turk was also comfortably quicker than all three Alstare Suzukis and Noriyuki Haga on the Yamaha.
“I have some good memories of winning at Donington in World Supersport last year, but memories of today's weather are not so good. I was feeling quite comfortable and confident on the bike but crashed at Macleans near the end of the session. My shoulder is a little sore, but I'm sure it will be OK for tomorrow.”