World Superbike Championship leader Noriyuki Haga says he is happy to wait until the races before showing his true pace following a quiet performance on day one of action at Assen.

The Japanese rider kept a low profile through practice and provisional qualifying, Haga choosing to work through a number of problems with the Ducati Xerox, most notably tyre longevity.

Eventually ending up a provisional 12th on the grid, Haga was untroubled by being almost a second slower than pace setter and key title rival Ben Spies, claiming his true potential is still to come.

"It's been a fairly positive day and I'm feeling comfortable. The only real problem is that we have good rear traction that means we are consuming tyres too quickly. So tomorrow we need to find a way to increase the life of the tyres without losing grip.

"So although I wasn't fastest today, the race is Sunday and as far as I'm concerned, the sessions on Friday are for finding solutions for the race. Tomorrow I aim to qualify at the front of the grid."

Team-mate Michel Fabrizio, a double podium winner last time out at Valencia, enjoyed a more successful day, just missing out on the front row in fifth position.

"I am feeling fairly happy with today's performance. I am losing a few tenths, all in the first split and that has to be resolved tomorrow. I think we've already identified a rear tyre solution for the race but we're still unsure as to the front.

"I had some grip problems with the front today but towards the end of the qualifying the feeling I had with the bike began to improve so we hope that we can continue to make improvements tomorrow too."


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