Stuart Easton is taking more notice of his lap times, rather than his grid position, as he continues to enjoy his maiden World Superbike outing at Assen.

Drafted in to replace the injured Broc Parkes on the factory Kawasaki, Easton has taken time to get the ZX-10R suited to his riding style and, as such, was initially rooted towards the bottom of the timesheets.

Nonetheless, the British rider made significant progress during the second qualifying session, briefly running on the cusp of the top twenty before being nudged down to an eventual 23rd position, where he will start.

However, despite being down on the sixth row of the grid, Easton points out that he was less than two seconds away from pole position at that time, while he also starts ahead of team-mate Makoto Tamada.

"It is tough when you just jump in for a one-off ride, but I am glad to be given the opportunity and I hope to make the most of it, learn from the experience, and have some fun. I have started out on Broc's settings and he has a different set-up from me, so we have been getting the bike set-up more for my way of riding.

"Considering everything, we were 1.9 seconds off pole in the second qualifying session, even though we missed a Superpole start. To be that close at this level, as a stand-in rider, and in a one-off race wasn't bad. I'm not too disappointed with that. We'll see what happens tomorrow."


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