World Superbike debutant Jake Zemke has declared himself 'satisfied' with his efforts following his maiden outing with the Stiggy Racing team at Monza.
The American, who has been drafted in to replace injured countryman John Hopkins for the latest round of the series in Italy, faces a steep learning curve through the weekend having never competed at the high-speed Italian circuit before.
And so it proved, Zemke being classified just outside the top twenty, even if he managed to lower his quickest lap time by almost two seconds between the sessions.
On the cusp of the position he needs to progress to Superpole, it is the top twenty Zemke is targeting ahead of qualifying.
“I am satisfied with today's progress," Zemke, who would end the day 22nd, said. "We could have been better, but I am starting to feel comfortable on the bike and understand it, which is the main thing at the moment. We are working in that direction, and definitely got better in the last laps.
“I was actually a little upset with myself as I thought we had to qualify for Superpole today, but fortunately, we have another chance tomorrow. There's definitely more in store, so the lap times will have to come down tomorrow, and I will hopefully be able to qualify for a competitive position on the grid.”
Assen podium winner Leon Haslam, meanwhile, endured a quiet start to the weekend, taking a provisional 12th on the grid after persevering with race set-up.
"We made some progress today. We have been persevering with a different front end this weekend and did some back-to-back testing, which has put us in a good direction. We should be able to improve in the next session, although we are not a million miles away.
“I am running good lap times, and managed to set my fastest time in the tenth lap I did on my race tyre. I am pretty happy with the progression we have been able to make so far. There's a few areas we want to improve on, we want to work on the suspension a bit more, but other then that I am comfortably looking forward to tomorrow's qualifying.”