Noriyuki Haga has been left with a sore back following a spectacular accident ahead of Superpole at Miller Motorsports Park, although the championship leader would go on to qualify ninth.
Twelve months on from breaking his collarbone at the same circuit, Haga was taken to the medical centre when he high-sided during a long run but was back out on his Ducati Xerox later in the day to partake in qualifying.
Although ninth on the grid is his worst grid position since the Phillip Island season opener, he insists it was traffic and the weather, not his injury, that consigned him to the third row.
"Well I'm not a great fan of Saturday mornings at Miller! Last year I broke my collarbone and today I crashed again, perhaps my fault for pushing a little too hard while doing a long-run but fortunately the only consequence is a very sore back, that I hope doesn't cause me too many problems tomorrow.
“Anyway, I did my best in Superpole this afternoon; I could have been on the second row but I found traffic on track in the first two sessions and when I was about to go out again at the end of the second phase it started to rain.
Looking ahead to the races, Haga is almost certain Spies will be difficult to beat for victory, but he is confident of keeping a substantial margin at the top of the standings
“Tomorrow's races will be really hard and if Ben, as I'm sure he will, takes off, then I don't know whether I'll be able to stick with him but I'll try my best to take as many points as possible.”