Michel Fabrizio is confident he will be able to challenge Ben Spies for victory during the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano after qualifying on the front row of the grid.
The Italian, who held provisional pole position heading into Superpole, comfortably qualified for the shootout, but an error on his quickest lap meant he had to settle for a spot on the outside of the front row.
Nonetheless, while Fabrizio took the time to praise Jakub Smrz for his maiden pole position, it is Spies he will have his eyes on when racing gets underway.
“It's a shame that I made an error in the first split, losing a few tenths, because otherwise it would have been a much better time, putting me in second or third I think. Anyway I must say well done to Smrz who put together an extremely fast lap and I am very happy to have made it on to the front row.
“We can't predict what the weather will be like tomorrow but we've tried both the race tyres that we have available and I'm happy with both of them so we're feeling confident that we'll be competitive regardless of the conditions. I have a feeling that tomorrow I'll be fighting against Ben because today I've seen that we have more or less the same pace.”
Starting on the second row of the grid, championship leader Noriyuki Haga
was philosophical about his efforts, claiming the front row isn't crucial for a Misano win.
“I'm still fairly happy with the way things are going. Tomorrow it's not supposed to rain, at least we hope not! In the morning we want to make some small changes that will hopefully improve the feeling I have with the front of the bike and then we'll be ready to race.
“For me it is not so important that I'm not on the front row, but having said that tomorrow I plan to start strong and try to stay there out front.”