Michel Fabrizio was left frustrated to miss out on the chance to challenge for a maiden World Superbike pole position at Donington Park after the arrival of rain scuppered his momentum.
Ducati Xerox rider Fabrizio entered Superpole having already consolidated his overnight pole position, the Italian going on to assert his authority over the opposition by breaking the lap record during the shootout preceding Q2 session.
However, with the weather deteriorating, Fabrizio was forced to back off on a damp circuit, leaving him fifth on the grid. Despite the setback, he remains confident he will be in contention for race wins and the podium regardless.
“It was a pity it started to rain right at that moment, in the last part of the Superpole, but I did my best and starting from the second row shouldn't be too much of a problem. For tomorrow I'd say that we're sorted with regard to the race tyre and, as far as the qualifiers we used today are concerned, it didn't go badly.
“I wanted to get under 1min 30secs and in the second Superpole which I managed, breaking the lap record in the process. Tomorrow we have to see what the weather will do, and then based on the track temperature, we'll decide which rear tyre we'll use to try and get back on the podium again.”
Team-mate Noriyuki Haga will start just one position further back after making substantial progress on the 1198 over provisional qualifying. Choosing not to push too hard and risk a crash, the Japanese rider has his eyes trained on victory come race day.
“We found a good solution today for the setting of my 1198 and I considerably improved my lap times. We just need to decide on the race tyre. The choice comes down to which rear, because there are two quite similar solutions, but we need to wait and see and decide tomorrow based on the track temperature.
“I just hope that track conditions tomorrow are not damp but either totally dry or totally wet. In the final Superpole this afternoon I could have pushed harder but to tell the truth I didn't want to risk a crash; some of the guys made some fast laps but I preferred not to take risks and so will start tomorrow in sixth.”