Honda riders Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea were frustrated to miss out on reaching the Superpole shootout for the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.
Both riders entered the session with high hopes after impressing during the provisional qualification session prior to Superpole, but both would be caught out by the closeness of the lap times between themselves and their rivals.
Haslam was most unfortunate, the Briton going seventh with his final effort, only to see both Shinya Nakano and Michel Fabrizio
bump him back down to ninth.
Missing out on the crucial top eight position by just 0.003secs, Haslam was remaining confident for the races despite the less than ideal starting position.
“I have been struggling a little bit this afternoon. We tried a few things with the electronics, but we went the wrong way with it and ended up back to where it was initially. I am pretty happy with my lap times, it is just a little bit unfortunate I didn't make it through to the last Superpole.
“The times were all pretty close and just 0.1s faster would have put me in third place. I am ninth on the third row on the grid with some of the other British riders, and am looking forward to the start of the race and hopefully we can have a good one tomorrow."
Ten Kate Honda's Rea, meanwhile, found himself struggling in the latter stages of the lap. The Northern Irishman was heading for a shootout position at the end of the second sector, but would eventually be forced to settle for 12th.
“Sector three was my problem this afternoon. Last week, the circuit flowed and we never really got to the bottom of the stroke, but here we are struggling with the rear coming round on corner entry and I'm having to wait longer than I'd like to get on the throttle.
“As a consequence, I'm having to over-ride the bike and in that last sector I'm really on the limit and sometimes over it. That's going to be difficult to maintain for 23 laps tomorrow. We found a little something today, so all is not lost – although we're leaving it a little late to find the full solution.
“The third row is not what I expected here but, with a couple of good starts tomorrow, we can hopefully fight near the front.”