Noriyuki Haga is refusing to rule himself out of contention for victory ahead of the 2010 World Superbike curtain raiser at Phillip Island, despite qualifying down in tenth position.

The pre-season title favourite will start the season from the third row of the grid after his decision to stick with the race tyre during SP2 meant his lap time wasn't good enough for him to reach Superole.

However, while Haga apologised for missing out on the front two rows, he points to his stunning ride to victory from 13th on the grid at the same circuit twelve months ago, a performance he is determined to replicate this year.

"In the second phase of the Superpole I went out on a race tyre but even though it felt like a clean lap, the time was not quick enough and unfortunately that put me out of the fight, and I finished tenth.

"Tomorrow I will of course need to make a fantastic start but I am confident that I am able to do that. I apologise to Ducati for the fact that I'm on the third row but I will, as ever, do my best in the races. Last year I started from 13th and won the race so I know it is possible to achieve a great result regardless of grid position."


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