Having blamed tactical errors for failing to qualify well last time out in Portugal, Noriyuki Haga's reason for missing the top ten in Valencia too was a somewhat more unusual this time – a problem with his seat.
Both Haga and Michel Fabrizio found themselves eliminated at the end of SP2 after failing to make enough of an improvement with their final lap times, the pair winding up a respective 11th and tenth position.
However, Haga insists he would have reached the top eight had his seat not come loose and began moving around on his fastest lap. Despite this, the Japanese rider remains confident in his race pace.
“In today's Superpole the first qualifier didn't help me too much,” he said. “The second was much better but while making a fast lap with that tyre, I had a problem with my seat which was moving around so it was hard to concentrate and I finished the second Superpole session one tenth of a second too slow.
“Anyway, we have a good race pace so tomorrow we just have to see how the races go. I'm fairly confident as we have a good race package, having also made a nice long run yesterday. Of course I need to make a strong start but I'm fairly sure I can do that.”
Fabrizio, meanwhile, echoed Haga's claims that the Ducati Xerox will be better over a longer distance, even if the Italian admits he was pushing at the limit over a single lap.
“It feels like we're on the limit and today I found it very hard to make fast lap times. The important thing I guess is that we have a good race pace - this morning I was able to make quite a few laps with consistently fast times.
“Of course this is not the result I hoped for from Superpole, also because starting from the third row at this particular track will be far from easy. We're all so close this weekend, separated by just a couple of tenths of a second, so tomorrow I know it'll be hard but I'll try my best.”