Noriyuki Haga's hopes of translating his practice pace into a strong grid position came to nothing as two crashes during Superpole left him down on the fourth row.
Haga gave a glimpse of his former best during Friday qualifying when he topped the timesheets, but gave himself a lot to do just minutes into Superpole when he fell during his first flying lap. Able to get back on the bike and going again, a swift final effort was enough to see him make it through to SP2 nonetheless.
However, once there Haga would again hit the deck and with no chance to get back and produce another lap, he was forced to settle for a disappointing 15th.
“In this morning's qualifying I didn't have the same level of feeling as yesterday, but we still found good pace and this gives me confidence for the races. Then came the Superpole and what can I say?
“We didn't need two crashes like that. In the first I was maybe pushing too hard because I was very comfortable on the bike and knew I could make a fast lap.
“Then in the second phase, and on the second bike, I immediately had a strange feeling, as if the front was too high and before I could react the same thing happened again - I lost the front and found myself back on the ground. Starting from the fourth row will be difficult but we hope we can get back on the path that we were following yesterday.”
His Ducati Xerox team-mate Michel Fabrizio
will start in seventh position, the Italian frustrated at not being able to get the best from his bike when it mattered.
“We've been going really well in all the sessions so far and this morning was no different. I'm just sorry that Superpole didn't really go as planned, as I had hoped to be on the front row to be honest but a few small things prevented me from putting together a clean lap and I finished in seventh.
“I'm still confident for the races as I know we have a good pace and, if I can make a good start, I think I can be up there with the guys at the front.”