Noriyuki Haga ensured his Ducati Xerox mechanics wouldn't be able to rest on their final World Superbike weekend as two crashes necessitated a rebuild of his bike at Magny-Cours.
The Japanese rider is hoping to give his team a strong result on the weekend Ducati bids farewell to the series it has won on 16 occasions, but two crashes prior to Superpole left him on the back foot.
Nonetheless, despite his bike being ready just five minutes before the session, Haga made it into the shootout – one of the few times he has managed that this season – before going on to eighth place.
“Obviously the two crashes didn't help us at all because they meant that my technicians had only a few minutes in which to prepare my bike for the Superpole. They were fantastic and, bearing in mind they had to do so much in so little time, I am also satisfied with the second row result.
“The crashes were similar, in that I lost the front on both occasions; luckily I was not hurt and I'd say I'm confident for tomorrow. We've been lucky with the weather up until now so now we just have to hope it doesn't rain tomorrow either.”
His team-mate Michel Fabrizio did fare better in fifth position, the Italian confident he is in good shape for the races.
“Another positive day for us overall. We know we have a good race pace and this gives me confidence. We've worked well and, even though I would have liked to make the front row, fifth position isn't bad.
“I wasn't able to make the clean lap that I needed but I'm nevertheless fairly satisfied as we've been fast in all of the sessions this weekend and I feel prepared for tomorrow.”