Max Biaggi says he has one eye on the temperatures as he looks to maintain is excellent start to the second round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park.
The reigning champion ended the opening day of practice with the fastest time of 1min 28.794secs, fending off the attentions of Phillip Island sparring partner Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa.
Insisting he was looking for a good set-up on the Aprilia Alitalia RSV-4, rather than chasing lap times, Biaggi was delighted to emerge as the man to beat at the end of Q1.
However, while conditions were warm and sunny on this occasion, Biaggi believes even minimal changes in temperature over the weekend will create a challenge.
"For once even on Friday people are talking about Biaggi and Aprilia,” he said. “To be honest, we weren't looking for the best time. As usual we are working to adapt our bike to this track. By pushing in order to verify some solutions, I obtained a comforting result and I'm pleased about that.
“We changed a lot of configurations, especially in the back, which we will be thinking over now, in order to turn up the best way possible tomorrow. I have my eye on the temperature. Here it is an important element for tyre selection. You can really feel the difference even of just a few degrees, particularly in the long, fast turns.”
Team-mate Leon Camier crept into the top ten with the tenth fastest time, but while he was pleased with his solid start to the weekend, he says there is still more to improve on.
"I'm pleasantly surprised. This first day of practice sessions went better than expected. Physically I reacted well and my pace on the track is also positive.
“Obviously we still have a lot of work to do in order to be competitive in the race, but also to take the best possible advantage of our potential in Superpole which is not my strong point.
“I'd say that we've got a good starting point; now all we need to do is continue improving and I'm sure that our work will pay off.”