Crescent Fixi Suzuki's first official day as a full-time World Superbike team ended with Leon Camier and stand-in Josh Brookes 12th and 20th in first qualifying at Phillip Island.
Camier's best lap was 0.858sec from fastest man Jonathan Rea (Honda), and the former factory Aprilia rider is seeking half-a-second on Saturday.
"I am a little disappointed how things turned out today, but racing is like that sometimes,” said the Englishman. “We made some changes to the bike for the morning session, but the changes didn't make the improvements we thought they would. So we put the bike back to the way it was at the end of the official tests and started working all over again.
“In the afternoon session, we had some problems with the clutch, which caused some corner entry issues, so I couldn't push as hard as I would've liked. It was a bit frustrating, but if we can find just half-a-second, we'll be there or thereabouts and that is definitely possible.”
John Hopkins' replacement Brookes had the added complication of a font-end fall from his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000.
"I am not very happy because everything had been going well until I crashed this afternoon when I lost the front end in MG corner,” said the local star. “Although the conditions were not conducive to fast lap times this afternoon, I actually did my best laps at the hottest time of the day - and that's not normal.
“I was pleased with the improvement from the morning and now I am looking forward to more progress. I cannot quite feel the limit of the bike and the tyre yet, but once I do that, I'll be able to go faster for sure."
2012 TAS Suzuki BSB rider Brookes finished first qualifying 1.5sec behind Rea.