Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty are positive that they will be able to mount comebacks from their lowly starting positions after the Aprilia Racing pair were both caught out by the changeable weather at Assen.
Biaggi qualifying fate was decided very early in the day when heavy rain throughout Q2 ensured lap times from Q1 would determine who would continue on to the afternoon's Superpole session. With Biaggi just 17th following set-up issues on his RSV-4 throughout Friday practice, he subsequently wasn't given the opportunity to progress up the order.
Nonetheless, with many pointing to his tremendous charge from last position to second place at Phillip Island, Biaggi has high hopes that he can at least stay on terms with the front runners.
“After a dismal Friday, practice today unfortunately did not allow us to work the way we had hoped. We were definitely able to improve in spite of the fact that conditions were constantly changing. The thing that will make tomorrow's races an uphill battle is the starting position.
“It will be of utmost importance to start strong and not to lose any time in the first phases of the race, trying to stay with the front group in order to mount a comeback. There are a lot of riders here that have a better pace than ours. We'll try to sort things out as best as possible in the warm-up tomorrow morning.”
Having had no such problems making it into Superpole, Laverty's hopes of a strong grid position was scuppered when he crashed towards the end of SP1. With the initially damp circuit drying swiftly, Laverty was promptly demoted down the order to an eventual 14th position.
Compounding Aprilia's frustrating day, Laverty is at least satisfied that he has a bike to make gains with come race day.
“Superpole was definitely not the best part of our weekend. After starting with the intermediate tyres, I put the slicks on since the track was drying off. I knew I'd have to push to the limit in order to get into the top eight before weather conditions changed, but I pushed a bit too hard and crashed.
“Although starting fourteenth isn't ideal, I know I've been working well with the set up on my RSV4 and I hope I can take advantage of that in the two races tomorrow.”