World Superbike Championship leader Max Biaggi feels he is well placed to challenge for the podium at the Moscow Raceway so long as he can get a good start from the second row.
The Italian was off the pace in Friday's practice sessions, but overnight improvements to the set-up on his Aprilia turned him into a front runner during the pre-Superpole Q2 and FP2 sessions, suggesting a run at the front row.
As it happens, Biaggi would fall short of the front row by qualifying in seventh place, though the Italian was only less than a tenth slower than fourth place man Leon Haslam.
“We were able to improve quite a bit even if the bike isn't as fast as I'd like it to be on certain sections of the track,” he said. “We did the most we could in the time available. The second row could prove to be a good starting position if we can get off the line quickly when the lights go out and not miss the train of front riders.
“We won't make any radical changes for the races. We're headed in the right direction. We know there are some riders here with a better pace than ours, but we'll do everything we can to play our hand right.”