World champion Tom Sykes will start Sunday's Imola World Superbike round from sixth on the grid after struggling to exploit the maximum grip available from new tyres.
“Things did not go to plan today,” said the Kawasaki star, whose best lap was 0.478s behind pole sitter Jonathan Rea.
“This weekend I have not been able to take the full benefit from a new rear race tyre. We were not able to use the bike to its true potential and unfortunately with the qualifying tyre it was the same,”
“At the moment some of our opposition are using it better than us, which is strange because we have always been very strong in these qualifying conditions. This year we have been a little bit better in race performance than in qualifying, so we will see how it goes.”
The 2014 title leader now plans to get 'stuck in' during tomorrow's two races, as he seeks to increase his present twelve point advantage over Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli, who qualified in second.
“I am on the second row of the grid but it is not the end of the world as we have two long races tomorrow,” said Sykes, double winner at Imola last season. “We just need to get stuck in because tomorrow one that counts.
“We have shown signs of being good over race distance so I would like to think we will be in a good position for the two races tomorrow.”
Team-mate Loris Baz will start one place and one row behind Sykes.
“Things were a little bit better today than yesterday because we have been struggling a little bit on this track,” confessed the Frenchman. “We just could not find a good pace at the beginning but we found some of the grip we were missing in the front during free practice four. We made a big step and in Superpole I did my best.
“I think we could have a good race day because I can keep a good rhythm on a race tyre. We just have to see where we can be with the times we are doing. I am sure we can improve even more in the warm-up and we are not too bad.
“I am seventh on the grid and that means I start from the left side, which is not so bad at this circuit as you stay left all the way to the first corner.”