Max Biaggi, pole sitter at Donington Park one year ago, eased himself into the 2004 edition of the British Grand Prix by setting the seventh fastest time in first qualifying - a result that hasn't particular troubled the Roman.

"This morning we made a modification to the bike that worked straight away," began Max. "So we continued in this direction but without wanting to change the set up too much because this bike doesn't need that.

"We don't have any problem in particular, it's just about getting all the settings fine-tuned a little more. We're nearly there, and I'm calm despite 7th place," he claimed. "Hayden did a great lap, but if the weather stays the same tomorrow, I think that the times will drop even further.

"The new asphalt is a step forward compared to last year, but it hasn't solved all the problems of the track, the grip is improved, but there are still some bumps and dips at the bottom end of the circuit," added the Camel Honda rider, currently just one point behind championship leader Valentino Rossi.