A 'very dangerous' tyre mistake by his Repsol Honda team left an already frustrated Max Biaggi fuming after this afternoon's qualifying session in France; the Roman having been sent out on the wrong type of rubber in the closing stages of the hour.

"With ten-minutes to go my team fitted a race tyre instead of a qualifying tyre. I went on the track to push it to the limit but I discovered pretty soon that I couldn't make it," explained an angry Biaggi.

"I would like to joke about it but this is too serious, because this kind of thing can also be very dangerous. These mistakes cannot happen in a top team willing to reach the best result," he stated firmly.

"It appears that his team may have not fitted the correct qualifying tyre and as a result Max was not in a position to improve his time in the way that he would have expected," commented team manager Makoto Tanaka diplomatically.

But to make matters worse, Biaggi continues to experience fundamental handling deficiencies with his factory RCV - meaning that even when the correct qualifying tyre was fitted he could only manage the eighth fastest time.

"With the only qualifying tyre that I tried I scored the eighth time, almost half a second gap from the pole position. Nothing new," he shrugged. "It reflects the problems we are facing since the beginning of the season.

"My front end shakes in braking areas and it tends to wheelie out of the corners and shifting gears. I start from the third row and I expect another hard race," concluded the #3.

"Max is still not happy with the feel of his machine in the turns but we have seen Max make incredible races this season from bad start positions and we hope he can achieve this again tomorrow," added Tanaka.

Meanwhile, the other side of the HRC garage was a much happier place to be, with Nicky Hayden sitting on pole for a substantial amount of the session before slipping to a still promising fifth on the grid.

"We got out really early and got into a good rhythm. Overall the bike feels pretty good - we just have a few issues with the front. I just want to get the bike to finish the corner the way I like," said Nicky.

"It's so close up the front it's ridiculous. I just want to show up tomorrow with my 'A' game and get a good start, get it on and see what happens.

"I hope we can put on a good show for the fans. Man, it's been wet in my camper - I can't image what it's like in a tent in a field - those boys have my respect! They're real fans!" he smiled.

"Nicky and his team have done a good job today,"commented Tanaka. "They got the set-up right from the start and Nicky is able to maintain a regular high rhythm that I hope will be good for the race."

 

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