The Benelli Sport team struggled on the first day at Imola, finishing 20th in the first timed qualifying session.

Rider Peter Goddard improved on his times in free practice, but just as he lapped faster on the Benelli Tornado, so also did most of the rest of the field. "We got faster in the afternoon but everyone else did too!" he commented.

"We suffered a bit from a lack of grip," said Goddard, "but mainly it's just a case of being down on speed."

A number of changes have been made to the bike since the last round in Assen, but there wasn't time to fit all the latest batch of modifications.

"The fuel injection has some modifications that make it easier to adjust it during race weekends," explained Goddard, "but there?s still some things waiting back at the workshop waiting to go on."

Colin Edwards was fastest in the session, with his rival for the championship, Troy Bayliss, in fourth.