World Superbike legend Pierfrancesco Chili has threatened to quit the series over plans to run a single tyre brand in 2004.

The popular Italian stunned the motorcycling world during qualifying by lapping within a second of Valentino Rossi - who qualified his Honda V5 third for this year's MotoGP race - and said the thought of going slower next year, as a result of running one brand Pirelli tyres, would be too much to take.

"There is a new tyre rule that I don't like," Chili explained. "This year we are riding only one second slower than Rossi and I want to go faster next year, faster every year. But I think that if they introduce this rule then we will go too slow. Unless they change this rule, I do not think I will be here next year."

Assen ace Chili - riding his own ageing Ducati 998 - took a superb third placed finish in race one, behind factory Ducati team-mates Ruben Xaus and Neil Hodgson, then finished fifth in race two.

Loris Capirossi's took the Assen MotoGP pole with a time of 1min 59.77secs, just 1.1secs faster than Chili.



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