Ducati Fila riders Regis Laconi and James Toseland got off to a steady start at round nine or World Superbikes at Assen, qualifying fifth and eighth quickest respectively as Pierfrancesco Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) set the pace in Friday's opening session.

The British rider, currently fourth in the standings, clocked a time of 2mins 05.096secs around the 6.027 km TT circuit to take the provisional fifth slot on the grid, while his French team-mate and championship leader was a further four-tenths of a second down in eighth place.

"We worked hard today and I put two nine-lap stints in, which doesn't sound a lot but around here it is." declared Toseland. "We tested at Mugello and got a good base setting. It was nothing rocket-science but it works with what we know. We've got that comfort zone and everything is working pretty well.

"I'm the second fastest on race tyres but I think I'm consistently the fastest rider out there at the moment. Chili's just beaten me by one-tenth on a race tyre and everyone else is on qualifiers so I'm pretty happy."

Toseland's team-mate Laconi could not share the Brit's contentment.

"I'm not completely happy but we are riding here with the new setting we had in Mugello and we still have to work and make it better," said Laconi. "But the feeling is good and now I just have to find a good lap time.

"The only real difficulty we had was with the qualifying tyre, so we will have to sort that out tomorrow. We changed quite a few things in that session but I just have to learn more this bike with the new setting."