Technical problems during day one of the 2009 World Superbike season left Althea Honda rider Tommy Hill just 21st after first qualifying.

The Briton was 15th during morning practice but engine and gearshift troubles left him unable to better his lap time during the afternoon.

"This morning we had a good first part of the practice, but in the last fifteen minutes we had an engine problem," said Hill.

"The team worked very hard to get the bike ready for the afternoon session, but of course we missed the first twenty minutes of the qualifying session to check if everything was working well on my bike.

"I started to push hard to improve my lap time but unfortunately near the end of the practice when we fitted new tyres we had another problem with the quick shifter and I was not able to improve my best lap time.

"My mechanics are now working to change the quick shifter and tomorrow I hope to work with my team effectively in order to improve my bike set up and to enter the Superpole," added the WSBK rookie.

The top 20 riders after Saturday's second qualifying will start the new knock-out Superpole session.



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