Both riders had tyre grip problems in the afternoon when the temperature rose - a situation that has been with the team all season.
James Toseland (Honda) set the day’s fastest lap with a time of 1:50.039. In third place today, between Corser and Kagayama is series leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati)
Troy Corser - 2nd, 1:50.250:
“I had a little crash at the start of the afternoon session but don’t really know why. According to the telemetry my throttle position was the same as the lap before, so maybe I was on an old tyre, I don’t know. I banged myself a little, but no real damage and I rode the bike back to the pits ok. I jumped on my spare bike and carried on working on a good set-up for the race. I'm reasonably happy with the bike’s set-up and our main concern is the tyres. When the temperature rises, we lose grip. When it’s hot, we can find a tyre that will last a race distance ok, but it’ll mean much slower lap times. I had quite a lot of wheelspin here today but I guess that’s because of the nature of the layout. There are lot of camber changes and fast elevated turns and the bike seems to spin slide quite a bit. It’s an area we’ll work on in tomorrow morning’s warm-up.”
Yukio Kagayama - 4th, 1:50.357:
“In the morning I believed that I’d finish with a lap in the 1:49s this afternoon, but when the temperature rose, it was not possible to do this time. As we’ve seen before, our tyres do not seem to like the heat so much and the lap times come down. My feeling was quite good in the morning and the only real problem was braking into the corners. I pushed hard in the afternoon, but it made no big difference to my lap times. Tomorrow morning we’ll change the rear spring to start off and see if we can go faster.”
Max Neukirchner - 9th, 1:50.659:
“I’m very happy today because I feel that the whole package is improving. The morning session was good, but when we made a change to the chassis for the afternoon session it was not so good. So we went back to the morning setting and worked from that. In the afternoon, when it was hotter, the grip was definitely down and that is a problem that we’ve had before and that is our biggest problem at the moment. We’ll try some front and rear suspension changes tomorrow morning and see we can improve the bike.”
Friday Qualifying: 1 Toseland (GB-Honda) 1:50.039, 2 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:50.250, 3 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati) 1:50.265, 4 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:50.357, 5 Barros (Bra-Honda) 1:50.388, 6 Xaus (E-Ducati) 1:50.468, 7 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha) 1:50.502, 8 Fabrizio (I-Honda) 1:50.553, 9 Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Engineering Corona Extra) 1:50.659, 10 Clementi (I-Ducati) 1:50.768.