Haga from Toseland

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The honour of provisional pole position for the opening WSB race in Qatar went to Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga with a lap time 0.6 seconds inside Troy Bayliss’ 2006 lap record. 

Haga has completed two tests at the desert circuit during the winter and although he hasn’t been fastest in either one he has clearly got the 2007-spec Yamaha Italia R1 dialled in for the fast track.

With a near identical lap time Britain’s James Toseland continued his impressive form to take second spot, despite being forced to ride his number two bike after his preferred machine suffered an intermittent miss fire. 

Max Biaggi looked fast and smooth onboard the Alstare Suzuki to go third quickest. 

The Italian completed 22 laps during the one hour session, the most of any of the riders in the WSB field.

Troy Corser’s’ 1:59.440 was good enough for third but he’s still 0.3s off his testing best of two weeks ago when he posted a 1: 59.10.

Troy Bayliss had to play second fiddle to his Italian team-mate for the first time after Lanzi took fifth place with Bayliss sixth.

Suzuki man Yukio Kagayama was the last rider in the 1minute 59second bracket to end the day in seventh spot.

A resurgent Ruben Xaus has clearly found the benefits of his 2006 specification factory Ducati complete with advanced electronics and Ducati Corse technician. 

The Spaniard clocked a 2:00.258 to finish ahead of Toseland’s team-mate Robby Rolfo in ninth and Kawasaki’s Fonsi Nieto in 10th.

Dean Ellison slashed more than 3.5 seconds off his lap to end his first day of WSB competition in 18th spot.

The biggest loser of day one was Karl Muggeridge. On board the Alpha Technic Honda Muggeridge was 12th fastest in free practice but didn’t even complete a single lap in qualifying after technical problems sidelined both his bikes.