Noriyuki Haga claimed provisional pole position despite enduring one of the toughest days of his career with two crashes in the qualifying that wrecked his Yamaha Italia R1.
Haga described his second crash in wet conditions at Vallelunga as one of the biggest high sides of his entire career when he lost the rear of his Yamaha coming onto the back straight.
Haga was one of three riders that crashed in exactly the same place, with practically every rider on track having big slides due to a change of track surface and a trail of water running across the track caused by the extensive rain.
Haga walked away from the crash but was later seen in the paddock with numerous ice packs on his wrist and head to reduce swelling.
He said: “I was being careful at this part of the track because every lap I was having big slides. I came through with the same acceleration and on the same line, but it was like I hit oil and the crash happened very fast. I was hit by the bike on my head twice in the crash, but I am ok, no problem. I finished the day fastest so if it is wet tomorrow I am ready.”