Sacchetti jumped up to a highly respectable 5th
Despite threatening grey clouds darting overhead on many occasions, the notoriously changeable Assen weather stayed dry long enough for the completion of Superpole, with Fonsi Nieto (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) scoring the highest
placing for the three man PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse team, ninth. He had qualified sixth best after the regulation sessions, conducted on race tyres, and thus knows that ninth is an artificially low reward for his strong pre-race efforts.
Chris Walker (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) was 11th in regulation, 13th after Superpole, and continues to try and find a race set-up that will allow him to challenge for the top positions on Sunday.
After being held up twice while on an optimum tyre and chassis set-up in regulation qualifying, Regis Laconi (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) scored only 17th and missed Superpole by a single placing.
Shortly after Superpole PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse confirmed that the team will once more be Kawasaki's official representatives in the SBK Championship, and will run in the Superbike class only, with two riders drawn from the existing trio of 2006 pilots.
With a strong possibility of rain once more on raceday, the hard work put in during the dry sessions held so far may make Sunday the only day that really matters for set-up. The races at Assen this year will be 22-laps in duration, due to the shortening of the track to 4.555km.
Fonsi Nieto: 9th - 1'39.958: "On race tyres practice was nearly perfect but in Superpole qualifying always I have small problems. But I am pushing, pushing and with each race I am nearer the other riders in Superpole. For sure in the end of the season we will be very near the front row riders.
Third row start is not special, so I will have to push to fight my way to the front at the beginning. The new Assen? I prefer the old one, but every year bikes change and circuits change, so it is normal. It's still a good track."
Chris Walker: 13th - 1'40.388: "In the preparations for Superpole the bike was the best it has been really, and I did my best race run, into the 1'41s, which had eluded me to that point. I did ten good laps at that pace but there was not time to try the qualifier in readiness for Superpole. I did the first half of the Superpole lap pretty well but the qualifying tyre didn't last for the whole lap, so I ended up all over the place. That was that. We could do with the temperatures to come up, because our tyres seem to work better when the track is a bit warmer, so I hope the rain stays away. Either way, I'm looking forward to it."
Regis Laconi: 17th - 1'40.534: "I made a mistake this morning and lost the opportunity to set a fast lap time on a softer race tyre. Two times another rider stopped me on the track but it was my mistake because I ended up following someone. You cannot make any kind of mistake this year because if you do you can be outside of Superpole quite quickly. My lap-times on regular race tyres are quite good, so I have a lot of overtaking to do in the races, but lots of laps to do it in this year."
Denis Sacchetti (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) jumped up from a disappointing first day to a highly respectable fifth at Assen, just over one second from pole position rider, Ayrton Badovini - having slashed over two seconds off his first day best. He improved despite suffering from a fever, and still feels he has work to do in warm-up to improve rear traction.
No fewer than 38 riders qualified for the Assen race, an indication of how competitive this class is in the 2006 season. Sacchetti now faces a 13-lap race on Sunday morning, 3rd September, in what could well be wet conditions.
Denis Sacchetti: 5th - 1'44.468: "Today I had a high temperature and because of that I was not OK physically. But I'm happy because with the help of the technicians, whom I need to thank, we have resolved a potentially bad situation. Now we have to think to the race because I'm worried that we don't have such a perfect rear set-up. We finished near the first row so for the start I have confidence."