Joan On The Assen Front Row

April 26, 2010

WSS, Assen, Netherlands, 24 April 2010
Joan Lascorz and Katsuaki Fujiwara each made great strides in qualifying at Assen as Joan ended up fourth and on the front row; Katsuaki seventh and on row two.

Lascorz, the championship leader, could not find an early solution to allow him to set fast laps, and it took some work from Joan and his team to turn a winning set-up from Valencia last time out into a competitive setting for the very different Assen layout.

The work was successful and Joan is now happy with his prospects for the race on Sunday, as he was also fourth on the grid at Portimao and finished second in the Portuguese race, only 0.031 seconds from the win.

Fujiwara also had some issues to overcome in practice but concentration and commitment from team and rider saw Katsuaki make some key changes to suit the faster parts of the recently modified Assen circuit. The Japanese star ended up in a respectable starting position of seventh, just over a second from Kenan Sofuoglu on pole.

The conditions at Assen have proved to be nearly perfect, with a dry raceday expected and more spring sunshine hoped for at the 4.542km Assen circuit.

Joan Lascorz: "Front row for us which is always a good result after qualifying. This has been a sometimes difficult weekend and we have made a lot of changes to the bike. This morning I was a little off the pace but we have made good improvements and now have the right settings. The new corner on the back section of the track is fast! Sofuoglu has been quick here but we will see in the race. In Portugal we thought it was not possible to go up front but it may be the same here. We need to check the tyres in warm-up to see which one works best, but starting from the front row is very good."

Katsuaki Fujiwara: "We made improvements on the bike and we are on the second row. We are much better than we were yesterday but we still have some difficulty at the exit of the small hairpin, when it is not so easy to turn. In every other place we have improved greatly. And of course here at Assen it is more important to target the high-speed corners than the low speed ones. We need to make a final tyre choice in warm-up, as there is no obvious one right now. We will make a long run and see how it is."