Jun 8, 2001
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By Glenn LeSanto<BR><BR>Neil Hodgson used a combination of judgement, effort and good luck to head the first timed qualifying session here in Lausitzring, Germany Friday. As a result he sits on provisional pole, with Australian Broc Parkes behind him in second on the NCR Ducati. Hodgson, riding for the British-based GSE Ducati Racing team, got a first and second in the two races at his home circuit, Donington Park just two weeks ago.<BR><BR>When the session started the track wasn't dry, but it wasn't fully weteither. Hodgson and his team knew that the forecast was for rain that afternoon and had prepared for an all-out effort early in the session. His strategy paid off, he set fastest time at 1:43.018 on only his sixth lap. Shortly afterwards the heavens opened and it rained hard - after which there was no chance of any riders bettering his time. According to his long time personal manager, ex-GP racer Roger Burnett, Hodgson spent the rest of the session getting a good full-wet set up. "Neil knows that it could all change on Saturday, it could be dry and he'll have it all to do again. But he used this session well, working out a good set-up and tyre choice for Sunday – just in case the race is wet," said Burnett. "He's in a confident mood after Donington but he's a realist, he takes each race as it comes. He knows that everything has to be right to get a good result in Superbikes nowadays, the bike, the tyres and the rider – they all have to be at their best."<BR><BR>Further down the time sheet Tady Okada continued to show that he's getting the hang of riding the RC51 Honda. The former GP rider was third fastest in the session, ahead of his team mate and defending champion Colin Edwards, who finished the practice down in tenth. The two Troys, Bayliss and Corser, were fourth and fifth respectively. Steve Martin, one of the paddock's<BR>acknowledged rain specialists, was sixth fastest on his DFX Ducati 996R, ahead of race two winner at Donington, Pierfrancesco Chili on the Alstare<BR>Suzuki.<BR><BR>World Superbike Championship, First timed qualifying session<BR>Lausitzring, Germany<BR>Rider, Nationality, manufacturer, time<BR><BR>1.Neil Hodgson, GBR, Ducati, 1;43.018<BR>2.Broc Parkes, AUS, Ducati, 1:43.319<BR>3.Tadayuki Okada, JPN, Honda, 1:43.486<BR>4.Troy Bayliss, AUS, Ducati, 1:43.536<BR>5.Troy Corser, AUS, Aprilia, 1:43.929<BR>6.Steve Martin, AUS, Ducati, 1:44.208<BR>7.Pierfrancesco Chili, ITA, Suzuki, 1:44.511<BR>8.Stephane Chambon, FRA, 1:44.731<BR>9.Hitoyasu Izutsu, JPN, 1:44.785<BR>10.Colin Edwards, USA, 1:44.960<BR><BR>