And a day to forget for Troy Corser
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Yukio Kagayama raced to a podium in the second leg of yesterday's World Superbike Championship round at Imola in Italy as team mate Troy Corser suffered with a DNF in the opening race.
first race saw both Kagayama and Corser fail to finish for very different reasons: Kagayama's GSX-R1000 was hit by the falling bike of Max Neukirchner on the opening lap and Corser was forced to retire after his bike kept finding false neutrals.
The start of race two was far more encouraging for Team Alstare, with Corser in second at the end of lap one behind newly-crowned Champion Troy Bayliss. But it wasn't long before he began to develop tyre problems and gradually began to slip down the order. Meanwhile Kagayama moved up the order and was second with eight laps to go. But he too started suffering tyre problems and could do nothing when Barros came past. Bayliss took the win Barros runner-up and Kagayama third.
Yukio Kagayama (Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 3rd):
"Strange day today and I am not happy with the results. My first race never really started because I was hit on the first lap and crashed. I thought about getting back on the bike, but it was too badly damaged. In between the first and second races my team did amazing work to repair my bike so that I could ride it in race two - and for this I say a ‘big thank you.' The start of the second race was very fast and it was difficult to overtake anybody."
"Also, my front tyre feeling was not very good and I kept thinking I would crash every lap! But I did not want to give in, so I tried my hardest to keep the bike upright and close in on the leaders.
I managed to do this and got into second place, but when Barros came past, my tyres would not let me fight him back, so I settled for third place. It was one of the hardest races I've ever done because Imola is a very physical track and when your tyres do not work it makes it even more physically tiring. Now I want to go to Magny-Cours and get two podiums!"
Troy Corser (Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 9th):
"What a day! One to forget for sure! I have had some bad luck this season and it seems to be carrying on and on. There's not much to say really - especially about the first race. After a few laps, my bike found a false neutral on the downhill approach to a left-hander. I had to take to the gravel but I managed to stay on the bike and get back on the circuit. On the next lap, I got some false neutrals again and it became quite scary as I didn't know when or where the bike would do it. It happened a couple more times, so I decided to pull in rather than crash and that was it for race one."
"Race two started better and I was with Bayliss from the off. After 5-6 laps, the rear tyre started going off and that, together with a lot of wheelspin, meant that I couldn't get any drive or grip. From then, it was a real struggle to keep up and soon my lap times began to get worse and prevented me getting any decent result. I have no idea or explanation how or why all this is happening at the moment, but I've got to believe that it can't last for ever."
Race 1: 1 Barros (Bra-Honda), 2 Toseland (Honda ), 3 Pitt (Yamaha), 4 Haga (Yamaha), 5 Bayliss (Ducati), 6 Lanzi (Ducati), 7 Nieto -(Kawasaki),8 Muggeridge (Honda), 9 Abe (Yamaha), 10 Laconi (Kawasaki). Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) DNF, Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) DNF.
Race 2: 1 Bayliss, 2 Barros, 3 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 4 Pitt, 5 Toseland, 6 Haga, 7 Lanzi (I-Ducati), 8 Muggeridge (Aus-Honda), 9 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 10 Laconi (I-Kawasaki).
Championship Points: 1 Bayliss 393, 2 Toseland 295, 3 Haga 293, 4 Pitt 239, 5 Barros 231, 6 Troy Corser 218, 7 Yukio Kagayama 193, 8 Lanzi 152, 9 Walker 140, 10 Nieto 139.