News 1 Jun 2009

WSBK: Kagayama races to 12th for Suzuki with broken bones

Suzuki Racing PR:

Although he had two broken bones in his right foot and ankle, a damaged shoulder and thigh, somehow Team Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Yukio Kagayama defied the pain and brought his GSX-R1000 K9 home 12th in both today’s races at the Miller Motorsport Park in USA. Yukio couldn’t walk without the aid of crutches, but he hauled his bruised and battered body onto his bike twice in sweltering conditions and fought hard throughout the two 21-lap races.

His team mate Fonsi Nieto continued his understanding of his Suzuki throughout the weekend and ended with a hard-fought for 13th in race two.
American Ben Spies (Yamaha) continued his weekend of domination by taking both victories today – much to the delight of the home fans. Carlos Checa (Honda) was second in race one, with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) third.  Behind Spies in race two was Fabrizio again, with Jonathan Rea (Honda) third.

Yukio – Race 1: 12th, Race 2: 12th
I am very sore and very tired after these races today. I had pain-killing injections in my right foot and that allowed me to race. Once I was on the bike, the pain was not so great, but what did hurt was my shoulder, back and thigh. Now I want a good, long rest!
In race one, I began to get a better feeling with the bike after about seven or eight laps and the tyre was working OK as well. It was difficult changing direction, because of my right foot, and going through the chicanes was also a bit of a problem, but I wanted to finish the race and so kept going. I had some more injections before the start of the second race, but I didn’t make such a good start and was 17th at the end of the first lap. My bike also had some chattering from the rear end and I couldn’t push hard. It was very tough and physical today, but I’m happy I managed to finish both races today.

Fonsi – Race 1: 16th, Race 2: 13th
Every time I go out on the bike, I understand it more and the feeling gets better. I was happy to get into Superpole this weekend and that shows that I am improving all the time. I have been out of racing for seven months, so I have to get back up to race pace again, but now that I am beginning to get more comfortable with the bike, it’s all getting better and better. Francis Batta has given me this great opportunity and I want to repay his faith, and that of the team, by continuing to improve and get better results.

Francis Batta (Team Manager)
Yukio is a special guy and I am very impressed with his courage and determination this weekend. Nobody put him under any pressure to get on the bike at all, in fact we tried to persuade him not to race! None of us thought he would actually race today, but he proved us all wrong and did a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances.