News 27 Jun 2009

WSBK: Kagayama steady 16th, Young learns Donington in 28th

Suzuki Racing:

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The first qualifying session at the Donington World Superbike ninth round this afternoon was blighted by a rain shower at the beginning, but when the track dried out and conditions improved, Yukio Kagayama played cautious and guest rider Blake Young spent his time learning the circuit.

Team Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Kagayama took things steadily as he tried to find a good set-up for the different conditions. He finished 16th quickest, but is confident of significant improvement tomorrow.

For team mate, 21-year old American Young, who is riding the Suzuki Alstare Brux GSX-R1000 K9 for the very first time, it was a steep learning curve:  Although he races a GSX-R1000 in the AMA Superbike Championship, the different regulations mean that the bikes are very different in specification and character and today he had to try and understand the bike whilst also learning Donington’s 4.023 kilometre circuit – and all this on unfamiliar tyres.

When the track did dry out, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) took provisional pole, with Leon Haslam (Honda) second, Ben Spies (Yamaha) third and Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) fourth.

Yukio Kagayama – 16th, 1:32.139:

“I am not happy with my position but I did find a good feeling with the bike and we know which direction to take tomorrow, so that is very positive. I did not have much grip in the first session today, but it was much better in qualifying. My foot is getting better and better and I did not have much big pain today. When the conditions are half-and-half, it is always difficult, so I took things steadily in the damp. Tomorrow we will try and improve the rear grip, maybe by changing the rear suspension and the bike’s geometry.”

Blake Young – 28th, 1:34.529:

“There is a lot for me to learn in a very short time, but I am really enjoying myself here. This bike is completely different to the Suzuki I ride in the States and has a lot more electronics on it. The wheels are a different size (16.5), the tyres are different; and I also have to figure out which way round the track goes at the same time! I just need time on the bike and it is important for me to put in as many laps as possible so I can get used to it and go faster.

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