The ninth round of this year’s Superbike World Championship at Donington Park will not be remembered fondly by team Suzuki Alstare Brux riders Yukio Kagayama and Blake Young:
Kagayama’s lowly grid position was always going to present problems at the British circuit and although he fought his hardest, as usual, all he had to show at the end of the day was a 17th in race one and a 13th in race two. Whilst there may have been some expectations on him to get into the top-10, there were no such expectations on rookie Blake Young: The 21-year old American was plunged into the deep end this weekend and found himself in unfamiliar territory. But to his credit, he kept working away and finished 25th in race one, but then made a significant improvement in race two by taking 17th position.
Yukio Kagayama – Race 1: 17th, Race 2: 13th:
“This weekend was not an easy one because we had problems with rear grip. We tried many different things over the weekend – suspension, geometry, gear ratios – but we were not able to improve the bike. We also tried a different swinging-arm for race two, but no big change, although he feeling was a bit better.
“All in all it was a frustrating time for me and my team. I know that they worked as hard as they could and I know that I rode as hard as I could, but we did not get any good results. I am a very experienced rider and my team is very knowledgeable, but we still could not find any solutions. I am sorry for Francis and the whole team because our results today were no better than a privateer.”
Blake Young – Race 1: 25th, Race 2: 17th:
“Race two was obviously better for me than race one, but I would’ve liked to have done better still. I made pretty good starts in both races, but it’s difficult in the early stages of the races because everybody is dive-bombing each other! Once the packs split up a bit, it was easier for me to get a good rhythm. This has been a great learning experience for me and I would like to do it again. The team has been great and I would like to thank Francis Batta and Alstare for giving me this tremendous opportunity.”