News 27 Sep 2009

WSBK: Shocking qualifying for Alstare Suzuki riders at Imola


Team Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Yukio Kagayama suffered a problem with his number-one bike just before Superpole for today’s WSB Qualifying at Imola in Italy, and was forced to use his back-up bike which had a different set-up.

Because of this, he couldn’t push as hard as he wanted in Superpole 1 and so was unable to get into Superpole 2.

The morning qualifying session had gone very positively for the Japanese rider and he was looking forward to making further improvements on his GSX-R1000 K9 in the free practice before Superpole. But right towards the end of the session, his rear end lost grip and he was forced into the gravel trap. He hit the tyre wall and the engine cut out. Kagayama tried to restart the bike, but it wouldn’t fire up, so he had to run back to the pits and get his number two bike ready for Superpole.

His team mate Karl Muggeridge was also unable to proceed into Superpole 2 and was very disappointed as things had been going well up to that point: Muggeridge is one of the few riders who didn’t test here back in July and yesterday’s loss of track time meant that he was still getting to know the bike, the new suspension system, and whilst learning the new layout of the circuit at the same time.

Yukio Kagayama – 17th, 1:49.906:

“Seventeenth place on the grid is terrible and I am very disappointed because things had been going so positively and I was enjoying myself again. It is early days with our new suspension, but the signs are very positive and I was hoping that we would have a good Superpole. But running off the track ruined that and when I hit the tyre wall and the engine wouldn’t start, I knew it could be a problem. Now, once again, I have to make two good starts and ride my socks off, but I want to forget today’s problem and think positively about tomorrow and the races.”

Karl Muggeridge – 20th, 1:50.414:

“I am very disappointed because today things had definitely started to turn around and we were progressing very well. We have improved the bike a bit since yesterday, but have still got the same family of problems, so more work is required. For me, turns one and two are still very greasy and I crashed there when the bike suddenly shook its head and I was off. No damage to me at all, but I am sorry for the extra work I have given the mechanics. I’ll see what I can do to repay them in the races tomorrow.”