News 28 Sep 2009

WSBK: Muggeridge improves for Alstare Suzuki in Imola races


Team Suzuki Alstare riders Yukio Kagayama and Karl Muggeridge worked their hardest in both 21-lap races in today’s World Superbike 12th round at Imola, but left the Italian circuit with just six points to show for their efforts.

Today was always going to be tough, because of their lowly grid positions, but the first race started very positively, especially for Kagayama, who was up to seventh by the 10-lap stage. But soon after, he began having tyre problems and was unable to keep up the pace. The team made changes to the bike for race two, but there was no improvement and, as the race wore on, the bike began shaking and Kagayama was forced to pull out, or risk crashing.

Muggeridge suffered grip problems in race one and a rear tyre chunking in race two and although he was very disappointed with his results, he is positive that further work with the new Ohlins suspension system will pay dividends.

Yukio Kagayama – Race 1: 15th, Race 2: DNF:

“I made a good start in race one and got up to seventh by the tenth lap, but then I began to experience problems with the rear tyre. It was a very strange feeling and the bike became very difficult to ride, especially in the last five laps. After the race, we checked the tyre and found that it had a puncture! So at least there was an explanation.

“The team decided to make a change to the rear-end for race two, but it didn’t work out well: There was a lot of movement from the rear end and the bike was shaking a lot. The bars began to start shaking and I tried to keep going, but it was impossible, so I had to pull out. I am not happy at all with the results today, but I feel very positive about the future with our new suspension system and I am looking forward to developing it further and getting better results in Magny-Cours next weekend.”

Karl Muggeridge – Race 1: 13th, Race 2: 14th:

“After the morning warm-up we changed the settings of the bike, but I soon began to get a lot of chatter and a pumping feeling from the rear. I was having to fight the bike, but I just kept going and brought it home as best I could. We made a radical change to the bike for race two and there was less chatter, but the grip was not so good. The first 10 laps were OK, but when the grip level went down further, I began to lose time and I could not recover. Eight laps from the end, the rear tyre started chunking, so I had to ride steadily and just get the bike home. I am pretty disappointed today but, on a positive note, I am happy with the front end of the bike. I know that we have to do more work on the rear, but our suspension is very new to us, so it is understandable that we have to do a lot of work to make progress.