2ND IN FRANCE
Team Alstare Suzuki's Max Neukirchner returns to the track that started his career in the main World Superbike squad last season when he was drafted into the Magny Cours race in France as a replacement for injured Yukio Kagayama.
And his fourth-place debut in the opening race might have been ever better if had he not tangled with Troy Bayliss when he was on course for a podium position. A fall in the second race put a bit of a damper on his weekend, but his performance throughout the weekend proved that he was a star of the future.
This year Neukirchner has been riding the Team Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 to great effect and is still in with a chance of runner-up spot in the championship.
For team mate Fonsi Nieto and Kagayama, the season has been one of ups and downs, but both riders are determined that Magny-Cours will see an upturn in their fortunes.
"Last year was the start of my adventure with this team and I was very close to getting a podium at my first attempt. I crashed in the second race and was very disappointed because I knew the potential of the bike and was hoping for another attack on the podium. But sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down and that is racing.
"This year I think I have a chance of podiums for sure and I will be trying my hardest to get them and get back into second place in the championship."
"This season has been a bit strange and I have had a lot of bad luck. Last year I finished on the podium in the second race at Magny-Cours and fifth in the other, so I think I get on well with the track. I hope that this year I will be able to qualify well in Superpole and give myself a chance of good results."
"I missed the race last year because of injury and the year before my results were so-so. But I took a pair of second places in 2005 and this is what I want to have in my mind going into these races this weekend. I have not done as well as I expected this year and although things have not always been so easy, it is my job to ride the bike as hard as I can. I have done this, but I want better results. I am determined to do well at Magny-Cours and will work my hardest towards this goal."
Race 1: 1 Haga (J-Yamaha), 2 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati), 3 Corser (Aus-Yamaha) , 4 Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Suzuki), 5 Fonsi Nieto (E-Kawasaki).Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki) DNS.
Race 2: 1 Haga, 2 Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki), 3 Fonsi Nieto, Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Suzuki) DNF, Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki) DNS.