Bikes: Alstare set for Portimao


Suzuki Alstare riders Fonsi Nieto and Yukio Kagayama and Alstare Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner head to the final 14th round of the World Superbike Championship at the recently-built Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, this coming weekend.

Together with most of their rivals, it will be their first visit to the circuit although Ducati Xerox tested there last week and will have collected invaluable data and a considerable advantage going into the event.

Fonsi Nieto:

"For me, like many riders, this will be a new experience and we will have to start off learning the track before we get down to finding the right bike set-up. I thought that we would all be seeing the circuit for the first time, so I am a bit surprised that some of our rivals have tested there already. That will give them a big advantage because they will already have a good idea of bike set-up, whereas we will be starting from scratch. My season has been a bit up and down so my intention is to finish it with a couple of good results."

Yukio Kagayama:

"It is a new track for me and a lot to learn in a short space of time, but this is my job and I must do it as best I can. It is a pity that some of our rivals have tested there recently because they will have collected a lot of good information and can just fine-tune the bike in practice. But this is racing and I and my team must work hard in practice and qualifying and be as competitive as possible. I will fight as hard as I can, as usual, and hope for good results."

Max Neukirchner:

"I know nothing about the track apart from seeing photos of it, so the first thing I have to do is learn the circuit. Normally I am quite good at learning circuits and if the weather is OK I am sure we can get a lot of work done in practice. At the moment, I am in fourth place in the championship, but Corser is only 18 points ahead, so I want to put pressure on him and see if I can take third."