SUZUKI ALSTARE BRUX
Team Suzuki Alstare Brux riders Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama finished the first day of practice and qualifying at the Valencia World Superbike third round with the seventh and eighth fastest times respectively.
Less than a second separated the top 17 fastest riders at the Ricardo Tormo circuit and tomorrow's qualifying is sure to be just as hectic:
Max Biaggi (Aprilia) ended the day with the fastest time, followed by Ben Spies (Yamaha), with Ducati team-mates Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio in third and fourth.
Max Neukirchner - 7th, 1:35.285:
"I think today wasn't so bad and to see 17 riders with only a second between them is pretty amazing. We started off with one bike set up from Qatar and the other with the set-up from Phillip Island, but the Australian one seemed to work better. There was not much grip in the first session and the track felt a bit dirty, but the grip level was much better in the afternoon. We did some good, consistent lap times this afternoon and the tyres were working OK even at the end, so that was encouraging. Hopefully we will improve the bike more tomorrow afternoon and get further up the grid in Superpole.
Yukio Kagayama - 8th, 1:35.316:
"I began today with the same set-up as in Qatar and Australia and the feeling was not so bad. My bike had some rear-end chattering, so we will make some adjustments tomorrow to see if we can cure the problem. Unfortunately I had a big crash this afternoon at turn eight. It was a big high-side and everything would've been OK, but the bike ran me over and hurt my back; one thigh and a finger. I went out again, on the spare bike, and managed to put in some good lap times, but when I had been off the bike for an hour or so, I was sore! Hopefully, I will be OK tomorrow because I want to do well in Superpole."
Friday WSB Qualifying: 1 Biaggi (I-Aprilia) 1:34.775, 2 Spies (USA-Yamaha) 1:34.907, 3 Haga (J-Ducati), 4 Fabrizio (I-Ducati) 1:35.243, 5 Sykes (GB-Yamaha) 1:35.270, 6 Smrz (CZ-Ducati) 1:35.278, 7 Max Neukirchner (D-Suzuki Alstare Brux) 1:35.285, 8 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare Brux) 1:35.316.