KAGAYAMA SUZUKIS TOP-10 IN QATAR ARRC OPENER
Team KAGAYAMA SUZUKI Asia’s Noriyuki Haga and Rafid Topan Sucipto both has positive starts to the penultimate round of the Asia Road Race Championship in Qatar with eighth and 10th positions last night.
With final qualifying on the same day from 3pm (local time) at the Losail International Circuit with air temperatures of 45 degrees and a track temperature of 64 degrees, Topan significantly-improved his previous practice times to take 10th position on the grid with a time of 2'06.358 with Haga 14th on a 2'06.909 lap-time.
Race one took place under the floodlights at 8pm with temperatures slightly cooler at 35 degrees. Haga got a great jump aboard his GSX-R600 to place sixth into the first corner ahead of Topan, but both riders stayed with the leading group; Haga crossing the line in eighth and Topan 10th.
Tonight (Saturday’s) second race will take place at the later time of 10.30pm.
Rafid Topan Sucipto #25:
“Everything went smoothly during qualifying. I may have done better, but I think 10th was the best I could do, although I did want to start more at the front. I regret that I had a trouble at start that made me drop to 14th, but I was able to finish in the top 10. I hope to do better in Race 2.”
Noriyuki Haga #41:
“The team and I was trying to solve a ‘chattering’ problem during qualifying, but I spent the qualifying session doing that and ended without making a flying lap. I was still able to finish eighth in Race 1, but there are still some issues that were unsolved. We are looking on a complete change in my set-up for Race 2; and I am hoping it works.”
Yukio Kagayama - General Manager:
“The fact that we are new team in the paddock hit us hard this week. Haga passed close-to 10 riders at start, lapped in the 2'05s, so he proved that we have the potential. Topan missed the start, but made steady laps close to his qualifying time and we were able to finish in the Top-10. I hope I can provide both riders with a better machine set-up for the race tomorrow.”