April 2, 2005:
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Yukio Kagayama took his first ever World Superbike Superpole at Phillip Island today knocking over half a second off his previous best time in the process.
His Superpole lap was not the smoothest in the world, due to a few slides, but he never looked out of control as he sped round the 4.45 kilometre Australian circuit.
His team mate Troy Corser had been fastest in timed qualifying but a change of track temperature and the smallest of mistakes was enough to knock him off the top spot. But his time of 1:33.398 was good enough for a front row start, alongside Steve Martin (Petronas) and Max Neukirchner (Honda).
Yukio Kagayama - 1st, 1:33.241:
"I am a little surprised but happy with my Superpole lap. I went half a second faster than in normal qualifying, so that was a sign that we have made good progress today. My Superpole lap was not perfect because I had some slides, but there were no moments when I thought I was in trouble. Today we tried some changes but we did not make any big steps, so I went back to the set-up from yesterday and that seemed to work ok this afternoon.
"Phillip Island is a very physical track because there are many changes of direction at high-speed, so you must be strong. My aim in Superpole was to equal or beat Troy's time and when I did that, I was happy. I expected Troy would have been a bit quicker in Superpole but he is on the front row of the grid and that is the most important thing. At the moment I am happy, but this evening I will be thinking about the race tomorrow. That is more important then Superpole."
Troy Corser - 4th, 1:33.398:
"I am a little disappointed not to win Superpole, but it's what happens tomorrow that counts. I am on the front row and that's good enough to go for a win or two. I felt that maybe I was a little cautious at the start of my Superpole lap and that, together with a small mistake at Siberia, was enough to drop me down the order a little.
"It is so easy to either gain or lose a tad round here and that affects lap times considerably. Maybe there was a little change in the mapping when the temperature dropped as well, but in the end it's no drama because I am on the front row."
World Superbike final qualifying: 1 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:33.241, 2 Martin (Aus-Petronas) 1:33.301, 3 Neukirchner (D-Honda) 1:33.375, 4 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:33.398, 5 Pitt (Aus-Yamaha) 1:33.461, 6 Muggeridge (Aus-Honda) 1:33.557, 7 McCoy (Aus Petronas) 1:33.676, 8 Laconi (I-Ducati) 1:33.837, 9 Vermeulen (Aus-Honda) 1:34.053, 10 Toseland (GB-Ducati) 1:34.068.
WORLD SUPERSPORT QUALIFYING:
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Javi Fores improved both his physical condition and his lap time today and finished a creditable tenth fastest overall.
He achieved his target of a 1:37 lap and he maintained his position as the top Suzuki rider on the grid - all this despite being unable to give 100% yesterday due to illness.
Frenchman Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) dominated qualifying and took pole position with a lap of 1:35.746. Second and third quickest today were the Hondas of Michel Fabrizio and Fabien Foret, with local hero Kevin Curtain (Yamaha) fourth fastest.
Javi Fores - 10th, 1:37.915:
"At least I felt good enough to ride the bike today. Yesterday was a bit of a waste - except that I did begin to learn which way the track went. Phillip Island is a great track to ride and I like it a lot. It's very demanding and you have to know exactly where you are going if you want to make good lap times. I'm happy that I improved my lap time and I'm happy that I was the top Suzuki out there.
"Starting fro m the third row is not going to be easy but the first turn is a long way off so it's not so bad. Also, there are passing places, so I hope that I can get further up the order and challenge for a top six place."
World Supersport final qualifying: 1 Charpentier (F-Honda) 1:35.746, 2 Fabrizio (I-Honda) 1:35.903, 3 Foret (F-Honda) 1:36.230, 4 Curtain (Aus-Yamaha) 1:36.436, 5 Fujiwara (J-Honda) 1:36.524, 6 Chambon (F-Honda) 1:36.819. 10 Javi Fores (E-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:37.915.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office