Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Yukio Kagayama gave himself the best possible birthday present by taking Superpole today at Monza with a faultless lap of 1:47.143 which beat his team mate Troy Corser by just 7000ths of a second.
Corser was lucky not to crash in Superpole after hitting a bird on his out lap which became struck in between his brake lever and the brake cable,. The Australian had to flick it out and make sure it had not caused any damage before getting up to speed for his flying lap.
Third quickest today was Regis Laconi (Ducati) with Karl Muggeridge (Honda) fourth.
Yukio Kagayama - 1st, 1:47.439:
"I am very happy to get Superpole today and because it is my birthday, it is a nice present. It was a good lap and a perfect lap because I did not make any mistakes. I have been very happy with the qualifying tyres here but I am not so sure about my race tyres. One tyre I like only lasted five or six laps before it went off, so I will have to try another type in the morning warm-up tomorrow and then decide what to do.
"Tomorrow, strategy is going to be very important. I must not go out very hard from the start and make the tyre wear out. I must use my head throughout the race and especially think what to do at the end. People tell me that I had some slides on my Superpole lap, but I did not feel them. It's better that way!"
Troy Corser - 2nd, 1:47.446:
"Two things cost me some time in Superpole. On my warm-up lap, a bird hit my bike and then hit me and there was blood all over my right arm and shoulder. I guess I was lucky because it could have been much worse - especially if it had happened on my flying lap. Also, I made a small mistake when I ran a little wide exiting on of the chicanes and that lost me some time. But all credit to Yukio because he managed to beat me today - even though it was only by seven thousandths of a second!
"This afternoon he followed me for a while and that helped him learn the track a bit better and of course do a good Superpole lap. I am very happy with my bike set-up and, apart from adjusting the mapping a little in the morning warm-up tomorrow, I think we are all set. I don't think anybody is going to get away in the races and expect four or five of us will be pretty close to each other at the end and that should be great for all the fans."
Final Superbike Qualifying: 1 Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1.47.439, 2 Corser (AUS-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1.47.446, 3 Laconi (F-Ducati) 1.47.885, 4 Muggeridge (AUS-Honda) 1.48.054, 5 Vermeulen (AUS-Honda) 1.48.128, 6 Pitt (AUS-Yamaha) 1.48.580, 7 Walker (GB-Kawasaki) 1.48.613, 8 Toseland (GB-Ducati) 1.48.695, 9 Chili (I-Honda) 1.48.908, 10 Bussei (I-Kawasaki) 1.49.245.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Javier Fores failed to improve on his position from yesterday and will start the Supersport World Championship race at Monza tomorrow from the third row of the grid.
Suspension problems were the main reason for his inability to move up the grid and so he will face a hard task to get into the leading group at the start of tomorrow's 16-lapper.
Hondas continued their Supersport domination today with Sebastien Charpentier taking pole position ahead of his team mate Katsuaki Fujiwara. Third quickest was Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati) with Michel Fabrizio (Honda) fourth.
Javier Fores - 11th, 1:54.313:
"I was not so happy yesterday and I am not so happy today either. I had many suspension problems today and also a small engine problem and that was enough to prevent me from advancing up the grid. Tomorrow I will try some different settings and see if we can find some improvements.
"It is going to be hard starting from the third row but I am going to try and get a really good start and hopefully finish in the top six. That, and being the best Suzuki, is my aim."
Final Supersport Qualifying: 1 Charpentier (F-Honda) 1:51.730, 2 Fujiwara (J-Honda) 1:52.126, 3 Nannelli (I-Ducati) 1:52.364, 4 Fabrizio (I-Honda) 1:52.700, 5 Curtain (Aus-Yamaha) 1:53.092, 6 Corradi (I-Ducati) 1:53.539, 7 Sanna (I-Honda) 1:53.542, 8 Veneman (NL-Suzuki) 1:53.843, 9 Chambon (F-Honda) 1:54.007, 10 Parkes (Aus-Yamaha) 1:54.218, 11 Fores (E-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 1:54.313.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Xavier Simeon used his head and rode a steady race at Monza today to finish fifth overall.
Set-up problems meant that Xavier couldn't push as hard as he would have liked and in the end he decided that fifth position was better than trying harder and crashing.
Yoann Tiberio (Honda) led for most of the race but was beaten to the flag by Claudio Corti (Yamaha) in the closing stages. Third was Maxime Berger (Honda), some five seconds behind. Despite getting past Niccolo Canepa (Kawasaki) a couple of times, Simeon was unable to make it stick and, in the end, had to be content with fifth place.
Xavier Simeon - 5th:
"That was a difficult race today because my Suzuki did not seem to want to change direction easily. It was hard work in the chicanes. If I pushed much harder I would have crashed so I thought it would be better to finish fifth and keep my third place in the championship."
Superstock Results: 1 Corti (I-Yamaha), 2 Tiberio (F-Honda), 3 Berger (F-Honda), 4 Canepa (I-Kawasaki), 5 Simeon (B-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 6 Perez Munoz (E-Honda).
Superstock Points: 1 Corti 45, 2 Tiberio 45, 3 Simeon 27, 4 Berger 26, 5 Canepa 26, 6 Perez Munoz 21.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office