News 31 May 2009

WSBK: Alstare Suzuki runners 13th and 14th at Miller

Suzuki Racing PR:

Team Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Yukio Kagayama ignored the pain from two broken bones in his right foot and ankle to qualify 13th in the seventh-round World Superbike Superpole at Miller Motorsport Park in America.

Yesterday’s visit to the hospital in Tooele, revealed broken bones in his right heel and ankle and he was advised not to race this weekend. The doctors also said that the normal recovery time for this kind of injury is six months! But Kagayama was determined to ride and after consultations with the Clinica Mobile and the local doctors he persuaded them all to let him try to ride in the morning qualifying and the reassess the situation afterwards.

Kagayama had pain-killing injections and put in a superb performance and qualified for Superpole without a problem. After another examination – and more persuasion – he was allowed to ride.

His team mate Fonsi Nieto improved greatly and made Superpole 1 and ended with the 14th quickest lap time and will start alongside Kagayama on the grid.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) took his seventh pole of the season to go into the record books with the most consecutive pole positions. Second was last year’s Miller double winner Carlos Checa (Honda) with Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) third and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) fourth.

Yukio Kagayama – 13th, 1:50.114:

“I am a racer and I want to race, so for me, I had to get on my bike today. My right foot has to be very strongly strapped and getting my boot on and off is not so easy! I cannot put any weight on my foot, because of the broken bone in my right heel, so I have to use crutches to walk around. On the bike, it’s not so bad and I can ride without too much of a problem. I had some injections this morning, but not this afternoon. I am lucky that it is my left foot that was not injured, because that one is used more on the bike and I don’t think I would’ve been able to ride today or this weekend. Some people say that I am crazy, but this is just me. I want to race and if I think I can do it, then I will do it. For sure tomorrow will be hard because of two races in hot conditions, but I will do the best I can and hopefully I can make some good results.”

Fonsi Nieto – 14th, 1:50.488:

“My feeling with the bike was much better today because it was smoother to ride and we found a good direction. In the afternoon, I tried to do consistent fast laps on race tyres in preparation for the races tomorrow. My bike was not so different to yesterday, but the small changes have helped quite a bit and so I am happier.  The grip was better in the morning qualifying when the temperature was a bit cooler, but not so good in the afternoon when the temperatures went up. Considering that this is my second race weekend with this bike, I think my qualifying position is not so bad and now I hope we can make good results tomorrow.”

Final WSB Qualifying: 1 Spies (USA- Yamaha) 1:48.344, 2 C Checa (E-Honda) 1:48.908, 3 Kiyonari (J-Honda) 1:49.243, 4 Fabrizio (I-Ducati) 1:49.434, 5 Smrz (CZ-Ducati) 1:49.658, 6 Byrne (GB-Ducati) 1:49.982. 13 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare Brux) 1:50.114. 14 Fonsi Nieto (E-Suzuki Alstare Brux) 1:50.488.