WSBK: Alstare Brux Suzuki Riders Take First WSB Podium
Neukirchner and Kagayama take podiums in both races
Team Suzuki Alstare Brux riders Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama raced their GSX-R1000s to second and third places in the opening race at today’s World Superbike Championship opener at Phillip Island in Australia.
And, although both riders experienced grip problems in race two – with Neukirchner sixth and Kagayama eighth – Neukirchner left the circuit holding second place in the Championship.
Max Neukirchner – Race 1: 2nd, Race 2: 6th:
“I was very happy with the first race and thought I could win it after a big fight with Nori. But I made a little mistake on the last lap and that was enough for Nori to take the chequered flag and push me to second. But for me, second is a great start to the season and it is a good way to say thank you to my team for all the hard work over the winter. I had some problems with chatter in race two and also got caught up in a lot of traffic and found it not easy to get through it. I lost three seconds on the front group and that was too much to make up. The grip level seemed quite a bit down in race two and it was not possible to go any faster. If I had gone any quicker, I may have crashed and I didn’t want that as Yukio and I have not had a single crash all weekend!”
Yukio Kagayama – Race 1: 3rd, Race 2: 8th:
“I am so happy to be on the podium again because the last time was a very long time ago – Brno in 2007. I am a racer and I like to win, so the first race was a good feeling for me. The bike was almost the same in race two, but the grip level was much different and I had some chattering and many slides. Also, I had a problem with my left boot and it was not so easy to use the shifter. If I didn’t have that problem, I’m sure I could’ve caught and passed at least two riders in front of me. But it’s a good feeling to be on the podium again and also good because I didn’t crash this weekend.”
Race 1: 1 Haga (J-Ducati), 2 Max Neukirchner (D-Suzuki Alstare Brux), 3 Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare Brux), 4 Fabrizio (I-Ducati), 5 Rea (GB-Honda), 6 Haslam (GB-Honda), 7 Laconi (F-Ducati), 8 Troy Corser (Aus-BMW), 9 Smrz (CZ-Ducati), 10 Sykes (GB-Yamaha).
Race 2: 1 Spies (USA-Yamaha), 2 Haga, 3 Haslam, 4 Laconi, 5 Fabrizio,
6 Max Neukirchner (D-Suzuki Alstare Brux), 7 Smrz, 8 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare Brux), 9 Rea, 10 Sykes,
Points: 1 Haga 45, 2 Max Neukirchner (D-Suzuki Alstare Brux) 30, 3 Haslam 26, 4 Spies 25, 5 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare Brux) 24, 6 Fabrizio 24, 7 Laconi 22, 8 Rea 18, 9 Smrz 12, 10 Sykes 12.