Despite problems with the bumpy track, Kagayama kept attacking and managed to bring his GSX-R1000 K9 home not so far from the leaders in both 24-lappers. His team mate Fonsi Nieto, standing in for the injured Max Neukirchner, has never raced at Kyalami before, but managed to finish 16th in race one and 15th in race two.
Today's races took place in superb conditions and were both won by Noriyuki Haga (Ducati). In race one, he was a comfortable winner, nearly a second ahead of team mate Michel Fabrizio with Ben Spies (Yamaha) third. After taking the lead on lap three of race two, he was never headed on the way to his double. Fabrizio pushed him hard, but ended just three-tenths-of-a-second behind at the flag. Jonathan Rea (Honda) took third place after holding off Leon Haslam (Honda) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) in the closing stages.
Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 8th, Race 2: 8th:
"This weekend, I had trouble with the bumps at this race track and we were not able to find a good solution to make the bike easier to ride over these bumps. We tried many things, but it is not so easy to understand the character of this bike and I would like more testing time. This bike is all new this year and so we have had to start to work with it and try and understand it. If we could understand the bike completely, we could improve it quickly and that would mean that I could challenge for the podium in every race. I am hoping that the next round at Miller will be good for us and I am looking forward to fighting for the top spots again."
Fonsi Nieto - Race 1: 16th, Race 2: 15th:
"I am happy to be here, but I am not happy about the results. The team has been great and it's as if I have never been away. The bike is new to me and so is the track, but I don't like this track because of all the bumps. This bike is not working so well with the tyres we have and if we could improve in that area, we would be able to fight for better results for sure. Now I have some time to think about the bike and talk to the team about some ideas for the next race in USA. At least I have raced at that track before, so I will not be starting with such a big disadvantage as this weekend."
Race 1: 1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Ducati); 2 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati); 3 Ben Spies (USA-Yamaha); 4 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda); 5 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia); 6 Carlos Checa (SPA-Honda); 7 Shinya Nakano (JPN-Aprilia); 8 Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki Alstare Brux); 9 Shane Byrne (GBR-Ducati); 10 Tom Sykes (GBR-Yamaha). 16 Fonsi Nieto (SPA-Suzuki Alstare Brux).
Race 2: 1 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Ducati); 2 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati); 3 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda); 4 Leon Haslam (GBR-Honda); 5 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia); 6 Carlos Checa (SPA-Honda). 8 Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki Alstare Brux). 15 Fonsi Nieto (SPA-Suzuki Alstare Brux).
Championship Points: 1 Haga 250; 2 Fabrizio 165; 3 Spies 162; 4 Haslam 116; 5 Rea 106; 6 Biaggi 103; 7 Sykes 103; 8 Laconi 77; 9 Neukirchner 75; 10 Checa 73 , 12 Yukio Kagayama (Team Suzuki Alstare Brux) 68, 29 Fonsi Nieto (Team Suzuki Alstare Brux) 1.