Today was always going to be tough, because of their lowly grid positions, but the first race started very positively, especially for Kagayama, who was up to seventh by the 10-lap stage. But soon after, he began having tyre problems and was unable to keep up the pace. The team made changes to the bike for race two, but there was no improvement and, as the race wore on, the bike began shaking and Kagayama was forced to pull out, or risk crashing.
Muggeridge suffered grip problems in race one and a rear tyre chunking in race two and although he was very disappointed with his results, he is positive that further work with the new Ohlins suspension system will pay dividends.
Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 15th, Race 2: DNF:
"I made a good start in race one and got up to seventh by the tenth lap, but then I began to experience problems with the rear tyre. It was a very strange feeling and the bike became very difficult to ride, especially in the last five laps. After the race, we checked the tyre and found that it had a puncture! So at least there was an explanation.
"The team decided to make a change to the rear-end for race two, but it didn't work out well: There was a lot of movement from the rear end and the bike was shaking a lot. The bars began to start shaking and I tried to keep going, but it was impossible, so I had to pull out. I am not happy at all with the results today, but I feel very positive about the future with our new suspension system and I am looking forward to developing it further and getting better results in Magny-Cours next weekend."
Karl Muggeridge - Race 1: 13th, Race 2: 14th:
"After the morning warm-up we changed the settings of the bike, but I soon began to get a lot of chatter and a pumping feeling from the rear. I was having to fight the bike, but I just kept going and brought it home as best I could. We made a radical change to the bike for race two and there was less chatter, but the grip was not so good. The first 10 laps were OK, but when the grip level went down further, I began to lose time and I could not recover. Eight laps from the end, the rear tyre started chunking, so I had to ride steadily and just get the bike home. I am pretty disappointed today but, on a positive note, I am happy with the front end of the bike. I know that we have to do more work on the rear, but our suspension is very new to us, so it is understandable that we have to do a lot of work to make progress.
Race 1: 1 Haga (JPN-Ducati), 2 Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia), 3 Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati), 4 Spies (USA-Yamaha), 5 Kiyonari (JPN-Honda), 6 Haslam (GBR-Honda), 13 Karl Muggeridge (AUS-Suzuki Alstare), 15 Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki Alstare).
Race 2: 1 Fabrizio, 2 Haga, 3 Simoncelli (ITA-Aprilia), 4 Biaggi (USA-Yamaha), 5 Spies, 6 Rea (GBR-Honda), 14 13 Karl Muggeridge (AUS-Suzuki Alstare). Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki Alstare) DNF.
Championship points: 1 Haga 391, 2 Spies 388, 3 Fabrizio 330, 4 Rea 263, 5 Biaggi 257, 6 Haslam 219, 12 Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki Alstare) 104. 16 Max Neukirchner (GER-Suzuki Alstare) 75. 25 Karl Muggeridge (AUS-Suzuki Alstare) 13.
WORLD SUPERSTOCK 1000:
Team Suzuki Alstare rider Claudio Corti took runner-up spot in the eighth round of the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup at Imola today.
Corti had fought tooth-and-nail with Ayrton Badovini (Aprilia) and Xavi Simeon (Ducati) throughout the 12-lap race and ended up third at the chequered flag. But, after the race, Badovini's bike was disqualified for a technical infringement so Simeon inherited the victory and Corti moved up to second.
Claudio Corti - 2nd:
"It's never good moving up a place because of a disqualification, but the rules are rules and if you disobey them, then you deserve to be disqualified. Today was very hard for me because I had a fever and throughout the race I found it difficult to concentrate. But I was very determined not to let it affect me too much and I raced as hard as I could. At the end, I was very tired, but happy because I made the podium. Then, later on, I found that Badovini had been thrown out of the race and I had been given second place! That means I am closer now to Simeon, the leader. The gap is 45 points, and that is a lot, but anything can happen in racing and I will not give up until the last lap of the last race."
Superstock 1000 Results: 1 Simeon (BEL-Suzuki Alstare), 2 Claudio Corti (ITA-Suzuki Alstare), 3 Magnoni (ITA-Yamaha), 4 Beretta (ITA-Ducati), 5 Lammert (GER-Suzuki), 6 Saltarelli (ITA-Suzuki).
Championship points: 1 Simeon 180, 2 Claudio Corti (ITA-Suzuki Alstare) 135, 3 Fores 107, 4 Berger 102, 5 Beretta 79, 6 Barrier 67.