SUZUKI MEN SET FOR QATAR OPENER2007-02-21 06:30
Team Alstare Suzuki's Yukio Kagayama and Max Biaggi line up for this Saturday's opening round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship at Qatar on brand new GSX-R1000 Suzukis and positive after winter testing.
Kagayama knows Qatar well - in testing and race action - but new team member Biaggi will be experiencing it for the first time in race mode: The Roman has been out of race action for over a year but has steadily improved with every test so far and his class cannot be denied. All the eyes of the world will be on him during this first race and expectations will be high.
Last year, Kagayama was on course for a terrific victory in the first race, but was taken out by his friend Noriyuki Haga when the flag was almost in sight. Team mate at the time, Troy Corser, salvaged Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra's pride in race two with a superb win, so Qatar is regarded very positively by the team.
'I am very happy to be back in racing and want to say thank you to Francis and the team for all the support they are giving me. Although Superbike is a new adventure for me, I am looking forward to it. There are many good riders here - and many have a lot of Superbike experience - so I know that my job is not going to be easy. But I'm ready for this new challenge and will give it everything I've got.'
'A new season and a new bike and I am happy to be back on the race track to race instead of just testing. Of course, testing is very important - especially with a new bike - and we will see how we will go in these first races. There are many good riders in this series and I know I have to be more consistent this year if I am to have a chance of the title. My plan is to be fast, win races or take as many podiums as possible and try not to crash on a race day!'
Francis Batta- Team Manager:
'We have worked hard over the winter months and we hope that the hard work will pay off. There are always some problems to be solved with a new bike and that's normal. We are very happy to have Max in our team this year and think he may surprise a few people. Yukio has the ability to do well, especially if starts the season like he finished it last year. He and Max are both determined and committed and we are all looking forward to another exciting year.'
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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