Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi raced to two podiums at Donington Park today aboard the new GSX-R1000 as team mate Yukio Kagayama was forced to sit out the event due to injury.

In mostly sunny, but very cold, conditions, the Italian took a hard-fought-for third in the opening race after being ninth at the end of the first lap. But better was to come in the second race; he made a better start this time and fought Yamaha team mates Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga throughout the 23-lapper after early leader James Toseland (Honda) went out with a mechanical problem after two laps.

Biaggi charged into the lead after 14 laps and looked on course for victory until he made a small error exiting the final corner on the last lap, allowing Haga to take the chequered flag instead. But his points tally today moves him to just five points behind series leader Toseland with third-placed Haga 12 points behind.

Max Biaggi:

“I’m pretty happy in one way – I got two podiums – and a little bit disappointed because I should’ve won the second race. I led going into the final turn but then ran a little wide and that was just enough for Haga to slip through and into the lead. The finish line is very close to the exit of the corner so there was no chance of me being able to out-drag him to the line. We all make mistakes and although it cost me the victory, I still got second place and that, together with my third in race one, means that overall it was a good day.

“We didn’t make any changes to the bike from the first race to the second – apart from fresh tyres of course. In the first race I didn’t make a good start so I had a lot of work to do to catch up the front three. It was about half race distance by the time I did that and then I had to try and catch James and Troy. James was too far away but I did get pretty close to Troy by the end, but not close enough to get past.

“Race two was a great race. Luckily the weather was much better today and the fans that were here saw some great racing. I had a big battle with Nori and Troy and nobody knew who was going to win. I took the lead and I’m not saying that it was an easy lead, but I felt pretty comfortable. I knew that Nori was very close and that Troy was not far behind either but I was happy to be in front going into the last lap. Then a bit of a mistake by me in the final corner and victory became a second! But that’s racing! I’m really enjoying my life here. I like the racing and I like the atmosphere off the track because it is much more human and also more relaxed. On the track we riders fight as hard as we can, but afterwards it’s good that we can smile together.”

Yukio Kagayama:

“It was very frustrating for me being at the track, feeling ok and not racing. I don’t like it! Maybe the doctors made the right decision but I still wanted to be out there fighting, fighting, fighting… But now I will get ready for the next race in Valencia where I hope to get two good results because I want them and I need them.”

Superbike Results:

Race 1: Toseland (GB-Honda), 2 Corser (Aus-Yamaha Motor Italia), 3 Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 4 Haga (J-Yamaha), 5 Lanzi (I-Ducati), 6 Nieto (E-Kawasaki), 7 Laconi (F-Kawasaki), 8 Neukirchner (D-Suzuki), 9 Rolfo (I-Honda), 10 Smrz (CZ-Ducati).

Race 2: 1 Haga, 2 Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra), 3 Troy Corser (Aus-Yamaha Motor Italia), 4 Xaus (E-Ducati), 5 Lanzi, 6 Laconi, 7 Rolfo, 8 Smrz, 9 Muggeridge (Aus-Honda), 10 Neukirchner,

Series Points: 1 Toseland 115, 2 Max Biaggi (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 110, 3 Haga 88, 4 Troy Corser 81, 5 Lanzi 66, 6 Bayliss 64, 7 Neukirchner 46, 8 Xaus 45, 9 Rolfo 36, 10 Nieto 30. 12 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 23.


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