The fifth round of the Superbike World Championship at Assen was one of mixed fortunes for Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra riders Max Biaggi and Yukio Kagayama. Max took a hard fought for sixth in the first race and then followed it up with a superb third place in the second, but Yukio struggled with problems in both races, finishing seventh in race one and eleventh in race two.

The first race was won by James Toseland (Honda), with Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) second and Ruben Xaus (Ducati) third. The second race witnessed one of the greatest battles in WSBK history, with Toseland and Bayliss (Ducati) wheel to wheel for almost the entire race. In the end, it came down to the final turn, when Bayliss got through an impossible gap and took the win by just nine thousandths of a second!

MAX – Race 1: 6th, Race 2: 3rd

“We’ve been struggling a bit all weekend getting the right set-up for the bike and although we improved it from the first practice, it still wasn’t right at the end. We played around with the engine braking and the bike’s balance and we made improvements for sure, but we had some problems during the races, so I’m very happy that we managed a podium after the difficulties we went through. In the first race I had some problems with traction, handling and engine braking, so we made some adjustments for race two and I was much happier with the bike. I stayed with the leaders in race two early on, but when they pulled away I just couldn’t keep the same pace. I rode as hard as I could and I’m happy, but not happy – if you know what I mean.”

YUKIO – Race 1: 7th, Race 2: 11th
“Well it has been an unhappy, disappointing and frustrating weekend for me and I did not get the points I was expecting. In race one, I was catching the lead group OK and then, after about 15 laps, my front tyre went off and I could not push and harder. The first seven laps or so of the second race were OK and my lap times were better then the first race. But then, as I was going into turn one, it felt like my rear wheel had locked up and I nearly crashed. It was a very strange sensation and felt like an engine seizure, but it was not, so I carried on. But in the process of not crashing, I lost quite a few places and I had to try and recover them again. Then the engine feeling was not so good either and all I could do was to ride and finish as high up as possible. We are going to have to sit down, look at the data and see what to do next. There are a few areas that need attention, so we know there’s a lot to do.”

Race 1:
1 Toseland (GB-Honda),
2 Haga (J-Yamaha),
3 Xaus (E-Ducati),
4 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati),
5 Lanzi (I-Ducati),
6 MAX BIAGGI (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra),
7 YUKIO KAGAYAMA (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra),

8 Nieto (E-Kawasaki),
9 Rolfo (I-Honda),
10 Neukirchner (D-Suzuki)

Race 2:
1 Bayliss,
2 Toseland,
3 MAX BIAGGI (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra),
4 Corser (Aus-Yamaha),
5 Rolfo,
6 Fabrizio (I-Honda),
7 Neukirchner,
8 Nieto,
9 Smrz (CZ-Ducati),
10 Laconi (F-Kawasaki),
11 YUKIO KAGAYAMA (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra)

1 Toseland 196,
2 MAX BIAGGI (I-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 164,
3 Haga 144,
4 Bayliss 128,
5 Corser 114,
6 Xaus 99,
7 Lanzi 98,
8 Neukirchner 71,
9 Rolfo 64,
10 Nieto 46,
13 YUKIO KAGAYAMA (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 41


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