Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra riders Troy Corser and Yukio Kagayama completed a successful three-day test at Phillip Island and are ready to take on their rivals when the season kicks off in Qatar on 26th February.
Although there is still work to be done on the new 2005 GSXR1000 Suzukis, the team are confident that Troy and Yukio will be competitive right from the start. The weather during the test was mainly good, though occasional strong winds and some kamikaze Phillip Island wildlife caused a few minor problems. During the three days, Troy hit three birds (destroying one screen and a front fender in the process) and Yukio hit one seabird and a hare!
By the end of the test, Troy had completed a total of 188 laps, with an unofficial best time of 1:34.2. He also did a very impressive race distance simulation on the final day morning, before the wind picked up in the afternoon. Yukio, who has slotted into the Alstare Suzuki set-up as if he has been there forever, completed just over 200 laps, with a best time of 1:34.6. Both his and Corser's lap times were done on race rubber, not qualifiers, which is a sign that there is definitely more to come.
TROY "I've tried so many things over the three days, but itıs been a very positive test for us all and if I had t race the bike tomorrow, I'd be happy doing it. That's not to say that there is not more to come, because there is! This is early days for us and the new Alstare Suzuki GSXR1000, but it is an encouraging start. Also, we are all getting to know each other and that side of it is going very smoothly. I'm very happy riding for this team and the bike has great potential for sure. After a couple of years looking at the back of other riders, I'm looking forward to them seeing the back of me!
YUKIO "This was a good test for me and the team and I have enjoyed it a lot. The team are very easy and I feel very comfortable with them. Also, we have a good bike and I am looking forward to racing it soon. When I arrived in the team I told them I was fast and aggressive, but that maybe they needed some extra fairings because I crash sometimes! My body is now almost 100% and I feel very good. After my injuries, it's good to be fully fit and ready to race. At the moment, I am not pushing hard because I have understand the limit of the Pirelli tyres. I have never ridden on Pirellis before, so I must earn about them before pushing 100% - or more! Troy has been a gentleman during the tests and I think that, because we have similar bike set-ups, we can develop the new Alstare Suzuki quite quickly. This year I am not here just to learn the tracks, I want to win! Of course my target is the title, but as long as Troy-san or I take the crown, I will be happy."
Francis Batta, Team Manager
"What Troy and Yukio did has given us all a lot of encouragement and hope for the year ahead. The bikes are very new to us and we have not had much preparation time, so to be on the pace straightaway is very good. Troy is a former World Champion so we know what he can do, but we are also happy with the way Yukio has ridden since he joined us. We know that he has a very aggressive style, but over the three days he rode very steadily and progressed each day. If it had not have been for the hare, he wouldn't even have crashed. Our whole team is now buzzing with excitement and already looking forward to the next time on track.
- Troy Corser 188 laps Best lap 1:34.2
- Yukio Kagayama 200 laps Best lap 1:34.6