The fourth round of this year's Superbike World Championship takes place at the Spanish Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia and is a track both Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra riders Max Biaggi and Yukio Kagayama know well.
Both tested at the 4.005 kilometre circuit last month, although Kagayama probably should not have done so as he was still suffering the affects of his high speed crash during the Phillip Island race weekend just two weeks before. Last year Kagayama finished sixth in race one and was on course for a good finish in the second until a fall after seven laps.
Biaggi hasn't done a WSBK race at Valencia but he finished sixth there in his last ever MotoGP race in November 2005.
"Riding a Superbike around Valencia is a very different to a MotoGP bike but I am enjoying riding my Alstare Suzuki K7 and at least I have already put in some laps of the Valencia on it. I don't find the circuit so technical but it is a circuit where you have to have a good bike set-up if you want to make fast, consistent laps. There are many left hand turns so finding a tyre that has good grip and will last is always a balancing act. I am optimistic of good results and looking forward to two more hard races."
"My last time at Valencia during testing was not so easy because my shoulder was still very painful and sore from the crash at Phillip Island, but I wanted to help test as much stuff as possible so I put in as many laps as I could. My season so far has not gone the way I expected - too many crashes! At Donington I had another crash - in practice - and, because I knocked myself out for a few minutes, the doctors would not let me race. Also, a few days later, my ribs felt a bit sore.
"At the moment I have missed four races and I don't like that. Practice and testing is ok but I am missing race action. Valencia has mixed memories for me, but what is important is what happens next weekend. I will make a check on how my ribs are before I decide to race because I know Valencia is a very physical track and if my ribs are a problem it may be not possible for me to race. We shall see what happens when we get there.
- Kagayama: Race 1 - 6th, Race 2 - DNF
- Biaggi: Race 1 - DNS, Race 2 - DNS