Mixed fortunes for Team Alstare in Brno.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra riders Troy Corser and Yukio Kagayama on the first day of qualifying at Brno. Troy has been here before (and won two races), whereas it was Yukio's first time. Troy ended the day second fastest, behind Chris Walker (Kawasaki) and Yukio finished eleventh.
The morning untimed session was dominated by the Ducatis of James Toseland and Regis Laconi, with Walker third quickest, but that was not a big surprise because these three had tested at Brno just two weeks or so ago. In the afternoon, Walker surprised everybody by taking provisional pole with a time of 2:03.064, with Troy four tenths of a second behind.
Third quickest is Max Neukirchner (Honda), with Jose-Luis Cardoso (Yamaha) fourth. Yukio spent the day learning the demanding 5.403 kilometre Brno track and was not concerned about his position at the end of the day, knowing that he will improve his time considerably tomorrow.
TROY - 2nd, 2:03.487 "I know I've been here before, but that was some time ago. Today the track wasn't giving me much feedback, so I took it fairly steady. Interestingly, when I put my qualifying tyres on, I felt I had much better grip and was able to push much harder. When I returned to the race rubber, I couldn't go nearly as fast and I didn't feel the bike had much grip. We'll have a look at the telemetry and see what is going on and maybe even try the kind of set-up we had at Qatar."
YUKIO - 11TH, 2:04.782 "The first time I saw the track properly was today so I am not unhappy with 11th position. This track is very long and it is a hard track to learn quickly because it is also very wide and it is difficult to find braking points. It is a technical track and a track where you have to get the sequence of corners right if you want to make a fast lap. Because it is so long, it is not possible to put in many laps in a session, so that makes it more difficult to learn. Today, I spent the time learning the track and trying to find out where I could go fast. I made a little mistake going into turn one and went straight on and into the gravel. Then, I just tipped over at a very slow speed, but there was no damage to the bike - or me!"