Imola: Team Alstare Suzuki preview

Troy relaxed and ready. Round 11, the penultimate round, takes place at the historic Enzo e Dino circuit in Imola , near Bologna in Italy. The 4.933 kilometre circuit has witnessed some terrific battles in the past, with the Colin Edwards/Troy...

Troy relaxed and ready.

Round 11, the penultimate round, takes place at the historic Enzo e Dino circuit in Imola , near Bologna in Italy. The 4.933 kilometre circuit has witnessed some terrific battles in the past, with the Colin Edwards/Troy Bayliss confrontation for the title in 2002 one of the most memorable events in World Superbike history.

This year's season is reaching an exciting climax and, with just two rounds remaining, Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Troy Corser knows that the title is tantalisingly close to his grasp. In recent races, his nearest competitor Chris Vermeulen (Honda) has managed to close the gap. Although Troy's lead is a healthy 60 points, there are still 100 points up for grabs and anything could happen, so Troy and the team are taking nothing for granted. Yukio Kagayama has never raced at Imola before, so once again he will have to learn the circuit. But, a fourth and fifth in the last hard-fought round at the EuroSpeedway Lausitzring has stemmed his previous run of bad luck and he is ready to attack the podium again.

Troy
I feel comfortable and ready for the last two rounds and, despite Chris Vermeulen's recent form, I know what has to be done. Imola is a bit of a difficult circuit because there are lots of ups and downs, so it is very important to have a good bike set-up if you want to put in good, consistently fast laps. I haven't had particularly good results at Imola in the last two seasons (though I did get runner-up spot in 2001), but the Alstare Suzuki is a completely different bike to the Petronas and a much better overall package, so I'll be looking for a couple of podiums for sure.

Yukio
I feel that Lausitz was good for me and my confidence. Maybe with a better grid position, I would have done even better and challenged for the podium. My aim for Imola is to learn the circuit quickly, make a good Superpole and qualify on the front row of the grid so that I have a chance of a podium. I know Imola is not the easiest of circuits and there are many variations, but I normally learn tracks pretty quickly, so I hope my final qualifying is going to be good. I want to end the season with good results in Imola and the last round at Magny-Cours. My team mate Troy-san has a very good chance of the title and I hope he succeeds. If he needs my help, I will do my best.

-tas-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Bayliss , Troy Corser , Chris Vermeulen , Yukio Kagayama