Phillip Island: Team Alstare Suzuki race report

PODIUM FOR MAX IN OPENING RACE. FOURTH IN THE SECOND. Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra Max Biaggi took a superb third place in the first race at Phillip Island today and was on course for another podium in the second before losing out on the...

PODIUM FOR MAX IN OPENING RACE. FOURTH IN THE SECOND.

Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra Max Biaggi took a superb third place in the first race at Phillip Island today and was on course for another podium in the second before losing out on the very last lap. A third and a fourth means that Max leaves the Australian circuit in second place in the championship, 16 points behind leader James Toseland (Honda). Max's team mate Yukio Kagayama was a non-starter today, due to a heavy fall yesterday, but the Japanese rider should be fit for the Valencia tests on March 18th and 19th.

Bayliss (Ducati) and Toseland battled it out for victory in the first race, with Bayliss taking the win in front of his home fans by just over two seconds. Max took third after a tremendous charge up the field in the closing laps after disposing of both Troy Corser and his Yamaha team mate Noriyuki Haga. The second race saw yet another Toseland v Bayliss fight, but this time it was Toseland who took the honours by a narrow margin. Max had fought both Corser and Yamaha again in the closing laps and was about to take third, until Haga muscled past on the last lap and held on by less then a tenth of a second

MAX Race 1: 3rd, Race 2: 4th

I enjoyed the racing again today, especially getting a podium in the first race. From Friday until today, I never really got a good feeling with the front end of the bike and that probably prevented me from getting two podiums here. Tyre wear is always a problem at Phillip Island and I think I was more aggressive in race two and tyre went off more - certainly more then in race one. Our bike was pretty close today and now we will work more on set-up details and getting it working better for the next race at Donington. I am not unhappy today, though it would've been good to take that second podium.

Medical Update: Yukio Kagayama quote

YUKIO (from the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne)

According to the doctors here, I am recovering very well. I have had a lot of X-rays and checks and maybe there is one more check to come. The good news is that I haven't broken anything! When I crashed, I was sure that I had broken my collarbone and maybe some ribs, but I have escaped those injuries. My crash was a high-side at the second corner and I went up into the air before coming back down onto the bike. I must have banged my chest on the fuel tank and that's when the damage was done. Then I fell down and my first feeling was that I had hurt my lung or chest in some way because I had the same type of pain as when I crashed at Paul Ricard circuit in 1999. That time I damaged a lung and this time I felt the same - that is a problem with breathing.

At the moment my shoulder joint is very tender and the doctors here are advising some sort of surgery - not immediately, but some time in the future. But I do not want this now, so I will have to wear very heavy strapping when I am on the bike again, at the Valencia tests. As for my lung; there had been some tubes in yesterday, but this morning only one small tube and that will come out later today, followed by some more checks. If everything is OK, I can leave the hospital this evening.

My priority is to get back to Japan as soon as I can, see my own doctors and then get better quickly. But, my problem is that sometimes, with this type of lung injury, normally you are advised not to fly for two weeks! I think I will be able to fly before that time, but I still will have to stay in Australia for a week or so. This means lots of rest and maybe some time on the beach! At the moment, I am positive that I will be at the Valencia tests (March 18-19) and be ready to race at Donington at the end of the month. This is my plan.

-credit: tas

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Noriyuki Haga , James Toseland , Troy Corser , Yukio Kagayama , Phillip Island