Qatar: Team Alstare Suzuki race report

MAX WINS AT THE FIRST ATTEMPT! Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi stunned everybody by winning the opening round of the Superbike World Champion ship in Qatar today. After a tremendous battle with James Toseland (Honda), Max ...

MAX WINS AT THE FIRST ATTEMPT!

Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi stunned everybody by winning the opening round of the Superbike World Champion ship in Qatar today. After a tremendous battle with James Toseland (Honda), Max took the lead with five laps to go and then superbly controlled the race from the front. In the end he ran out the winner by nearly one and a half seconds. Toseland took runner-up spot, with Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) third.

By the time Max returned to the parc ferme, his emotions had got the better of him, but by the time he sprang up onto the podium, he had a huge smile on his face. His team mate Yukio Kagayama had front tyre problems in the race, but managed to finish a gritty fourth. Race two was another terrific battle between Max and Toseland, but this time Toseland emerged the victor, though if the race had lasted a further three or four laps, it might have been a different story. Troy Corser took third, with Yukio down the field in sixth - thanks to tyre problems again, though this time it was the rear.

Overall though, it was a fantastic start to the season for Alstare's new rider - Max Biaggi. A win in his first ever World Superbike race and a second in race two means that he leaves Qatar as joint championship leader and goes to the next round at Phillip Island full of confidence.

MAX Race 1: 1st, Race 2: 2nd
What a fantastic start to my new (Superbike) experience. To begin with a win is wonderful and I dedicate it to our Team Boss, Francis Batta, who couldn't be here with us today. I'm sure he watched it on TV and it must have made him wish he was here. This championship is tough and for sure there are a lot of good riders, so I don't think it's always going to be like this. I want to thank my team for all their hard work and support over the past few months, which has made all this possible. This racing is fun! I wished I had discovered this championship years ago. In the second race, I was catching James (Toseland) and I think I could've caught him if there had been three or four more laps. We made a small adjustment to the bike for the second race and maybe it wasn't the right thing, but we still nearly managed to win it! Now we are off to one of my favourite tracks, Phillip Island. I'm looking forward to it and having more fun.

YUKIO Race 1: 4th, Race 2: 6th
I am very frustrated today, because I expected to do much better. But I had tyre problems in both races and I couldn't push as hard as I wanted. In race one the problem was the front tyre and after five laps, I didn't have a good feeling, but I kept up quite a good pace. We changed the chassis set-up a little for the second race, but this time the problem was at the rear! I suppose, the good news is that I didn't crash and I managed to score some good points.

-credit: tas

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