NEW TERRITORY FOR MAX. The tenth round of this year's Superbike World Championship takes place at one of the best-loved circuits on the calendar - Brands Hatch. The unique bowl-like setting in the heart of the Kent countryside always provides ...
NEW TERRITORY FOR MAX.
The tenth round of this year's Superbike World Championship takes place at one of the best-loved circuits on the calendar - Brands Hatch. The unique bowl-like setting in the heart of the Kent countryside always provides spectacular racing and the closeness of the fans means an atmosphere second to none. Brands has witnessed crowds of over 100,000 in the past and once again a huge crowd is expected this weekend, with many fans ready to cheer for a home win for series leader James Toseland. For Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi, the Brands Hatch round will be a testing occasion because he has not raced at the track before. The many 'blind' approaches to corners and undulating nature are not easy to learn and Max will have to compete against rivals who all have previous knowledge of the 3.703 kilometre circuit. One of his rivals, is his team mate Yukio Kagayama. The Japanese rider has ridden the track both in World Superbike and also British Superbike events and knows that it is a track like no other. Yukio arrives at Brands Hatch full of confidence after winning the prestigious Suzuka 8 hour race last weekend in Japan and the previous month has seen an upturn in both his fortunes and confidence.
It's true that I've not raced at Brands Hatch before, but I have seen it on TV and video and know that it is something very different. I understand that it is also one of those tracks where the fans can get really close to the action and if the crowd is a big one then the noise they make can be heard inside your helmet. I know that Brands has some tricky corners, some with blind approaches, and that circuit knowledge is very important, but I learn tracks pretty quickly and I think I can do well as long as we can get a good bike set-up for raceday. After all, when the lights change at the start of the race, it's the same for everybody and racing is what I like best. I am not sure how the races are going to be, but I can tell you that I will be giving my best - as usual - and trying to get on the podium. It was really good to get a win and another podium in the last round in Brno and I want to carry on getting podiums at Brands and the rest of the season.
Since Misano, I have become much happier with my bike and I have a good feeling with it now. After a long time, I now find it easier to understand the bike's limit. Before, I did not - and that was a scary feeling. My win in Suzuka last weekend was a very special feeling and one that I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life. It is hard to understand how big and important this race is for the manufacturers and fans and to win it is an amazing feeling. But now, it's back to work and Brands Hatch. This track is not so easy and the more you ride it the more you learn. Last year, my results were so-so, but I am hoping for better results - and maybe podiums this year. This will not be easy, but this is what I want and this is what I will try to do.