Donington Park: Team Alstare Suzuki race report

SUPERMAX TAKES A SECOND AND A THIRD! Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi took a superb pair of podiums at Donington Park today. In mostly sunny, but very cold, conditions, Max took a hard-fought for third in the opening race ...

SUPERMAX TAKES A SECOND AND A THIRD!

Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi took a superb pair of podiums at Donington Park today. In mostly sunny, but very cold, conditions, Max took a hard-fought for third in the opening race after being ninth at the end of the first lap. But better was to come in the second race; Max made a better start this time and fought Yamaha team mates Corser and Haga throughout the 23-lapper after early leader James Toseland (Honda) went out with a mechanical problem after two laps. Max charged into the lead after fourteen laps and looked on course for victory until he made a small error exiting the final corner on the last lap, allowing Haga to take the chequered flag instead. Max's points tally today moves him to just five points behind series leader James Toseland, with third-placed Haga twelve points behind. Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Yukio Kagayama was forced to sit out today's races because of doctor's orders and so could not increase his standing in the overall points total.

MAX
Well, I'm pretty happy in one way - I got two podiums - and a little bit disappointed because I should've won the second race. I led going into the final turn, but then ran a little wide and that was just enough for Haga to slip through and into the lead. The finish line is very close to the exit of the corner, so there was no chance of me being able to out-drag him to the line. We all make mistakes and although it cost me the victory, I still got second place and that, together with my third in race one, means that overall it was a good day. We didn't make any changes to the bike from the first race to the second - apart from fresh tyres of course. In the first race I didn't make a good start, so I had a lot of work to do to catch up the front three. It was about half race distance by the time I did that and then I had to try and catch James and Troy. James was too far away, but I did get pretty close to Troy by the end, but not close enough to get past. Race two was a great race. Luckily the weather was much better today and the fans who were here, saw some great racing. I had a big battle with Nori and Troy and nobody knew who was going to win. I took the lead and I'm not saying that it was an easy lead, but I felt pretty comfortable. I knew that Nori was very close and that Troy was not far behind either, but I was happy to be in front going into the last lap. Then, a bit of a mistake by me in the final corner and victory became a second! But that's racing! I'm really enjoying my life here. I like the racing and I like the atmosphere off the track because it is much more human and also more relaxed. On the track we riders fight as hard as we can, but afterwards it's good that we can smile together.

YUKIO
It was very frustrating for me being at the track, feeling OK and not racing. I don't like it! Maybe the doctors made the right decision, but I still wanted to be out there fighting, fighting, fighting. But now, I will get ready for the next race in Valencia, where I hope to get two good results, because I want them and I need them.

-credit: tas

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Yukio Kagayama