Kyalami: Suzuki Alstare Friday report

LEON SATISFIED, SYLVAIN NOT. There were mixed fortunes for Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli on the opening day of the sixth round of the Superbike World Championship in Kyalami. Leon finished a comfortable fifth, ...

LEON SATISFIED, SYLVAIN NOT.

There were mixed fortunes for Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli on the opening day of the sixth round of the Superbike World Championship in Kyalami. Leon finished a comfortable fifth, but Sylvain could only manage 17th. But this is Sylvain's first visit to this technically and physically demanding track, so he has a big chance of improvement tomorrow.

Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) set the day's best lap, with a time of 1:38.477. Second was Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha), with Jonathan Rea (Honda) third and Troy Corser (BMW) fourth. Leon's fifth meant that five different manufacturers filled the first five places today.

Leon - 5th, 1:38.951
I'm pretty happy with with we did today and satisfied with the number of laps I put in. The tyres felt pretty consistent and I was able to go quite quickly on a tyre that was old, so that bodes well for the races. The track is very bumpy and it's important to get a good bike set-up and one that works with the bumps. We've been working on getting a good bike balance and once you have that, it is easier to push hard.

After the end of a session my left wrist aches a bit, but there is no problem with it when I am on the bike. Because this circuit is so physical, if I get a slide, I certainly know about it in my wrist. But I don't see it been a problem on raceday.

I am sure that Superpole is going to be frantic tomorrow. In the past, I haven't made big improvements on qualifying tyres, but I have always managed good grid positions and last week was the first time this season I have been off the front row. I am more concerned with the balance of the bike and the set-up than gird positions and as long as I am on the first two rows I will be happy.

Sylvain - 17th, 1:39.834
It's my first time here and I spent most of the day learning the track and trying to work out where all the bumps are - and there a lot of them! I like this track, it's very technical and very demanding and you don't really get a chance to have a rest anywhere. It's a shame that there are so many bumps and changes of tarmac because it is such a good track to ride.

We started today with the Monza bike set-up and then made changes. But most of the changes made the bike worse and I went slower, so we will have to go back to the Monza set-up and then work from there. My position in the ranking today was rubbish, but I'm actually quite pleased with my lap times and we are not so far away. I just need to put it all together and do well in Superpole.

-source: suzuki alstare

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Corser , Michel Fabrizio , Leon Haslam , Sylvain Guintoli , Jonathan Rea , Cal Crutchlow