Friday qualifying, 22nd April Circuit: 4.005 kms. Weather: dry, mostly sunny, 20-25 C. TROY COMFORTABLY ON TOP ON DAY ONE. Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Troy Corser comfortably led the charge on the first day of qualifying at the ...
Friday qualifying, 22nd April
Circuit: 4.005 kms. Weather: dry, mostly sunny, 20-25 C.
TROY COMFORTABLY ON TOP ON DAY ONE.
Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Troy Corser comfortably led the charge on the first day of qualifying at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia. His lap of 1:35.954 was over three-quarters of a second ahead of his nearest rival and Troy managed it without breaking a sweat. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) was second quickest, ahead of the Hondas of Frankie Chili and Max Neukirchner. Troy's team mate Yukio Kagayama was second quickest in the morning session, but then slipped to sixth in the afternoon when the track temperature went up and the grip level went down. Yukio was lucky to not to crash in the afternoon session and only saved the bike and himself by deft use of his left knee and elbow. He lost the front in the left-hander before the back straight and and as the bike tipped over he pushed it back upright with his knee. The force of the impact tore a hole in his leathers, just above the knee, but Yukio didn't realise that there was a rip in his leathers covering his elbow until he returned to the pits.
TROY CORSER - 1st, 1:35.954
Everything has been going good so far and I'm pretty happy with our start here. We began by using the same set-up we ran here in the tests before we went to Phillip Island for the race and then started to fine-tune it. We worked quite a lot on the clutch to try and improve the engine braking and we also worked on the suspension to make the front tyre feeling better and to improve its life. When it was hotter in the afternoon, the grip went down and I set my quick time towards the start of the timed session. I knew that it was going to get hotter and that the grip would get worse. I did have a bit of a drama when I was on qualifying tyres - I lost the front at turn three - bit I recovered it without a problem. At the moment, the balance of the bike is working for me and because of that I am having fun riding it Let's see what tomorrow brings.
YUKIO KAGAYAMA - 6th, 1:37.159
I started today with my Valencia test set-up, and for me it was so-so. And then we tried some more things and some other riders went faster then me. But, it's not a problem because we learnt a lot of good information today and that will help us tomorrow for sure. My only problem today was my near-crash. I lost the front end in the left turn onto the back straight and almost crashed. Somehow, I managed to keep it up on my left knee and maybe my elbow for maybe a second before the tyres gripped again and then everything came back to normal! My heart was beating fast, but I was OK. I am a lucky man today!