Updated Post: Suzuki’s Kagayama, Corser 1-2 At World Superbike Test In Qatar

Updated Post: Suzuki’s Kagayama, Corser 1-2 At World Superbike Test In Qatar

© 2005, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


Copyright 2005, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

World Superbike
Losail Circuit, Qatar
Official Best Overall Lap Times:

1. Yukio Kagayama, Suz GSX-R1000, 102 laps, 2:01.480
2. Troy Corser, Suz GSX-R1000, 101 laps, 2:01.554
3. Jose Luis Cardoso, Yam YZF-R1, 86 laps, 2:01.797
4. Regis Laconi, Duc 999F05, 118 laps, 2:01.827
5. Sebastien Gimbert, Yam YZF-R1, 113 laps, 2:01.956
6. Alberola Ivan Silva, Yam YZF-R1, 127 laps, 2:02.194
7. Chris Walker, Kaw ZX-10R, 91 laps, 2:02.442
8. Marco Borciani, Yam YZF-R1, 96 laps, 2:02.548
9. Noriyuki Haga, Yam YZF-R1, 98 laps, 2:02.591
10. James Toseland, Duc 999F05, 85 laps, 2:02.639
11. Norick Abe, Yam YZF-R1, 147 laps, 2:02.652
12. Andrew Pitt, Yam YZF-R1, 114 laps, 2:02.713
13. Lorenzo Lanzi, Duc 999RS, 108 laps, 2:02.923
14. Pierfrancesco Chilil, Hon CBR1000RR, 83 laps, 2:03.008
15. Chris Vermeulen, Hon CBR1000RR, 39 laps, 2:03.072
16. Gianluca Vizziello, Yam YZF-R1, 120 laps, 2:03.095
17. Karl Muggeridge, Hon CBR1000RR, 68 laps, 2:03.391
18. Mauro Sanchini, Kaw ZX-10R, 109 laps, 2:03.398
19. Giovanni Bussei, Kaw ZX-10R, 96 laps, 2:03.602
20. Fonsi Nieto, Duc 999RS, 128 laps, 2:03.659
21. Max Neukirchner, Hon CBR1000RR, 122 laps, 2:03.874
22. Lucio Pedercini, Duc 999RS, 92 laps, 2:04.048
23. Ben Bostrom, Hon CBR1000RR, 83 laps, 2:04.285
24. Steve Martin, Foggy Petronas FP1, 107 laps, 2:04.483
25. Alessio Velini, Duc 999RS, 103 laps, 2:04.864
26. Ivan Clementi, Kaw ZX-10R, 65 laps, 2:05.047
27. Garry McCoy, Foggy Petronas FP1, 87 laps, 2:05.455
28. Miguel Praia, Yam YZF-R1, 103 laps, 2:05.472
29. Talal Al Nuami, Yam YZF-R1, 106 laps, 2:10.263

More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing Information:


The flu that dogged Chris Vermeulen on yesterday’s first day of the official World Superbike test at Doha, Qatar spread to his team-mate Karl Muggeridge today, as Japanese rider Yukio Kagayama set the pace prior to next Saturday’s opening championship round.

The Winston Ten Kate Honda pair struggled for fitness on their Honda CBR1000RRs on the 5.38km Losail circuit and Vermeulen was able to add only 22 laps to the 17 he completed yesterday. Muggeridge, meanwhile, succumbed to the virus himself and sat out today’s morning session.

“Some riders have done well over 100 laps, but I’ve barely done 40,” said Vermeulen, “and I’ve struggled to do those. I know there’s more to come but only when I’m feeling better. The circuit’s good and the bike has had a lot more to offer than I’ve had over the last two days. It’ll be different when we’re back here on Thursday.”

Team-mate Muggeridge agreed, saying: “It’s frustrating – we’ve basically lost today because I’ve been feeling so rough and that’s not what you need when you’re getting used to a new bike and a new circuit. But it’s next weekend that matters and that’s what we’ll be working towards after I spend the next couple of days in bed.”

Winston Ten Kate Honda team manager, Ronald ten Kate, was philosophical about the lack of track time for his two superbike riders. “We may be two days behind the rest here,” he said, “but we only need to be a tenth of a second ahead at the end of next Saturday’s two races. The bikes are capable of quicker times than we’ve achieved so far, but so are the riders when they’re fully fit.”

Losail Circuit – Doha, Qatar, day two combined times (World Superbike):
1.Yukio Kagayama, JAP (Suzuki) – total 102 laps, 2m01.480s
2.Troy Corser, AUS (Suzuki) – 101 laps, 2:01.554
3.Jose Luis Cardoso, ESP (Yamaha)– 86 laps, 2:01.797
4.Regis Laconi, FRA (Ducati) – 118 laps, 2:01.827
5.Sébastien Gimbert, FRA (Yamaha) – 113 laps, 201.951
6.Ivan Silva Alberola, ESP (Yamaha) – 127 laps, 2:02.194
7.Chris Walker, GBR (Kawasaki) – 91 laps, 2:02.442
8. Marco Borciani, ITA (Yamaha) – 96 laps, 2:02.548
9.Noriyuki Haga, JAP (Yamaha) – 98 laps, 2:02.591
10.James Toseland, GBR (Ducati) – 85 laps, 2:02.639
15.Chris Vermeulen, AUS (Winston Ten Kate Honda) – 39 laps, 2:03.072
17.Karl Muggeridge, AUS (Winston Ten Kate Honda) – 68 laps, 2:03.391

More, from a press release issued by FGSport Group:


Final Day: The last day of testing before the World Superbike Championship kicks off at Losail in Qatar provided better track conditions for all 29 Superbike riders, and most made good use of their opportunities to set much improved lap times overall. The Suzuki pairing of SBK rookie Yukio Kagayama and his Alstare Corona Extra team-mate Troy Corser (suffering from the flu somewhat) went 1-2 in the timing sheets overall, with Kagayama setting an excellent best of 2’01.480 on his GSX-R1000, posted late in the final session.

Close Competition: With so many bikes gathering on the Superbike grid come the start of practice on Thursday 24th February, a good morale-boosting performance was a keen desire for all comers. With the top two Suzukis not just fast but consistently fast, the figure of Jose Luis Cardoso (Yamaha DFX Extreme) proved the closest challenger, going third quickest, with a 2’01.797 lap. The factory Xerox Ducati 999F05 of Regis Laconi recovered from some early setbacks to post fourth best time. World Champion James Toseland experienced a fast highside crash at turn 13 his Xerox Ducati, causing his team some concern, until a visit to the medical centre proved him cleared of any fractures. He was seen later walking around pitlane at close of play, ready to make a quick recovery for the first rounds of his title defence, having dropped to tenth fastest.

Almost There: Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France) secured a magnificent fifth place, having led the ranking with only minutes of the final 2 hours and 20 minute session remaining. Gimbert is a full time SBK rookie, but a veteran of some excellent performances at Brands Hatch and Magny Cours last year. On a good day for riders new to the championship, wildcard Spaniard Ivan Silva Albertola (La Glisse Yamaha) went sixth fastest, another SBK star in the making.

Top Kwak: Chris Walker (PSG-1 Kawasaki ZX-10) ran out a promising seventh, no mean feat in what is proving to be a closely contested series for all riders. He was within one second of Kagayama’s leading time, with a 2’02.442. To underline the fact that the Qatar race and the 2005 Superbike series in general will be an unpredictable affair, Marco Borciani (DFX Yamaha) made a big jump from 25th on day one to eighth on day two, one place ahead of Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) and two up on the luckless Toseland. Two more big names, Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France) and Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia) found the pace tough and had to settle for 11th and 12th respectively. Lorenzo Lanzi (Scuderia Caracchi Ducati) fought hard for his 13th place in the run-up to his rookie SBK race.

Honda Riders Struggle: A flu virus, rampant in the pit garages at Losail, claimed the best efforts of Karl Muggeridge (Winston Ten Kate Honda) and his team-mate Chris Vermeulen. With their heavily modified bikes unable to show their best due to their riders’ illness, Pierfrancesco Chili

(Klaffi Honda) took his hastily prepared machine, without a full race spec as yet, to 14th, the top Honda slot over the two days. Vermeulen was 15th, Muggeridge 17th, after posting a very small lap count. Ben Bostrom (Renegade Honda Koji) ended 23rd overall.

Fonsi Drops Down: Fonsi Nieto (Scuderia Ducati 999RS) slipped down the order after a bright showing on day one, ending his two days in 20th place. Rookie of the year max Neukirchner, on a roadbike engined Klaffi Honda, was 21st overall, happy with his induction into the bigger class.

Tough Time For Aussie Pair: Foggy Petronas FP-1 three-cylinder riders Steve Martin and Garry McCoy had torrid times against the more powerful 1000cc machines, taking their 900cc machines to only 24th and 27th places.

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:


Losail (Qatar), Sunday 20 February: Régis Laconi and James Toseland (Ducati Xerox Team) wrapped up their preparations for the 2005 World Superbike Championship with fourth and tenth quickest times respectively as the FGSport-organised pre-season tests at the Losail circuit in Qatar drew to a close.

All the WSBK contenders were again able to lap in perfect conditions today and accumulate a further five hours of valuable practice time prior to the race next Saturday. Both Laconi and Toseland were among the front-runners as the Suzuki pairing of Yukio Kagayama and Troy Corser ended up first and second fastest.

Day 2 saw Toseland suffer a nasty highside right after the British rider had set a quick lap of 2:02.639 early in the afternoon session. The world champion was going through the fast right-hander turn 13 when he lost the rear of his Ducati 999F05 and was catapulted into the air. Toseland landed heavily and suffered bruising to his left elbow and right upper backside.

“I was going into the second of the three successive fast right-handers and the rear let go,” explained Toseland. “I just looped over and landed on my side. I’ve never been up that high before!. Everything’s OK, I just need a couple of days rest, that’s all and then I’ll be back. It’s a pity really, because the bike felt a lot better this afternoon and it was unlucky to cancel out the progress we had made”.

Régis Laconi made a major improvement today during his long-run to move into fourth. He then consolidated his position in the afternoon with a lap of 2:01.827, a time he set on the one Pirelli qualifying tyre available for each rider.

“We worked very hard, the most important thing today was to have the durability in the front tyre and I am very happy with that after setting a good time on lap 17 of the long-run in the afternoon. We have to find a bit more speed now that we have durability, but the feeling is coming good and we made good progress from yesterday. Like everyone else we put a soft tyre on in the end and the lap time was good. We did a lot of testing but it’s very nice to be fast at the finish. Now we have to wait and see what will happen on Saturday”, declared Laconi.

The opening round of the 2005 world championship at the Losail circuit gets underway later this week, with free practice and qualifying taking place on Thursday and Friday and the two 18-lap races scheduled for Saturday.

OFFICIAL TIMES: 1. Kagayama (Suzuki) 2:01.480; 2. Corser (Suzuki) 2:01.554; 3. Cardoso (Yamaha) 2:01.797; 4. Laconi (Ducati Xerox) 2:01.827; 5. Gimbert (Yamaha) 2:01.956; 6. Silva Alberola (Yamaha) 2:02.194; 7. Walker (Kawasaki) 2:02.442; 8. Borciani (Yamaha) 2:02.584; 9. Haga (Yamaha) 2:02.591; 10. Toseland (Ducati Xerox) 2:02.639; etc.

More, from a press release issued by Foggy Petronas Racing:

FPR’s Aussie Pairing Complete Valuable Qatar Test

The Australian pair of Steve Martin and Garry McCoy completed a valuable second day of testing at Losail circuit in Doha, Qatar, with significant improvements on their fastest laps of yesterday with times of 2:04.483 and 2:05.455 respectively.

Yukio Kagayama was the fastest of the expanded World Superbike grid with a lap of 2:01.480 around the 5.380km circuit in the desert.

The eight hours of testing over the two days provided invaluable set-up data for the team’s Australian pair, who have been short of experience on the PETRONAS FP1, in advance of the first round of the season at the same circuit later this week.

Jack said: “We’ve had another positive day of testing and what we’ve achieved in just eight hours is really useful. Our main concentration was to get the optimum set up for this track and the riders’ preferences. A lot of data has been collected and we’re at a point where the over all package is working well and the set up we’ve achieved today we’ll use for the race weekend, which for us has been far more important than chasing lap times. Now we’ll only have fine tuning adjustments to make at the race which will provide us with more track time for running longer sets of laps.”

Steve said: “We continued our set up work from yesterday and particularly this morning, made some really good changes, to a point where I’m happy we’ve tested everything we possibly could have and found a good base setting for the race here. This afternoon’s progress was a bit slower as although we made some good moves, I wasn’t on the roll I had been on and also had a full tank of fuel on board. There’s still a bit more work I want to do on braking but other than that I’m feeling confident on the bike. Due to an incident on track I wasn’t able to make full use of my qualifying tyre which is really annoying, as I know I could have been in the 2:03s if I’d have had a clear lap on that.”

Garry said: “We continued this morning where we left off yesterday, trying to get a good base setting for this track and also my riding style. I’m happy that we’re pretty close now which is where I wanted to be at the end of this test, as for me, this is my first full test on the FP1. We’ve got a bit of work left to do to make both my bikes feel exactly the same but I know we can get this right in time for the race. I think this track will be a bit tough for us as we’re just that little bit down on power, although the bike’s handling is good so that gives us an advantage.”

The first round of the Superbike World Championship starts on Thursday 24 February, with race day on Saturday, 26 February.

More, from a press release issued by Scuderia SC Caracchi Ducati:


On the 5380 meters of Losail circuit, close to the capital Doha in Qatar’s desert, the World Superbike and Supersport teams have had the first direct confrontation of the 2005 racing season.

A two-day test on this track, almost new for everybody, apart from a few riders moved in this season from GPs championship to Superbike arena which have the possibility to contest Qatar GP next fall. Big job for all the teams for setting the suspension and to select the tyre looking at the first round of the championship next week end. The sable flying from the desert onto the track, as well the surface has continuously cleaned, is a tyre-killer and the tyres go on just a few laps when the suspensions don’t work pefectly.

In Supersport Gianluca Nannelli, after the troubles with the front during the morning session, scored in the afternoon session a very good fifth fastest. The team and the rider made a big setting job and now the rear of the 749r Ducati is perfect. Go on some uncertainty in the front and the team will focus to solve tomorrow, in the final test day.

“We must believe this test the first ever on the 749R”. – said Gianluca Nannelli at the end of the test today. “We had never been able to test on dry conditions and it was important to verify all the work still made by the team. The bike scored the fastest top speed of all the group, thank the work made by Franco Farnè. The set up is quite good too, I’m the fastest in the first intermediate, then in the second I have not feeling with the front and I lose time from my rivals. I’m however quite satisfied for the result we got today, if we’ll be able to solve the front problem I’m confident we’ll earn a better position.”

In Superbike more as positive the debut of Fonsi Nieto, who on the 999RS made only some lap in wet condition during the Valencia test. The Spanish rider grabbed the fifth fastest, just a second behind the leader and ending before several factory bikes, carrying out a big work and running 61 laps to look the best feeling with a bike so different the machines he’s used before. Among other things Fonsi doesn’r ride street bikes, so the four stroke engine is totally new for him.

A bit behind Lorenzo Lanzi on the second 999RS. Despite the very good top speed (Lanzi was the fastest in the morning and the second fastest overall) the Italian rider has not been able to find a satisfying set up, which will try to find in the final day tomorrow.

Despite that Stefano Caracchi, SC Caracchi team owner della squadra, looks satisfied: “Lorenzo found more difficulties as he was expecting on this track very difficult for the tyres”. – commented the test day Caracchi. “But he’s a rider with great potential and I’m confident that, thank his crew work, he’ll be able to solve the today’s trouble and reach the position he deserves. Fonsi has been fantastic! We must remember that he made just a couple of day test under the rain in Valencia on the999RS and he rode just a second slower as the leader. We have a great trust in him, Fonsi is a great rider and just he’ll find the necessary feeling with the bike he’ll be one of the heroes of the racing season.”

Superbike – Saturday Test

1st Cardoso (Yamaha) 2’02.618; 2nd Corser (Suzuki) 2’03.044; 3rd Kagayama (Suzuki) 2’03.309; 4th Toseland (Ducati) 2’03.347; 5th Fonsi Nieto (Ducati SC Caracchi) 2’03.759; 6th Muggeridge (Honda) 2’03.870; 7th Walker (Kawasaki) 2’03.927; 8th Gimbert (Yamaha) 2’03.999; 9th Laconi (Ducati) 2’04.011; 10th Silva 2’04.077;…19th Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati SC Caracchi GA) 2’05.004

Supersport – Saturday Test

1st Charpentier (Honda) 2’04.716; 2nd Fabrizio (Honda) 2’05.982; 3rd Curtain (Yamaha) 2’06.397; 4th Parkes (Honda) 2’06.758; 5th Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati SC Caracchi) 2’06.960; 6th Chambon (Honda) 2’07.348; 7th Foret (Honda) 2’07.531; 8th Fujiwara (Honda) 2’07.812; 9th Cogan (Suzuki) 2’08.147; 10th Fores (Suzuki) 2’08.717

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki:


Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra riders Yukio Kagayama and Troy Corser topped the World Superbike tests in Qatar today with Kagayama deposing his team mate with 10 minutes to go.

The Japanese rider had been second quickest to Corser all day on his new GSX-R1000 Suzuki, but just as the sun was setting over the desert behind the grandstand, he blasted round the 5.380 kilometre circuit a tenth of a second faster.

At the end of the two days, both Yukio and Troy were happy about how the tests had gone and were feeling positive about the season-opening race next weekend at the Losail circuit.

The only note of caution, according to the Alstare team, is the varying condition of the track: Over the past two days, the World Superbike and Supersport riders had put down quite a bit of rubber and grip level has improved considerably. But now there are three days of inaction and so the first day of practice on Thursday this week may once again see the teams back to stage one.

However, Yukio and Troy’s performances over the two days have been impressive and has also fired an early-warning shot to their competitors.

YUKIO KAGAYAMA – Best lap, 2:01.480:

“I am very happy with everything we have done over these two days and I want to thank my team for all the good work they have done and all the help they have given me. We have tried many different things and many different tyres and now I hope that the condition of the track will be as good, if not better. If conditions improve, it may be possible for me to go quicker, but we will have to wait and see. At the moment, I am still learning about the Pirellis and the limit so I know there is more to come from me. For the race, my plan is the same as always: Head down, full gas and ride my maximum. It is the only way I know!”

TROY CORSER – Best lap, 2:01.554:

“I’m happy that we finished 1-2 because it is a good reward to the team for all the work and effort we have all done. I had a sneaky feeling that Yukio might go a bit quicker at the end and I might have had a chance to go a bit quicker, but Cardoso was waiting for me and looking for a tow, so I eased-off at the end. We’ve done a lot of work with altering the mapping and improved it considerably, though there’s more to do. We also made chassis and suspension changes – not big changes – and we’ve improved in that area as well.

“There are still a couple of sections on the track where I know I can go quicker, so Yukio had better watch out! Each day the track has felt different, so it’s been really good to have some understanding about how it behaves. If it changes next week, hopefully we’ll have the info to respond quickly and keep ahead of the rest. Here’s to it!”

Overall best times (2 days):

1 Yukio Kagayama (J-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 2:01.480, 2 Troy Corser (Aus-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 2:01.554, 3 Cardoso (E-Yamaha) 2:01.797, 4 Laconi (F-Ducati) 2:01.827, 5 Gimbert (F-Yamaha) 2:01.956, 6 Silva Aberola (E-Yamaha) 2:02.194, 7 Walker (GB-Kawasaki) 2:02.442, 8 Borciani (I-Yamaha) 2:02.548, 9 Haga (J-Yamaha) 2:02.591, 10 Toseland (GB-Ducati) 2:02.639,


Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Xavier Fores finished the Qatar tests with the ninth fastest time, but was happy about the prospects ahead.

He and the team worked hard during the two days and gathered a lot of useful information, whilst learning the track and getting used to Pirelli tyres.

XAVI FORES – Best lap, 2:06.582:

“We came here to learn the bike, track and the tyres and I feel happy because we have made a lot of progress in just these two days. The track definitely got better today and the grip improved s o I began to feel a bit more confident about it.

“Over the two days, we changed the balance of the bike to try and improve my feeling and I’m happy because we made some steps forward. Today the bike was easier to change direction and at the end, I was happy enough with my lap times, all things considered.”

Overall best laps:

1 Charpentier (F-Honda) 2:04.259, 2 Foret (F-Honda) 2:05.083, 3 Curtain (Aus-Yamaha) 2:05.194, 4 Fabrizio (I-Honda) 2:05.295, 5 Fujiwara (J-Honda) 2:05.662. 9 Xavier Fores (E-Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) 2:06.582.

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