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Brahptimus Prime
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February 22, 2008

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Team Suzuki Press Office - February 22, 2008.

Alstare Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner will start the season's opening World Superbike race from the front row after taking fourth place in today's Superpole.

The young German had only been in the top 10 in regular qualifying, but he pulled out all the stops in the 16-rider shoot-out, ending up on the front row behind Superpole winner Troy Corser (Yamaha), Ruben Xaus (Ducati) and Max Biaggi (Ducati).

Suzuki Alstare riders Yukio Kagayama and Fonsi Nieto finished eighth and 11th respectively and both know that good starts in the 18-lap races tomorrow will be crucial.

Max Neukirchner - 4th, 1:58.964:

"I'm very happy with how my Superpole lap and getting on the front row of the grid. Today my bike worked very well on the Superpole lap and whenever I tried a really soft tyre, but it didn't work so well when I tried to do a long run. So now we will look at all the data and telemetry and see if we can adjust the bike so that it works as well in a race distance. I hope we can find out what to do so that I can run with the top guys throughout the race, but whatever happens, this has been a very good start and that makes me happy."

Yukio Kagayama - 8th, 1:59.285:

"My Superpole was a bit of mixture but it should've been so much better. On my out-lap I felt some vibration in my rear tyre and that made it a little difficult to concentrate fully on riding as fast as I wanted. It was a problem in many corners and then, to make matters worse, I made a bit of a mistake with the throttle exiting the last corner and I lost some more time. But second row is not so bad and, as long as I make a good start, I think I can get a good result here. My race set-up is pretty OK, though we may make a small adjustment to the electronics in the warm-up tomorrow morning to see if we can improve the bike. I don't think anybody has done a really long run here so tyre choice and tyre conservation will be critical. I think the winner will be the rider who conserves his tyres best and is the most consistent in the race."

Fonsi Nieto - 11th, 1:59.921:

"I guess my problem in Superpole is... Superpole. For some reason I never go as well in Superpole as I do in practice and qualifying. That has caused me problems in the past and now I need to find a way round this problem and learn how to attack Superpole in the best way. The problem with a bad Superpole is that you end up way down the grid and that means you have to push very hard in the early part of the race. That wears the tyres out quicker, which means that the tyres are in not such good condition at the end of the race. Today I tried a qualifier in practice, but I got so much chatter from it that I could not use it in Superpole. Instead I used a very soft race tyre - like many other riders - and tried to do my best. It's going to be a long hard day tomorrow, but I am determined to give everything I've got to get some good results."

Results: 1 Corser (Aus-Yamaha) 1:58.053, 2 Xaus (E-Ducati) 1:58.689, 3 Biaggi (I-Ducati) 1:58.767, 4 Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Suzuki) 1:58.964, 5 Lanzi (I-Ducati) 1:58.975, 6 Haga (J-Yamaha) 1:59.017, 7 Bayliss (Aus-Ducati) 1:59.224, 8 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare) 1:59.285. 11 Fonsi Nieto (E-Suzuki Alstare) 1:59.921.
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