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Brahptimus Prime
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March 15, 2008

Team Suzuki Press Office - March 15, 2008.



Team Suzuki Alstare riders Fonsi Nieto and Yukio Kagayama and Team Alstare Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner left the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia in positive frames of mind after two days of intensive testing.

Tests in Valencia have not always taken place in good conditions but the weather here over the two days has been more or less perfect.

Neither riders used qualifying tyres to set their best lap times, preferring instead on finding good bike set-ups in advance of the race here in just 20 days time.

Aussie Karl Muggeridge (Honda) used a qualifying tyre to set the fastest lap of the two days. His time of 1:34.252 was well under the official Superbike lap record of 1:35.007 set by Neil Hodgson in 2003. Second quickest was Ruben Xaus (Ducati) with Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) third and Carlos Checa (Honda) fourth.

Fonsi Nieto - 6th, 1:34.911:

"It's been a lot of hard work for all of us because we know that this has always been a difficult track for Suzuki. Over these two days we have tried many different things and worked on many different directions, but I am happy because we have found a good bike set-up for the race in early April. Our main job here was to get the bike ready for the race, so I didn't push hard at all. I know we could've gone faster for sure, but our goal was to do as much work as possible, get a lot of information and that's what we did, so I'm happy."

Max Neukirchner - 7th, 1:34.984:

"I think we've done a lot of good work over the two days and we're in good shape for the start of practice here in a few weeks. We had some small problems in the beginning, but had much less problems at the end, so we know we made progress. The only time I put a qualifying tyre on the bike, I crashed! It happened on the first right-hander, so probably that side of the tyre wasn't up to temperature. But, if nothing else it has taught me something about what to expect when I do my Superpole lap! The crash took place at the end of the day and there wasn't enough time to put on another qualifier and go for a quick lap. I did a long run today and I was very happy about that because I started with a 1:35.6 and was doing flat 1:36s at the end."

Yukio Kagayama - 8th, 1:35.017:

"The tests have gone well and I'm happy. I'm happy because we worked hard and we finished with positive results and a good set-up for when we come back for the race. My long run went very well (mid 1:35s) and I didn't feel any real pain from my left collarbone. The only time I noticed it was when I was wearing my new set of leathers and they put a lot of pressure on it. But I am a racer and my job is to be here and test, not sit at home. I changed to an older set of leathers for the run and that was much better. I did not use any qualifying tyres but concentrated on getting a good set-up for the race and also finding good grip from the rear. We also did a lot of work with the electronics and engine braking and these are the kind of things that you must test away from a race weekend because you never have enough time during practice and qualifying."

Results (two days): 1 Muggeridge (Aus-Honda) 1:34.252, 2 Xaus (E-Ducati) 1:34.265, Lanzi (I-Ducati) 1:34.388, 4 Checa (E-Honda) 1:34.493, 5 Kiyonari (J-Honda) 1:34.828, 6 Fonsi Nieto (E-Suzuki Alstare) 1:34.911, 7 Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Suzuki) 1:34.984, 8 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare) 1:35.017.
 
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