After a disappointing Donington Park round for all three Alstare Suzuki riders, Max Neukirchner is aiming to bounce back by retaking second place in the World Superbike Championship this weekend at Vallelunga.

Although world championship leader Troy Bayliss is 101 points clear, the fight for second place is a close four-way affair - all covered by just 28 points with three rounds and 150 points still to be claimed.

Neukirchner currently holds third, just four points behind Yamaha's Troy Corser.

"I would like two good results this weekend and leave Vallelunga back in second place in the championship and I see no reason why this is not possible," declared the double race winning German.

"Some of my competitors have tested at Vallelunga so they will have an advantage from the start of practice so it is up to me and my team to get on the pace and find a good set-up as soon as we can. Last year my best result was a tenth so I am sure I can do much better than that," he added.

Team-mates Fonsi Nieto and Yukio Kagayama, sixth and eleventh in points, are also looking to improve on last season - when Kagayama was ruled out of the races by a hand injury.

"I did not race at Vallelunga last year because of injury so I am eager to make a good show this year," said the Japanese. "It has been a strange season, in many ways, but I am determined to do well at Vallelunga and the remaining rounds; for myself and the team."

"Last year I finished eighth in both races, but I know I can do better this year," stated Nieto. "Donington was a disaster, and best forgotten, and I want to concentrate on getting two good results this weekend. I feel I have been a bit unlucky recently, so I am hoping that Vallelunga will be the beginning of an upturn in my fortunes."

Neukirchner is confirmed at Alstare for 2009, but Nieto and Kagayama are still to announce their plans.


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