Max Neukirchner has set his sights on regaining second place in the World Superbike standings as he prepares to celebrate his first anniversary as works Suzuki rider.
The German made his debut with the factory-backed outfit at the season-ending Magny-Cours round as a replacement for the injured Yukio Kagayama.
Having spent the season impressing with his consistent results on a privateer Suzuki, Neukirchner assured his future with a run to fourth place on his first outing, even out pacing respected team-mate Max Biaggi in the process.
Twelve months later and Neukirchner is fourth in the standings with two wins to his name, even if he has slipped from second place over the last two rounds. Nonetheless, the likeable German rider has set himself the target of beating Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga this weekend.
"Last year was the start of my adventure with this team and I was very close to getting a podium at my first attempt. I crashed in the second race and was very disappointed because I knew the potential of the bike and was hoping for another attack on the podium. But sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down and that is racing.
"This year I think I have a chance of podiums for sure and I will be trying my hardest to get them and get back into second place in the championship."