Yukio Kagayama is determined to end his World Superbike season on a high after recording his best combined results at Magny-Cours since the Phillip Island season opener back in March.
After what has been a season to forget for Suzuki, both Kagayama and team-mate Karl Muggeridge gave the team something to smile about with a three solid top ten finishes between them in the two races.
The first time since Valencia that Suzuki Alstare has gotten both of its riders into the top ten in one race, Kagayama was the star performer as he battled to a sixth and seventh place finish from 13th position on the grid.
Crediting the upturn in performance on the decision to switch to Ohlins suspension for the final three rounds of the season, Kagayama is nonetheless looking for even better from the last round in Portugal.
“Today my results were the best they have been for a long time, but I want more,” he said. “The progress the bike has made on its new suspension has been good, but again, I want more. There have been some not so fun times this season, but at Imola last week and here in Magny-Cours, I am enjoying being a racer again.
“The settings we used on the bike today were the best they have been this weekend, so a big thank you to my team for doing a good job. There were still some problems with rear grip, but I hope that we can solve this problem in Portimao. I am looking forward to continuing the good progress there and ending the season on a high.”
Despite crashing out in race one, Muggeridge also had reason to be pleased with his Magny-Cours performance, finishing eighth in the second encounter for his first top ten result in well over a year.
I suppose the crash in race one was probably my mistake. It was early in the race and the fuel tank was full and I must have got in a bit too hot and lost the front. Maybe because of this, I rode a bit tentatively at the beginning of race two and it took me a bit of time to get going properly.
“My bike was OK on the fast sweepers, but it struggled for grip on the slow, small corners and I reckon that cost me about four to five tenths of a second each lap. I am getting more used to the bike every time out and feel we are making good progress with it and the new suspension. Hopefully, I will have another chance in the next round, but I'll wait and see on that.”