Rizla Suzuki rider John Reynolds dug deep into his reserves of determination to finish sixth in final qualifying today on his GSX-R1000 despite riding with a broken left collarbone.

The Nottingham rider took nearly a second off his previous best lap time during the 15-minute long Dunlop Super 12 final qualifying session to secure his spot on the second row.

He is hoping that he can gain his trademark fast start during tomorrow's two races and score good points before a two-week break from the racing that will let his damaged collarbone mend.

"That was hard work today, the track is so bumpy and the weather is windy. My collarbone is extremely painful and I am gritting my teeth and trying to ride through it," winced JR. "But when the wind catches the bike and sends me off my line, I physically have to manhandle the bike back to where I want it and that is where I am really suffering. If the wind dies down, I think I will be able to ride consistently faster.

"We improved the braking today and if I can have the bike handling in the races the way it was in final qualification, then I have a shot at scoring good points," he added. "Tomorrow morning we are going to try the bike with the midrange of the engine tamed down a bit to make it easier to ride on the bumps. We can map the engine so that it retains the same top end power that I need for the straights but reduce the delivery in the midrange. Hopefully that will help us to improve our race pace."

"John continues to amaze us with his bravery and commitment," enthused Suzuki GB's Nick Barnes. "We are seeing a very motivated JR this year, he is more determined than ever and is riding through the pain barrier in every session with the sole aim of scoring points. He is proving he has the guts to go out there and put it all on the line and you can't ask for more than that. Sixth is a fantastic result, especially here at this bumpy track.

"It's a cruel twist of luck that the Thruxton round, the bumpiest of the season, came straight after Snetterton and only three weeks after he broke his collarbone. Anywhere else and his broken collarbone wouldn't be such a problem."

Team-mate Yukio Kagayama suffered a frustrating day and his inexperience at the circuit meant he qualified in 15th place.

A better racer than qualifier, the ever-positive Kagayama is still certain he can improve the set-up on his bike in tomorrow morning's free practice and will be gunning to make up plenty of places in the races, especially with good friend - and MotoGP star - Nobuatsu Aoki on hand to cheer his friend on.

"I am bitterly disappointed not to have qualified better today," admitted Yuki. "Friday was my first time at this track on a Superbike and as my team told me, this is a difficult circuit to learn. It is very bumpy and I am still finding the limits of the bike and how hard I can ride it.

"In qualifying I never really got to ride a clean fast lap and the session ran out before I could put in a big effort on my qualifying tyre," he added. "No excuses, we just ran out of time for me to get comfortable on the circuit. I know that I can go faster and I know the direction we need to take the bike. Tomorrow I might be starting from 15th, but I will be fighting to finish as high as possible."

"Yuki has already proved what he can do on track at Silverstone. The team was under no illusions this would be the hardest weekend of the year for him, as he never had the opportunity to ride the track in advance of the race weekend. Hopefully tomorrow in the race his class will shine through and he will be able to fight his way up the field," said Barnes.

 

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