Rizla Suzuki rider Yukio Kagayama was flying round Cheshire's Oulton Park today during first practice for the ninth round of the British Superbike Championship, despite stepping off a plane from Japan only 24-hours earlier and still suffering from jet lag.

Kagayama jetted back to the UK from a busy week in Japan where he was taking part in the Suzuka 8-hour endurance race for Suzuki. He qualified second at Suzuka last weekend and managed to match that on the provisional grid today, taking his Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 to second place on the time sheets, only two tenths of a second behind Ducati's Shane Byrne.

It is the second time the series has visited Oulton Park this season and Kagayama is benefiting from not having to learn it from new. At the first visit, Kagayama finished with a fifth and fourth place while JR took an eighth and second on their Rizla Suzuki race bikes.

"It is much better coming here for the second time, I can compare some feelings and data with my previous visit," noted Kagayama, "My bike already feels better this time and we have some things still to try and work on.

"My entry and mid-corner speeds are so so good now, I don't want to change them. Also, my GSX-R1000 is very good, the engine is making my job easier and I don't want to alter that either. Maybe tomorrow we will try some adjustments with the suspension and tyres to go faster."

John Reynolds took fifth place in first practice on his GSX R1000 after spending many laps tyre and suspension testing.

"My GSX-R1000 felt as though it was on rails at the end of the session, it felt really good, but I only had two laps on it before the chequered flag came out," commented JR. "That means we'll have to wait until tomorrow before I can explore how fast I can go with the bike as we have now got it.

"Today we did a lot of tyre testing and found some tyres worked and others didn't. That's good information and at least we can develop the bike around the tyre we want now. Tomorrow I'll be concentrating on some suspension changes and then getting a good grid position. I won the last two races at Mondello and I like Oulton Park, so I'll be doing my best to make it a repeat performance."

World Mountainbike Downhill Champion Steve Peat is joining Rizla Suzuki this weekend as a special guest and will be enjoying a thrilling pillion ride with JR around the 2.6920-mile Oulton circuit on Sunday. Superbike racing starts at 1:15pm on Sunday, August 10th.



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