Rizla Suzuki ace Yukio Kagayama defied the laws of physics to get one extra lap from his well worn qualifying tyre to secure his first British Superbike Championship pole position for tomorrow's ninth round at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

The Japanese rider had already completed two laps on his qualifying tyre, which is designed to last one fast lap. As the clock counted down, he knew he didn't have time to change the tyre but wasn't about to give up. He put in a near faultless final lap to take his first pole this year on his Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000.

"I am very happy to take my first pole position," said Kagayama. "I started my fast lap and got stuck behind a rider, so I rolled off the throttle to conserve my qualifying tyre. Next time around I made a small mistake and slowed down to conserve my tyre again, then on the third attempt it all worked just as I wanted!

"This is my second time at the circuit as we have raced here before and that is a big help. Normally, because I am learning the circuit, on Friday I am thinking lots about the circuit, my riding technique and my bike set up. This weekend I only need to worry about bike set up and I am much more relaxed. But I have only just returned from Japan and the Suzuka 8-hour. I am tired, I need 20-hours of sleep! Now I will rest before the races as I will need my energy."

Les Pearson, chief technician to Kagayama, added: "That was awesome!!! Shinch laveni as they say in Japan. How he did that time on a tyre that was well past its best just defies logic, but good on him. Yuki was on fire today and with every round that the team works with him, we are getting better and better at understanding his needs and meeting them for him.

"We worked on trying to make his bike more stable through the corners today and made it softer but that didn't work. We went harder and that has worked perfectly. We also have a race set-up that we are sure will work tomorrow."

Rizla team-mate John Reynolds meanwhile will join Kagayama on the front row in fourth place - a surprisingly good place to start at Oulton Park as it gives him the inside line for the first corner. At the first visit to Oulton earlier in the season, JR finished with an eighth and second and Yuki with a fifth and fourth.

"The front row is good for tomorrow and fourth gives me the inside line into the first corner, which is good," noted JR. "I was working hard out there today, but it was only my second qualifying tyre of the weekend and my lap time was almost identical to what I did on a race tyre.

"The bike feels excellent and our race set-up is good, so I think I will be competitive tomorrow. Well done to Yuki, super job!"

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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