Surviving qualifying unscathed this year, John Reynolds posted the third fastest time in qualifying yesterday at Silverstone for the British Superbike opener, whilst team-mate Yukio Kagayama, still not back to full health, posted the seventh fastest time.

Both Rizla Suzuki riders recorded their fastest lap times while testing tyres to last race distance in the variable weather qualifying sessions.

Damp weather conditions in the morning qualifying session left the Rizla Suzuki riders with plenty of work to do in the afternoon. Finding a Dunlop race tyre to suit full race distance was a top priority and both JR and Yuki spent long stints out on track on different rubber searching for the best compromise of grip and longevity.

During the course of this the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000s were amongst the quickest bikes through the speed traps in both the wet and dry, which bodes well as grey skies and the potential for further precipitation sit over Silverstone on Sunday morning.

"I'm happy to be on the front row and think we have a real good chance in tomorrow's races," said JR on Saturday. "I spent a lot of time this afternoon on a race tyre and was lapping consistently quickly. Because of the poor weather this morning, I needed to find a tyre I'd be comfortable with in the race and we have achieved that.

"When I went out on my qualifying tyre, I didn't get the best lap ever. Two riders crashed in front of me during the lap and no matter how hard you try, when you see sparks, dust, gravel and then flags waving, you lose a bit of momentum.

"My Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is handling just the way I like and it is extremely quick. I'm pretty confident for tomorrow and at least we are starting the race, unlike last year when I broke my collarbone in qualifying."

For Yukio Kagayama it was a momentous occasion just to make the qualifying session given his horrific accident at Cadwell last year. Sunday's races will be a real test. "This afternoon I decided to test two different tyres to see which is better for race conditions. We have a good tyre choice now and I am happy," he said on Saturday.

"I tried a qualifying tyre and it was only a little quicker than my race tyre. The weather was cold and there was tiny rain, so maybe when I went out to qualify, I was not giving maximum gas. I am still safety riding and not wanting to crash, there are no points for qualifying, just for racing.

"Position seven on the second row of the grid is a good start for me. Thank you to my team for making my Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 easy to ride. I need this help as my body is still sore. Tomorrow I try hard for my fans."

Rizla Suzuki's chief engine technician, Dave Marton, was happy come the end of play Saturday. "I am pleased with today's progress and qualifying," he explained. "Obviously we would have liked to have scored pole position, but the changing weather conditions meant we had to focus on finding race tyres for both riders rather than just going for outright lap times. Both riders completed a lot of fast laps on race rubber and we are comfortable we can set a good race pace tomorrow.

"We have been playing with the suspension settings on the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 to make it easier to ride towards the end of a race, when tyre wear starts to come into play. Both our Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000s are going to be strong in the races and if Yuki's fitness can stand up to the effort of racing, I expect our riders to be competing at the front."

 

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