Alstare Suzuki's new signing Yukio Kagayama recently announced his intention to take the World Superbike championship next season, over former champion and team-mate Troy Corser.

"My team-mate, Troy-san, won the World Superbike Championship in 1996 and he is a great rider and fierce competitor," he said. "I will do my best to match his ability, but my goal is to beat him and bring the world title to Alstare!"

Yuki has had a busy time since the close of the British Superbike season, where he finished third overall with Rizla Suzuki, receiving treatment for previous life-threatening injuries sustained in 2003 and testing the new GSX-R1000 race bike at Suzuki's base in Japan.

The plucky Japanese rider who is employed by the factory is looking forward to his new challenge in the WSBK championship.

"I am very happy to be competing in the World Superbike Championship - the most prestigious race series for production bikes," he continued. "Above all, I feel very happy and lucky to be in Team Alstare led by Mr Francis Batta. His team is very professional, full of experience and is always one of the strongest teams in the paddock. I am looking forward to working with them and feel sure that my previous experience will be to the team's advantage."

The highly revised 2005 GSX-R1000 K5 Suzuki, that is proven to produce 164bhp in road trim, is all set to be a significant improvement on this season's British and American Superbike championship winner.

Rumours around the Suzuki Superbike teams are that a figure of 220bhp is not unlikely for the new machine, pushing the performance of the road-based machine into MotoGP territory.

"The GSX-R1000 has always been a highly competitive bike - as proved in the winning of numerous titles in the USA and British Superbike Championships," continued Yuki. "I believe that the all-new 2005 GSX-R1000 will be more competitive than the previous bike and, with it, I feel sure I can fulfil the expectations of Team Alstare and all the fans who support me."