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Top spot for Kagayama

Published: 18 February 2005

Yukio Kagayama has proved that the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 is definitely up to challenging for the World Superbike title by taking the fastest time at the final pre-season test in Qatar.

Kagayama took advantage of the fact that he is the only WSB rider to have ridden the Middle-Eastern circuit by clocking the fastest time of the two-day test with a best lap of 2:01.480.

Kagayama:s Suzuki team-mate Troy Corser took the second fastest time despite catching the flu that had dogged Ten Kate Honda riders Chris Vermeulen and Karl Muggeridge.

Third spot went to reigning Spanish Formula Extreme champion Jose Luis Cardosa. The DFX Yamaha rider surprised the paddock by taking the fastest time on the first day of the test and was only beaten in to the third spot on the final day by just over .3 of a second.

Last year’s championship runner up Regis Laconi managed to crawl up the time sheets to take the fourth fastest time but his team-mate and current World champion James Toseland had a fast high-side and only managed to finish in 10th place. After the fall Toseland was immediately rushed to the medical centre for a checkup but was lucky to escape without any serious injury.

The first race of the season takes place in Qatar next Saturday.

Official times:

Kagayama 2:01.480

Corser 2:01.554

Cardoso 2:01.797

Laconi 2:01.827

Gimbert 2:01.956

Silva Alberola 2:02.194

Walker 2:02.442

Borciani 2:02.548

Haga 2:02.591

Toseland 2:02.639

Abe 2:02.652

Pitt 2:02.713

Lanzi 2:02.923

Chili 2:03.008

Vermeulen 2:03.072

Vizziello 2:03.095

Muggeridge 2:03.391

Sanchini 2:03.398

Bussei 2:03.602

Nieto 2:03.659

Neukirchner 2:03.874

Pedercini 2:04.048

Bostrom 2:04.285

Martin 2:04.483

Velini 2:04.864

Clementi 2:05.047

McCoy 2:05.455

Praia 2:05.472

Al Nuami 2:10.263