Phillip Island WSB: Kagayama on top, Bayliss breaks collarbone

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Alstare Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama took the final day of the WSB test in Phillip Island by storm after topping the time sheets with a 1m 32.1 second lap.

Kagayama had been fast at every day of the test but saved his best until last with his stunning lap set at the end of the day.

It wasn’t just one fast lap for Kagayama, after initially struggling with tyre life his experienced factory Suzuki squad made improvements to the suspension and electronics package and the Japanese star responded by completing an impressive race simulation that was a match for any of his rivals.

Troy Bayliss secured the second fastest time thanks to his day two best lap after his final day ended in disaster when he high sided his Xerox Ducati, collided with Regis Laconi and broke his right collarbone. Bayliss was taken to Melbourne hospital for x-rays but initial diagnosis is that he should be back to fitness in time for the start of the season.

Third place went to three riders Michel Fabrizio, Fonsi Nieto and Ruben Xaus who all managed to set a fast lap despite scorching 36 degrees air temperature which led to a track temperature of over 50 degrees.

Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga matched his lap time of day two to go sixth but was able to complete a successful race run and left Phillip Island satisfied with his progress. Haga’s team-mate Troy Corser was also unable to better his day two time and had to abort his flying lap after a Kangaroo hopped onto the track.

Italian Max Biaggi continued to adapt to the new Ducati and dropped his time to a 1m 32.8 using standard Pirelli rubber.

PSG-1 Kawasaki rider survived his crash with Bayliss and went onto complete over 100 laps including two full race simulations. His focus on race runs meant that he didn’t better his time of 1m 33.0. Kawasaki team-mate Makoto Tamada made a break through on the second day and dropped his lap time by nearly two seconds after improving the set-up of his ZX10R to set a 1m 33.4 second lap.

German young gun Max Neukirchner was again unable to test today due to a bad case of flu and high temperature.

1. Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki) 1’32”1
2. Bayliss (AUS-Ducati) 1’32”2
3. Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati) 1’32”3
4. Xaus (ESP-Ducati) 1’32”3
5. Nieto (ESP-Suzuki) 1’32”3
6. Haga (JPN-Yamaha) 1’32”4
7. Corser (AUS-Yamaha) 1’32”7
8. Biaggi (ITA-Ducati) 1’32”8
9. Laconi (FRA-Kawasaki) 1’33”0
10. Tamada (JPN-Kawasaki) 1’33”4
11. Neukirchner (GER-Suzuki) 1’35”5


Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider