Alstare Suzuki riders Yukio Kagayama and Sylvain Guintoli had a mixed first day in Portimao, finishing 11th and 22nd.
Kagayama suffered from problems with the rear suspension but was confident the problems will be sorted ready for Superpole tomorrow. “Today was not so bad and I am a bit happy because the front suspension is working well and I am getting a lot of feedback from it.” said Kagayama
“This means that I can push the front much harder and attack more. Now we have to do more on the rear because, at the moment, the feeling is not so good.
“We can improve this for sure, but we just need more kilometres. I tried a soft tyre at the end of qualifying today, but for me, the grip was no better than race rubber.”
The Japanese rider will return to the Worx Cresent Suzuki squad in British Superbikes for 2010, so Portimao marks his last race with the Alstare Suzuki team.
“I am a bit sad, because this weekend will be my last race with Suzuki Alstare and so I want to qualify well and say thank you to the team by ending with a good result.”
Team-mate Guintoli spent the day learning both the bike and a new track, despite posting a time only good enough for 22nd, the Frenchman made progress throughout the day. “Considering that today was my first time on this bike and my first time at this track, I am pretty happy with what we did.” he said.
“Although I raced a GSX-R1000 Suzuki in the British Superbike Championship this year, the Suzuki Alstare bike feels very different and that means I have to learn about it.”
“Also, this was my first time at this track and I can tell you that it is a very technical track and very demanding. On TV, you don’t get a true impression about the elevation changes and this track is a real roller-coaster!”
“I am happy because I think we found a good base set-up today and I am very happy about how well I have got on with this new team. Already I feel part of it and this makes it easy to look forward to tomorrow and making further progress.”