Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra head to the 12th round of this year's championship at Vallelunga in Italy anticipating a good result for hometown hero Max Biaggi.
A huge turn out of fans is expected at the track, situated 15 minutes or so from the Italian capital of Rome. Although it will be a 'home race' for Biaggi, he has not raced there for over 10 years; he has tested at Vallelunga two times - once last November and in July this year - but knows that the weekend ahead will not be an easy one, as the other top teams have also tested there. His team mate Yukio also took part in the July tests, but the coming race weekend will be a hard one as he has not yet fully recovered from his recent knee and hand injuries.
Max Biaggi, "Although everybody is calling this my home race, the last time I raced here was in a 125 sports production race over 10 years ago. Vallelunga is quite a narrow track compared to the other tracks we race at, though there are some passing places - usually on the brakes. Because of that, it's important to do well in qualifying and Superpole and be on the front row of the grid. For me though, that's the same for any race track. Although we've tested at Vallelunga, I'm sure the conditions will not be the same this weekend. We didn't get the set-up 100% before, so there will be work to do in practice and qualifying. It is an interesting track, quite technical and has a very slow first gear hairpin, so gearing is going to be important. I do not feel under any extra pressure because it is a 'home race' and the only pressure I have is what I put on myself to do well. For me, racing in front of my fans is a pleasure and I hope I can give them a couple of good results."
Yukio Kagayama, 'After the last race in Germany I have seen some specialists about my injuries. I have been told that these kind of injuries need at least three weeks to heal, so I know I will not be 100% at Vallelunga. But this will not stop me from trying my hardest. This year has been too many crashes for me. There has not been enough time when I have been fully fit - but racing is like that sometimes. I am not sure how the weekend will go. The track is a bit narrow in places and some areas are not as safe as other tracks. I will do my best, but I do not need any more crashes!'