Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi ended the first day of qualifying at Vallelunga in Italy with the fourth fastest time, even though he was not really pushing hard.
He spent most of the day working on a good bike set-up so that he could get comfortable on the bike as team mate Yukio Kagayama was still feeling the effects of his crash in the last round at the Eurospeedway Lausitz where he broke a bone in his right hand. Despite the pain and discomfort, he managed to post the 14th quickest time of the day.
Aussie Troy Corser (Yamaha) set the fastest time in today's qualifying with a lap of 1:37.537 just ahead of his fellow countryman Troy Bayliss (Ducati) and Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) third.Max Biaggi, 'Today I spent most of the time working on finding a good set-up. When I get that and am comfortable, I can begin to push really hard. I had a little problem with vibration in the turns, but it only affected one bike, not the other. We'll have to work on that and solve the problem. This afternoon, when I was on a 'hot lap' towards the end of the session, the rear was spinning a bit. But it was too late to come in and put another tyre in, so I just carried on. Like all tracks, a good grid place is important so I'll be making sure of that tomorrow in final qualifying and Superpole.'
Yukio Kagayama, 'Last Sunday I didn't think I'd be able to ride the bike this weekend, because my wrist was badly swollen and it felt very sore. But now the swelling has gone down and today it felt better than I thought it would. My arm is not as strong as before the crash so it may be a problem towards the end of the races. My other problem here is the small corners; I do not like small corners and especially the hairpin here! This track is quite physical and I shall have to see how my hand holds up tomorrow.'