Kagayama Starts Out in Front

Henny Ray Abrams | May 29, 2009

Suzuki Alstare Brux’s Yukio Kagayama topped a tightly packed first practice session at Miller Motorsports Park, site of Sunday’s seventh round of the World Superbike Championship.The Japanese rider lapped the 3.05-mile track in 1:51.356 mins. on a sunny, hot Friday afternoon at the circuit in Tooele, west of Salt Lake City, Utah. The time  put him on top by a mere .004 secs. over BMW’s Troy Corser and only .018 secs. faster than last year’s double winner Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). The top 15 riders in the 26-rider field were on the same second with the top 23 riders by 1.522 secs.Yamaha’s Ben Spies was fourth fastest on a track where he won five of six AMA Superbike races, including both rounds last year and in 2007. The Texan was .004 behind Checa in his first World Superbike race in the U.S.Ten Kate Honda Racing’s Ryuichi Kiyonari was fifth fastest in front of Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne.Luca Scassa, who raced an MV Agusta for Eraldo Ferracci in 2007, was seventh on the Team Pedercini Kawasaki.Ducati Xerox teammates Nori Haga and Michel Fabrizio were eighth and ninth, respectively, with Jamie Hacking tenth on the Kawasaki.Jake Zemke finished the session 19th, one behind Stiggy Racing Honda teammate Leon Haslam.

Friday Practice:

1. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1:51.356

2. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:51.360

3. Carlos Checa (Honda) 1:51.374

4. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:51.378

5. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1:51.387

6. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:51.473

7. Luca Scassa (Kawasaki) 1:51.705

8. Nori Haga (Ducati) 1:51.799

9. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:51.386

10. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:51.865


19. Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:52.624

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.