Yukio Kagayama surprised everyone with his showing in Qatar on a new circuit where no-one had any prior knowledge. When the racing returns to regular circuits, expect to see him slip back through the ranks.
February 28, 2005 The 2005 World Superbike Championship is shaping as the most exciting in years, with at least a dozen riders with a realistic chance of taking the title and four marques competing for each race win after the first round was held at the Losail circuit in Qatar on the weekend - a distinct change from the Ducati processions of the last few years. The surprise winner of the first of twelve rounds of the World Superbike Championship was Yukio Kagayama, indicating that the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 is likely to be as competitive on the racetrack in superbike form as it is on the road, and the Suzuki quinella has installed former World Superbike Champion Troy Corser as favourite for the title after one round. Bookmakers have installed the 1996 world champion as a firm favourite for the title ahead of Regis Laconi (Ducati 999), 2004 Champion James Toseland (Ducati 999), Chris Vermeulen (Honda CBR 1000RR) and hard-charging crowd favourite Nori Haga (Yamaha R1).