Brands Hatch: Yamaha preview

Yamaha's High Expectations for Brands This weekend sees one of the biggest races in the World Superbike Championship as the circus goes to Brands Hatch in the UK for the tenth of thirteen rounds this year. After this weekend's round the ...

Yamaha's High Expectations for Brands

This weekend sees one of the biggest races in the World Superbike Championship as the circus goes to Brands Hatch in the UK for the tenth of thirteen rounds this year. After this weekend's round the championship will have a five week break prior to the final three rounds.

Brands Hatch is a favourite stop on the championship calendar for both riders and British fans alike, attracting up to 120,000 spectators. Its natural amphitheatre-style layout makes for good viewing and the challenging mix of fast, blind corners and elevations means the circuit is highly rated by virtually all riders. The circuit was originally used as a military training ground but was taken over by motorcycles for grass track racing in 1926. It ran anti-clockwise until 1954 but has run clockwise ever since.

Brno's race weekend two weeks ago promised a lot but the reality didn't live up to the team's expectations. Haga took the Superpole for the second year running there but grip issues prevented him from converting it into race wins. He managed two good fourth place finishes and took away 26 valuable points at this key stage in the championship. Corser also struggled with grip problems in race one but held on to take seventh. In race two he was forced to retire when an engine bolt broke leaking oil over the tyre.

Looking forward, Brands could be considered Haga's lucky charm as he has been on the podium in every race there during the past three years. He did the double in 2004 and then in 2005 took a race win and a second, getting the fastest lap of both races in the process. Last year he came third in the first race and won race two. For 2007, Haga is looking to equal or better last year's result and further his championship fight as we move into the final few races of the season.

"Brands is a good circuit to race; you can hear the crowd as you are racing which helps a lot. I'm pleased to go there after Brno; I need a good result after the disappointment of Brno and I've always had good finishes at Brands," Haga says. "My focus is now very much on the championship title. I've trained very hard this year, mentally and physically, and we've worked hard on the bike and set-up. I'm confident and I'll be pushing hard this weekend. I know there has been a lot of rain in England recently and I'll be as happy if it rains on race day as I will be if it's dry. Rain will mean survival of the fittest and I'm ready for that."

Corser's last race win at Brands was in 2005, when he also took a second place finish as well as pole position. The 'Superpole' king has actually taken pole three times at this circuit, though his best result last year was a pair of sixth positions.

"I'm looking forward to Brands; it can only get better after Brno! I like the layout at Brands and the atmosphere's great there but I must admit it's not been my favourite track over the years, more because of the close proximity of the walls than anything else" says Corser. "After missing out in the second race at Brno I'm determined to win this weekend. I'm confident I would've been on the podium if the bolt hadn't broken. So rest assured I'll be pushing this weekend!"

-credit: yrc

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Series World Superbike