Haga on provisional front row with Corser seventh Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) was the fastest man in the early unofficial laps at Brands Hatch and continued his strong form in the first qualifying period, taking second best time...
Haga on provisional front row with Corser seventh
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) was the fastest man in the early unofficial laps at Brands Hatch and continued his strong form in the first qualifying period, taking second best time overall with a 1'26.144, only 0.127 seconds from provisional pole.
Haga came close to the previous track best in final qualifying, despite not yet finding a perfect feel from his rear tyre, a possible factor in him taking a high-speed spill at Paddock Hill Corner, thankfully without injury.
Weather conditions for the weekend are predicted to be unsettled, but today the biggest weather factor was a stiff breeze, blowing across pitlane.
Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha GMT94) went 18th, the third best Yamaha rider on the day, with David Checa (Yamaha GMT94) 24th, each making progress in qualifying after re-learning this difficult track.
Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha) fell early in qualifying and his big high side left him with an overextended left wrist. He will undergo medical checks in the morning to see if he can ride for the rest of the weekend.
Noriyuki Haga (2nd - 1'26.144 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"Things have gone very well and we were checking out all the tyres we had available. I may have to check a bit more tomorrow because there are still some parts of the track the rear tyre doesn't like so much, so we have to fix the suspension settings for that. I also did some crash testing, at the very fast first corner! But my old collarbone injury was perfect, so no problem. I have a good feeling from the front tyre here. After this session there are three Japanese riders in the front row - which looks OK to me! We will check more suspension settings tomorrow but it all depends on if it rains or not. It was also quite windy today and you could feel it on some corners."
Troy Corser (7th - 1'26.461 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"The first day back here after last year and the circuit feels pretty bumpy, especially compared to the last track we were at, Brno. The bike feels a little bit nervous at the moment, and that was a similar feeling to last year at this track. The set-up has been improved compared to this morning and we did go in the right direction with the set-up, just not far enough. So tomorrow we will go further in that direction and right now the tyres don't seem to be causing any issue in terms of life, so the choice will probably depend on grip. Considering how I felt about the bumps, and given our decent lap times, we're not a mile away."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Manager, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"We spent today looking for the best balance and we have already found good race tyre possibilities. Tomorrow we will finish the job. We have always had good results here so after this first day we're confident we can continue to perform well at Brands."