Yamaha riders out to score big in Brno
After a successful two-day test at Vallelunga between 8th and 9th July both Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) are fully prepared to meet the challenge of a resurfaced Brno circuit on Sunday 20th July.
The 9th round of the 2008 season sees Haga arrive in fourth place in the overall championship fight, only six points ahead of his team-mate Corser. Now the most effective team-mates in the field once again, Haga has won four races so far, while Corser has been desperately unfortunate not have taken at least one win among his six podiums.
Each rider has recorded successes at Brno, with Corser having won three races there and Haga one. Each took a Brno victory in 2005, Corser the first and Haga the second. The Yamaha duo traded the fastest lap in the two Czech races last year.
The Automotodrom Brno itself, in the southern regions of the Czech Republic, is nothing less than a modern classic and features constant elevation changes along its 5.403km length, the fastest chicanes in WSB, and a power-sapping 7.5% gradient uphill straight towards the last chicane, which really tests who has the strongest engine.
Haga has good and not so good memories of Brno, but being 68 points behind the series lead at present all he is thinking about this weekend is how many points he will score. "For Brno I have to work hard to keep the points scores high and move up. We had a decent test at Vallelunga recently, and got good results when running a full race set-up, so we are happy with that, of course. Our goal this weekend is consistency while staying fast. My physical situation is better but where I broke my collarbone is kind of 'itchy', I think because it is healing! For Brno practice has been good in the past but some of the races have gone a strange way. But for sure we cannot lose any more points. We need some more consistent races now."
Corser knows Brno as intimately as any rider in the series, and wants to get back to winning ways there. "Brno should be good this year and last year wasn't too bad for us at some stages. The bike is certainly better this year as well. It will all come down to the tyres, how many laps we can get out of them at full pace. We'll see how the track temperature is because Brno's been resurfaced and it's usually a hot weekend over there."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Team YZF) will arrive in the Czech republic in overall 19th place after a top ten finish in Misano, David Checa (Yamaha GMT94) is now 23rd, tied on points with his team-mate Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha GMT94).
Technically speaking - Brno according to Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team Manager)
"After speaking to the guys in the team it seems obvious that we were all pleased with the race pace shown by both riders in last week's Vallelunga test. The outright best lap times were not so good but they were not pushing 100%. It is a test, after all, not a race. Everybody in the team thinks they will be ready. The track surface at Brno has been changed and although we have not seen it with our own eyes we know that it will almost definitely be harder on tyres. Our Junior Team went there with Claudio Corti and they confirmed that the tyre life is not so good because of the new surface. Max Biaggi's team went there to test and to do a race simulation he had to use the hardest tyres. But we will see. We may have the new Akrapovic exhausts for Brno that we found improvements with at Vallelunga, but there has not been very much time for Akrapovic to make the numbers so it's not confirmed at this point. They are trying very hard as always. No matter what, we are ready and we will be out to make up some ground this weekend.