Yamaha Motor Italia chase the championship to Misano This weekend Misano hosts the eighth round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship and the Yamaha Motor Italia Team is fully focused and raring for more success following their second and...
Yamaha Motor Italia chase the championship to Misano
This weekend Misano hosts the eighth round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship and the Yamaha Motor Italia Team is fully focused and raring for more success following their second and third positions at Silverstone two weeks ago. Bad weather conditions meant the second race was cancelled, preventing the team from taking further points away. This was only the third time a superbike race has been cancelled in the championship's twenty-year history.
Misano first appeared on the superbike calendar in 1991 and has been a regular stop in the championship since 1993. The circuit is much loved by racers and fans alike with a seating capacity of 75,000. For 2007 the circuit has undergone a makeover - the track now runs in a clockwise direction as opposed to the anti-clockwise route it has taken previous years. It has also been re-surfaced. These two factors together mean this track is effectively new for all the riders.
The Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team has already had a chance to get to grips with the new-style Misano, having tested there between the Monza and Silverstone rounds last month. During the two-day test the team tried many new parts including the variable intake system used on the standard production R1. Both riders came away feeling positive about the progress they had made on their set-up as well having learnt the track. Corser was second fastest over the two days with Haga fourth fastest.
Haga goes to Misano fired up after a solid second place at Silverstone which leaves him only 23 points behind the championship leader, James Toseland. Last year Haga finished fifth and third at this circuit; in 2005 he took two sixth positions and in 2004 he walked away with a pair of fourth places.
Talking about the last round, Haga says, "My second place result at Silverstone was good. Of course it would've been ideal to take away twenty five points but to take twenty points was important for my championship fight. I was very disappointed at the cancellation of the second race because I lost the opportunity to completely close the gap on first place but that now becomes my challenge for this weekend instead."
"Having got the double win at the team's first home round (Monza) was perfect. I would love to repeat this at our second home circuit but I have to be realistic," Haga comments. "At our test there last month I struggled to find the right set-up so I need to resolve that before focusing on racing this weekend. The new track has lots of grip because of the new surface but it also has a lot of bumps which make it more difficult to set up the braking and general behaviour of the machine."
Corser has a good history at Misano; he achieved the Full Monty there in 2000, which consists of taking pole, winning both races and getting the fastest lap of both races also. Although he didn't fare so well last year, failing to finish either race, he took a pair of third place finishes in 2005 and has taken pole twice at this Italian circuit.
"I'm looking forward to going back to Misano after such a good test there last month. At least we can be sure that the weather will be better there than at Silverstone! Weather aside, Silverstone was a good race for me - it gave me my 110th podium and was a real step forward in terms of progress. It could well prove to be the turning point in the season for me," Corser says.
"The Misano test we did was good because we were able to make some good chassis improvements, which were proven at Silverstone. The test also gave me a chance to get to know the new direction of the track. Sure it's bumpy but I'm not worried about that. The only issue I can see is that the first section is now quite tight and whilst it will lead to some good close racing it also means that there is only one line and no overtaking points. I will just have to see where I can create some overtaking points! I'm looking forward to this race for sure."