Corser and Haga take winning form to San Marino After incredible rides at the Nurburgring in Germany both Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) will be relishing another chance to compete for top honours at Round 8 of the...
Corser and Haga take winning form to San Marino
After incredible rides at the Nurburgring in Germany both Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) will be relishing another chance to compete for top honours at Round 8 of the World Superbike Championship at the Misano circuit on the Adriatic coast of Italy this weekend.
Despite suffering from a broken right collarbone, plated and pinned before the Nurburgring race, Haga won both races in the German round, only just beating his team-mate Corser in race two. Arguably Corser looked favourite for the win until the track surface started to become wet, but it was still a miracle for Haga to be anywhere near a double win so soon after his big crash in America.
Both Haga and Corser have recent podium experience at Misano, each taking a second place finish on their Yamaha YZF-R1 machinery last year. Corser is a previous Misano race winner, but despite breaking the barrier of 30 individual WSB race victories last time out, Haga has still to add Misano to his list of winning venues.
After some tough early rounds Corser has been reborn as a potential winning force in the championship following strong podium results in both America and Germany. At Misano he was a double winner in the 2000 season on what used to be a predominantly left-handed circuit.
Last year the Misano venue underwent massive overhauls in almost all regards, with the most obvious one being a new track layout in places, allied to a complete change in the direction of racing. Previously Misano was an anti-clockwise circuit, featuring several long left-hand corners. In the new era it is a layout dominated by a succession of right-handers at the end of the back straight, which runs parallel to the nearby Autostrada.
Haga is aware that every performance counts as he tries to make up ground on championship leader Troy Bayliss. "So far so good. The double win in Germany, after my injury and operation in America, has made me a bit more relaxed. My first aim in Germany was to not crash and get some points, so to get a double win was a surprise. I was riding a little bit carefully because everyone around me over the weekend was saying 'don't crash!' So I was not riding too hard, but we still had a very successful outcome."
"Misano was a turning point last year so it will be an important race again this year and I have to be careful not to make a mistake. All the other riders have been fighting each other, making slip ups and we have already been unlucky and then lucky again. It's very competitive for everybody and we are out to get as many points as possible to the end. We have half the season left and to be 55 points from the lead is not so bad. But we know we cannot make any mistakes any more. All the team have been working hard towards Misano, so I am looking forward to it."
Corser's winning pedigree has been proven many times in his long WSB career, and he came close to his first Yamaha win at Misano last year. "Misano should be good and the bike is coming along fine. It will be better than last year and we got a good result at Misano then, so it should be good. I do like the track and it's good to be going in the opposite direction to the old version. It's like a completely different circuit. There have been a few races there since the tarmac went down and the track surface is pretty much bedded in now. Last year it was very new and pretty 'green'. There is always a good crowd at Misano and it's a fun race for the spectators. We're also expecting it to be as hot as ever in the sunshine."
Technically speaking - Misano according to Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Motor Italia Team Manager)
"We treat every race in the calendar the same but because our team is based in Italy it does mean Misano is more work and there are always simply more things to do. But to race in Misano is always a good thing. After our good results in Germany we have a really high level of team morale. We are, like always, trying to improve our machine and we would like to do all the things we can to be more competitive again in Misano. It is a very different place from the Nurburgring. We will consider the set-up we used last year for the Misano race, but when you find a good base like we have now, usually we don't change it so much from race-to-race. I think we are ready and both riders are determined. We can do a god job."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Team YZF) is currently in the same 20th position he has monopolised for some time, while Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha GMT94) and David Checa (Yamaha GMT94) maintained 23rd and 24th places overall after the Nurburgring races.