Superbike World Championship: round two - Phillip Island, Australia After an exciting opening round in Qatar last weekend, the Superbike World Championship makes its only trip to the southern hemisphere when it visits the fast and flowing...
Superbike World Championship: round two - Phillip Island, Australia
After an exciting opening round in Qatar last weekend, the Superbike World Championship makes its only trip to the southern hemisphere when it visits the fast and flowing Phillip Island circuit for the Yamaha-sponsored Australian round.
Following a promising debut with the 2007 YZF-R1 in Qatar, Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga are looking to build on their fine start with a good performance on a track that should suit the R1's sweet-handling chassis.
Corser marked his debut with the official Yamaha team by winning the superpole event and finishing on the podium in race two, while both riders demonstrated the speed of the new R1.
For Corser, the Australian round is the one chance he will get to race in front of his home fans this season. The world superbike veteran actually made his debut at the same circuit 15 years ago in his first stint as a Yamaha rider. Speaking from last Saturday's race in Qatar, he commented: "We're off to Phillip Island next and I think my Yamaha will work really well there. It's a track I really like and I think we can bag a couple of good results there for sure. It's a pity about the first race today, we had a big vibration at the rear (caused by the tyre not gripping the rim correctly) but that's how it goes sometimes. It was so bad that I thought about pulling in, but we could still score some points. It was good to get on the podium in the second race but I guess that I am still a little disappointed, because I felt we could have been there in both races. But don't worry, we'll make up for it in Phillip Island!"
Haga too managed to score a fine result in the day's second race with a fourth position. He's due a good result on 'The Island'. The Japanese rider had his first win outside of Japan there in 1998, although to date that is his only victory Down Under. The official Yamaha squad, along with the nominated Pirelli tyre test teams from the other four manufacturers, tested at Phillip Island just over a month ago, something Haga hopes will help them get the most out of their bikes this weekend.
"We tested at Phillip Island in January," he says. "We were able to do a lot of laps and work on a setting for the race, so I hope that this will help us this weekend. Remember, we only had our first shakedown at the end of last year and we are learning more about it with every session. We learned a lot about the bike in Australia and, although we could not get good life from the front tyre, it was working very well in Qatar."