Phillip Island: Yamaha Racing Saturday report

Yamaha men take front row in Australia Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga will start tomorrow's second round of the Superbike World Championship from the front row of the grid after impressive superpole performances...

Yamaha men take front row in Australia

Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga will start tomorrow's second round of the Superbike World Championship from the front row of the grid after impressive superpole performances at Phillip Island today.

High winds made life difficult for the riders at the coastal circuit today. Haga was the first of the R1 riders to head out on his grid-deciding qualifying lap after finishing regular qualifying in eighth place. The Japanese star put together a smooth lap of 1:32.879 to head the time sheets with seven riders remaining. Four men came and went without besting the Yamaha rider until Corser, third in regular practice blasted to a 1:32.605 lap. World champion Troy Bayliss (Ducati) was the last man to go out on his superpole lap and grabbed the pole position with James Toseland (Honda) second.

With no new parts available since last weekend's race in Qatar, today's testing programme focused mainly on fine tuning the R1's chassis and suspension to make maximum use of the front tyre in tomorrow's 22-lap races. Both Corser and Haga were able to make considerable headway in their preparations, completing race simulations in both the morning and afternoon practice sessions.

Shinichi Nakatomi of Team YZF Yamaha will start from 17th on the grid after improving his Friday time by half-a-second. The Japanese rider was denied an opportunity to make the afternoon superpole when rain started to fall 15 minutes from the end of the morning's second qualifying session.

Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)

"I almost got blown off the bike as I rolled out on my warm-up lap and that prepared me for the big gust of wind that hit me as I went into turn one on my superpole lap. That caused me to lose the front end and I ended up running wide through the Southern Loop as I tried to make up time. That's not normally the way I would attack superpole but it worked out fine in the end. I hope it (the weather) is a bit more calm because it can get a bit hectic when you go into a corner three abreast and get hit by a gust of wind. The bike's going real well here and I'm pleased to be on the front row. We just need to see how it goes tomorrow."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)

"The wind made the superpole lap very difficult and I am very surprised, but of course happy, with the result. Because of the wind it was easy to make a mistake, especially coming into the corners. I took some tight lines and did not really make mistakes. It's my best lap time of the weekend so I am pleased. I expect a difficult race tomorrow. We know that the tyre can work very well for around 10 laps but we still need to try and make it work longer. We have already decided which tyre we will use but I still have to think about the suspension settings, so maybe I will not sleep so well tonight!"

Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha)

"Yesterday we had many problems with chatter but today we were able to get a better feeling with the bike. Unfortunately it started to rain 15 minutes before the end of the morning qualifying session and I was unable to make a time to qualifying for superpole. We are still working to improve the set-up but I am hopeful we can make up some positions in the races tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)

"It's always good to have both riders on the front row so of course it has been a good day today. We have been lacking a little bit in the final section of the track but our lap times are good and I think that we can challenge for the podium tomorrow."

-credit: yrc

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Bayliss , Noriyuki Haga , James Toseland , Troy Corser , Shinichi Nakatomi , Phillip Island