Phillip Island: Yamaha Teams race report

Corser second in race one as Haga fights hard Troy Corser went through one race of joy and endured one non-finish at the challenging Phillip Island circuit in Australia, taking a masterful second place in race one but falling out of contention...

Corser second in race one as Haga fights hard

Troy Corser went through one race of joy and endured one non-finish at the challenging Phillip Island circuit in Australia, taking a masterful second place in race one but falling out of contention for the podium places in race two. On his home track, Corser had to work hard with his Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team to find a good raceday set-up and he made adjustments between races to improve it still more, finding great gains until his race finished early.

Noriyuki Haga celebrated his 33rd birthday today but not in the way he wished on the racetrack, taking eighth in race one and seventh in race two. He found traction issues in each 22-lap race, following on from similar concerns in qualifying at Phillip Island.

A dramatic race one had to be restarted after a startline incident, when Michel Fabrizio's machine stalled on the line and was struck first by the unsighted David Checa (Yamaha GMT94 Team) and then more powerfully by privateer Vittorio Iannuzzo, who was injured in the impact, breaking his left wrist. As Iannuzzo lay trackside the race was red-flagged, and a complete 22-lap restart called.

In the second race, Corser was fast off the line, too fast for the race officials, and he was given a jump-start penalty in controversial circumstances. Unsure if the penalty signal was for him, he carried on initially, but fell on lap five, having led for three laps and looking strong for another podium finish at least. Corser was uninjured by his high-speed crash exiting the first left-hand corner, and felt he must have slid off on oil or water lying on the racing line.

Fast starting in each race, Haga was forced to go backwards through the field, having a lonely race towards the end of the first contest, but working hard in race two to defend his seventh place finish.

Even with his race two no score, Corser is fourth in the championship chase, with 45 points, while Haga, who has scored in every race so far, is on 22 points, holding ninth place.

David Checa (Yamaha GMT94) was lucky to escape the race one startline incident with only a badly cut left foot, and he recovered from a DNF in the restart to take a fine 12th place in race two. His team-mate Sebastien Gimbert just missed a point in race one, but had a neck-and-neck race with Checa in race two and scored 13th place.

Team YZF Yamaha squad rider Shinichi Nakatomi overcame some difficult moments in qualifying to take two points scores, going 15th in each race, approximately thirty seconds behind the leaders each time.

Troy Corser (2nd and DNF - Yamaha Italy WSB Team)

"There were a few tough passes in that first race, but I never panicked even when I got run wide a couple of times. The bike wasn't perfect and we were moving around a bit too much. We were going as fast as we could sideways! We made changes for race two and it was a lot better. Overall a podium in race one was not too bad. They definitely held the start too long in race two. It was like the starting light was on, on and then on some more, then it went off. It was way too long to wait. I knew I had moved, but I had stopped again. Anyway I felt much more confident on the bike and in control in race two but it seemed to me that there was a small line of oil on the corner and that's what it felt like - tucking the front on oil. I thought there would be bikes coming into the gravel trap after me. We learned many things this weekend and I think we could have finished second in race two at least, maybe even challenged Troy Bayliss."

Noriyuki Haga (8th and 7th - Yamaha Italy WSB Team)

"My physical condition was OK today because I had a very effective massage from the Clinica Mobile people, so thanks to them. This whole weekend has just been down to a lack of grip. It feels like the first two races this year have just been an exercise for me. We have not had the chance to build our performance on the bike so it feels like our season will start in the European races."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Manager, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)

"We had a lot of trouble with grip all weekend and I think what Troy achieved in race one was earned by Troy. We made the same settings for Nori in race two as we did for Troy, but he did not feel any great benefit. We always seem to have a struggle in Qatar and here, but we will be back when we get to Europe. We never give up and the season is a long one."

Shinichi Nakatomi (21st and DNF - Team YZF Yamaha)

"I had a better feel from the tyres in the first race, not so much in the second. We scored points in both races, which was a good reward for the team, who work so hard."

Cristophe Guyot: (Team Manager Yamaha GMT94 Team)

"As we are still racing these bikes 12kgs over weight and on Endurance specifications mainly, we can be very happy with these results. Unfortunately David Checa was involved in a crash during the start of race one, resulting in pain in his neck and quite a big wound on his foot. For race two both riders did a great job - David with his injuries and Sebastien with a lesser spec YZF-R1. WSB is a perfect experience for the team and is major benefit for our Endurance efforts. Our aim is to be on of the top contenders in WSB. For Valencia we will be able to lose a couple of kilograms and we have some additional YEC (Yamaha racing) kit parts available for our riders and therefore we have great hopes for that race as well."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Noriyuki Haga , David Checa , Troy Corser , Vittorio Iannuzzo , Michel Fabrizio , Sébastien Gimbert , Shinichi Nakatomi , Phillip Island