Corser Podiums and takes second in the championship
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) finished the 2008 WSB season second in the championship standings after securing a podium finish in the first race at Portimao, then following that up with a safe sixth in race two.
The all Yamaha battle for the runner-up spot behind champion Troy Bayliss saw Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) drop out of contention after serving a ride-through penalty for jump-starting in race two, having already been forced out of race one. Both races were won by three-time champion, Troy Bayliss.
In the first 22-lap race Corser was in the leading mix from the start and rode aggressively in the messy early laps to stay in contention, but could not quite get back on terms with second place rider Carlos Checa towards the end. Haga was also looking good for a podium finish until he was forced out on lap 18, having started to slow on lap 16.
Race two put Corser in with the leaders again for some time but he eased up when he realised that overall second place was safe, particularly in a race filled with determined wild cards. Each race was run in the dry, but on a relatively slippery track surface, which was still recovering from a largely wet first two days of action.
Haga was looking good for a strong result in race two until he had to pull in for his penalty, but he recovered to post a 14th place finish and score two championship points. He was thus 15 points behind Corser after 28 individual races, and third overall.
Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha) went 13th in race one, but 17th in race two. He ended his last WSB season 19th, top Yamaha rider behind Corser and Haga.
David Checa (Yamaha GMT94) and Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha GMT94) finished the season on 12 points apiece, as neither scored at Portimao.
Troy Corser (3rd and 6th - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"All I had to do in race two was finish near Nori and that was all I was doing. Once he went out, all I had to do was stay consistent and not crash. We all worked so hard to get to second this season I was not prepared to take too many risks. The bike was actually better in race one than the second, as we had good front grip then. We changed the bike and had less grip in the rear, so I had to modify the way I was riding completely. Finishing second in the points means more than trying to finish on the podium in race two and risk crashing. Second is better than third and both of those finishes are better than nothing. The action was scary sometimes today and it can be like that when the tracks have a lot of undulations. The asphalt was pretty slippery in some places because of all the rain and mud washed on it during practice."
Noriyuki Haga (DNF and 14th - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"In race two they said I jump started and for sure I moved a bit, but before the lights changed I stopped again. Overall, in the first race we had a problem and I had to pull out. But I had the chance to do a bit of work on the suspension setting for race two, and we went one step harder on the rear tyre too. It worked better but we still had some chatter. We lost a lot of practice time, unfortunately, because of the rain. Our pace in race two was much better. I have to say thank you very much to all the Yamaha staff for the past four years, it has been very enjoyable and we have had many great days. I wanted to get a victory for them but that was the most I could do today."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Manager, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"Today's overall results are so-so but in the championship we finished second and third and most importantly, we had the top four-cylinder riders. We had some good and some not so good results this year but still very positive, because nobody else made the same. We had seven wins, a lot of podiums from both riders, sometimes in the same race. As a team we did a really good job. Thanks to everyone in the squad for this year, to Yamaha and for all the support from our sponsors and fans."
Shinichi Nakatomi (13th and 17th - Team YZF Yamaha)
"In the first race I lost some grip from the rear tyre and in the second race I got a bad start but tried to progress. Thanks to the team for three years of competition in WSB."