Second and third for Haga, less luck for Corser Noriyuki Haga brought 36 more points and two podiums home for Yamaha in today's World Superbike Championship round at Valencia. Having battled to find the right set-up all weekend, Haga went out ...
Second and third for Haga, less luck for Corser
Noriyuki Haga brought 36 more points and two podiums home for Yamaha in today's World Superbike Championship round at Valencia. Having battled to find the right set-up all weekend, Haga went out today and claimed second in race one, with Corser in fourth. He then had an excellent second race, finishing in third after a race-long battle with James Toseland.
In race one Corser made a good start and took the lead by the first turn until lap six when it became evident that he had a grip problem. He maintained as much pace as he could though, to stay in the four-way battle for top spot between Xaus, Haga, Bayliss and himself. Eventually Haga and Xaus dropped Bayliss and Corser and continued the battle, with Haga taking the fastest lap on lap eight before taking the race lead.
Corser and Bayliss fought for third place until Bayliss broke free to re-join the top two runners. A close race with Xaus, Haga and Bayliss saw all three of them dice for position but Xaus managed to take the win, with Haga second and Bayliss third. Corser held on to fourth with a decent margin back to Toseland in fifth.
In race two Nitro Nori, lived up to his name getting the hole-shot off the line to take the lead. Corser made a good start as well to follow up in second, with Xaus and Toseland again close behind. By the end of lap one Toseland and Xaus had both passed Corser and by the end of lap three Bayliss had managed the same move, pushing Troy back to fifth.
Ruben Xaus made it past Haga on lap four and Toseland and Haga touched fairings as the Honda rider also squeezed through. For the next ten laps all three riders swapped places at almost every turn until Bayliss ran briefly into the gravel after hitting the white line and dropping down to sixth. Haga and Toseland continued to fight for the win, with Noriyuki leading again from lap 19 until a mistake let James through on the penultimate lap.
Team Yamaha YZF rider, Shinichi Nakatomi, had a disappointing weekend after retiring in race one with tyre problems and finishing 16th in race two. The team has really felt the lack of winter testing this weekend, coupled with Nakatomi's lack of confidence with wet weather riding.
Noriyuki Haga (3rd - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"In race two I had a good start, getting the hole-shot from the start line into first place. During the race I was looking for a good pace - I was not concerned if someone came past me, I was watching them (Xaus and Toseland). But they weren't carrying the same speed as me, and slowed down the pace. I was fighting side by side with Toseland but also looking to save my rear tyre to push in the last five laps.
During the last two laps I had a good fight with Toseland for first place, and when I was planning to overtake James at the last corner I was not expecting Biaggi to be there, which prevented me from passing. For me, today was good but not perfect."
Troy Corser (9th - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"In race one I had a problem with our mapping choice, which is why I couldn't keep the pace with the front runners. But in race two the problem was different. I had exactly the same tyre as I had in race one, but I had absolutely no grip. I don't know why. I just can't believe my result today."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"Troy's tyre problem aside, this was a positive weekend for me.We got some good points especially closing the gap to Biaggi and Suzuki in the Manufacturers' standings. The progress we saw in Donington, we saw again here. Nori rode very well, he lead 14 of 23 laps in the second race, always very focused. Two podiums is an excellent step towards our goal - the Championship.
Unfortunately Troy had tyre problems in race two. His rear tyre didn't seem to work very well, giving him no grip at all. Otherwise, we are sure he would have been on the podium today. I am sure he will be up there in Assen. I'm looking forward to the next race, we are confident in good results there."
Shinichi Nakatomi (18th - Team Yamaha YZF)
"Race one was bad for me, we needed more test time to find the right tyre but we did not have it so made a wrong choice. Race two was not a good result, but it was better than race one at least. At least I know where we need to make improvements now. This weekend has been tough, I hope Assen is better."
Martial Garcia (Team Coordinator - Team YZF Yamaha)
"In race one, we made the wrong tyre choice, which was too soft and had finished after only five laps. The tyre we chose for race two was much better, but it is just unfortunate we couldn't get into the points even with our improved lap times.
We are paying for the lack of winter testing before this season. For Assen we hope for good weather and for Nakatomi to improve his confidence in riding in the wet."