Parkes and Foret Fly on the New YZF-R6
Broc Parkes and Fabien Foret started the racetrack development work on the new YZF-R6 in good form, posting 1-2 on the timesheets and making significant gains in terms of the machine's overall performance.
Parkes set the fastest lap of the three days with a 2'01.9, a time faster than the best lap from qualifying at this race in 2007, while Foret's 2'02.5 was hardly less impressive for a rider in his first ride on a new machine, and in a new team set-up.
Each rider completed highly successful full race simulations on the final day of testing, a particular satisfaction on a bike that has an entirely new chassis for 2008, and Yamaha's YCC-I variable intake system proved itself at the very first time of asking, improving throttle response and engine punch.
Broc Parkes (1st - 2'01.9 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"The new bike has been good right out of the box and we spent most of our time on that, rather than the older one. We did a lot of work on the new suspension and played with the mapping for the new variable throttle bodies and it was all moving in the right direction. We made a lot of little changes, not major ones and we had none of the niggling problems you would expect from a first test of any new bike. The main improvement has come from the performance of the bike when you have already made quite a few laps; it is more consistent in lap times over a full race simulation."
Fabien Foret (2nd - 2'02.5 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"I am honestly pretty happy because we made good lap times and the bike was very consistent. I am not 100% with the front set-up yet but I did a race distance and the bike was already better than last year's time, so it all feels good. I only need to make the front end feel and the braking performance better as I can't do exactly what I want right now. It's only our first test, I didn't crash, so it was all OK."
Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Coordinator, Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"The long runs the guys did were very good and with the new bike that was the main thing we were hoping to take from these tests. It's not just the lap time, it's the race time that matters most. The circumstances were a lot better than last year. We don't want to cheer too loud because it is very early and all the teams found that their tyres are lasting longer than before. But for a first test of a new bike, so many new parts to try, things have worked out very well. We have had time to do our homework with this bike but so far so good. Fabien had a good feeling and only needs to improve the front end, but he was only half a second from Broc, who knows the previous R6 very well."