WSS For the past two years Yamaha World Supersport riders have proved unbeatable at the Misano circuit, and that fills Broc Parkes and Fabien Foret, from the Yamaha World Supersport Racing Team, with confidence as they attempt to go from ...
For the past two years Yamaha World Supersport riders have proved unbeatable at the Misano circuit, and that fills Broc Parkes and Fabien Foret, from the Yamaha World Supersport Racing Team, with confidence as they attempt to go from championship contenders to championship leaders again.
After a somewhat disjoined first half of the season, despite both riders having already tasted victory on the all-new Yamaha YZF-R6, the championship lead is within touching distance for both Parkes and Foret. Second overall, Fabien is only four points from championship leader Andrew Pitt, while Broc is only seven points from the lead.
Misano is a well-known venue for each rider, even in its more modern reversed layout, and Parkes in particular will have previous data still fresh in his mind from the weekend when he raced for the same team last year, on the 2007 YZF-R6.
The current championship standings show how close the 2008 WSS contest is shaping up to be, with Pitt on 88 points, Foret second on 84, Josh Brookes on 83 and Joan Lascorz and Parkes locked together on 81 points.
Three no scores have kept Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni) in the lower reaches of the top ten so far, but as the race winner at Misano on 2006, Roccoli is fully motivated to return to the top step at one of three Italian-based races on the 2008 calendar.
Foret had to settle for an off-podium finish in the Nurburgring race in mid-June, but the 2002 champion sees Misano as the perfect place to get back into the lead, "I hope for better things at Misano than I had at the Nurburgring and it is one of the better tracks for me anyway. Most of the time I have had a good result there and even with the new track and riding a different bike things were not so bad last year. I feel confident and I am going to try and win the race. We have to from now on because we need to make some more points in the championship. It is a good track for Yamaha and it should be less difficult for me on this bike than it was on the other bike last season."
Parkes, now recovered fully from some painful early season injuries, said, "It would have been fantastic to have won at Nurburgring, and I felt we had done enough to get the victory there. We lost a bit of drive in the last few laps, and I had to take third. The main thing to remember is that we ran at a really high pace in that race and we will be out to make sure we can do it again at Misano, only finish on top this time."
Wilco Zeelenberg, the Yamaha World Supersport Team Manager, sees the Misano round as a strong venue for the team's YZF-R6 machine. "It was strange for Broc to have had the trouble at the end of the Nurburgring race, and we were surprised by that. So we felt bad that we didn't win at first, then we realised that we were lucky to finish the race at all. Broc was very strong in that race and I think the riders who were behind did well to follow him for so long. I think our bike is very good in the top end, and we have a wide range, but the best of the other bikes are still very good. We have a good package and we know that Pitt in particular has a strong package also. We have to win races now because we are still right in there. Both riders like Misano very much and have done well there. The Misano circuit is not the most difficult place to find a setup for and even last year we had no issue with the track being completely changed around. So our 2007 data will still be useful when we get there. Let's hope we can get up to speed quickly."
David De Gea (Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team) is still looking for points as he recovers from injury but David Salom (Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team) is still looking to come back to the fray after missing Germany, and wants to break into the regions of double figure points scores.
Michele Pirro (Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni), Sylvain Barrier (Yamaha YZF Junior Team) and Claudio Corti (Yamaha Motor Italia Junior Team) are Yamaha's usual entrants in the big Superstock class, while Loris Baz (YZF Yamaha Junior Team) is the best placed official Yamaha Superstock 600 rider, leading the championship and being the only rider to have scored two wins so far.