Parkes and Foret out to secure final 2008 prize
Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team) and Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport Team) will be out to end the season on a high note at the Parkalgar circuit in Portugal.
Each rider has already scored a race win in 2008, Parkes in Losail and Foret in Monza, and for Parkes, currently fighting for third in the championship, there is only one ambition this weekend, to secure a victory for his team and himself in his last race for Yamaha.
Foret has recovered well from the serious head and spine injuries that ruined his mid-season push whilst sitting second in thechampionship. His comeback at Magny-Cours at the last round was impressive, as he posted an eighth place finish, despite his enforced lack of physical conditioning. Foret will return to the fray with Yamaha once again in WSS in 2009, alongside new signing Cal Crutchlow, who will test the YZF-R6 after the Portimao race.
Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni) is determined to march to a top ten finish overall after the Portuguese round. Currently he is 11th, albeit only two points from tenth.
Parkes, like most of the field, has not seen the all-new track on the Algarve up close yet, but expects to be on good form after a month of preparation and anticipation. "I've got to get a good result after the last round, when I got knocked off. So that means finding a good set-up for the race, concentrating on getting a better start, get the front early and then stay there. I normally learn tracks petty quickly and according to everyone who has seen it the new venue is really good. I'm just psyched to get out there and give it a go. I'll try to win my last race for Yamaha to say thank you to them for the past four years."
Foret sees the Portimao race as a good opportunity to boost his confidence before the winter testing begins shortly after raceday. "I was very pleased with the way things went at Magny-Cours, even though I was very tired at the end of the race. I will be much stronger this weekend and I am very keen to see the new track, which should be fantastic."
Wilco Zeelenberg, the Yamaha World Supersport Team Manager, acknowledged that racing so late in the year, and at a new circuit, was slightly peculiar. "It is a little strange to be racing the final round of the championship on a track we have never been to and to be racing so late in the year, especially as the championship has now been decided. The new track layout looks challenging, there are lots of blind corners and those kinds of tracks are the most difficult to learn. Because the track is completely new, when the weather is nice all will be fine but it will be difficult if there is a lot of wind blowing dust across the track. We will start with our normal base set up and start working on finding the right gearing from the very start. It is our last race with Broc and I hope he will be able to take a good result."
Pirro and Corti looking to end on a high
Both Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni) and Claudio Corti (Yamaha Motor Italia Junior Team) head into Portimao determined to end the Superstock 1000 season on a high note and secure as many points as possible on their Yamaha R1s.
Talented young rider Loris Baz (Yamaha France Junior Team) goes into the last Superstock 600 race of the season as the Championship winner having secured top spot in the standings at the previous race at Magny-Cours, meaning he can enjoy this final round in Portugal with less pressure.
*kando - the word used to describe the Yamaha corporate mission. It translates to "the sensation of excitement and gratification derived from experiencing supreme quality and performance."