WSS: YZF Kyalami Friday notes

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR FOR DONI TATA PRADITA The young Yamaha Indonesia rider was brilliant today in the second free practice session in Kyalami. He finished 11th, only 1.9 seconds behind the fastest rider. Doni Tata Pradita ...

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR FOR DONI TATA PRADITA

The young Yamaha Indonesia rider was brilliant today in the second free practice session in Kyalami. He finished 11th, only 1.9 seconds behind the fastest rider.

Doni Tata Pradita displayed today the great progress he has made. For his first time on this difficult track, he finished 11th with a time of 1'45.183 in the first free session, which is his best ever performance in any practice session since he started this season in the Supersport World Championship. Of course, there is now reason to get overexcited as it's only the first day of the weekend, but still this is a very brilliant result that can only help Doni build his confidence. He was helped by his fast R6 with the third top speed.

In the second session, Doni did very well again, with the 11th position, only 1.9 from the fastest time. In 1'43.407, he was one of the top men of the practice, and his Yamaha had the second maximum top speed.

Doni Tata Pradita: "Fantastic! In the beginning it was hard because I had a hard tyre and I did many slides. But I kept running to know the track. After that we checked the bike and everything was OK. I put on a new tyre and pushed harder. I was not so fast going uphill, but I was quicker in the downhill sections. I have more confidence in the back now. It was a good start today and I will try harder tomorrow to get in the front positions. We have to change the setting because I have too much engine brake. Tomorrow, we will try a new engine mapping. I am feeling strong, I have no pain and my hand is OK. I hope to continue tomorrow."

Martial Garcia (team manager): "Doni is in great shape! The problems he had in the previous race are over. He doesn't have cramps in his hand anymore as we use a longer brake lever. He likes the track very much, especially the blind corners. He is progressing constantly very well."

The Kyalami track

Kyalami was built in 1961 and hosted its first F1 GP in 1967. It was modified in 1987 and 1991. Length is 4.246 km and minimum track width is 13 meters. The circuit is far from flat and maximum gradient is 8.80%. The start/finish straight is 470 meters long.

Kyalami is 1500 meters above sea level. This altitude means reduced air quality which has a negative impact on engine performance. It also has an effect on tyre performance. Track layout is challenging with a wide variety of turns, from slow corners with a 15 meter radius to fast 162.485 meter radius turns. Some turns are flat but in others the track has camber. All this, plus Kyalami's hilly nature means that riders have to make sure they stay fully focused for the whole lap. At Kyalami tyres wear very evenly. Grip level is good and the track is fairly even, plus the straights aren't too fast. It's a difficult track where the altitude means that engines don't work as well as normal.

Some of the South African riders who did well recently are Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Superstock 1000 Pedercini in 2006 and 2007), Hudson Kennaugh (Yamaha) 5th at Donington in Supersport in 2008 and Lance Isaacs, 31st in WSBK in 1999 on a Ducati, 12th at Imola and 33rd in 2000 still on a Ducati, 12th at Laguna Seca.

-credit: yzf

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Series World Superbike