Corser and Haga on Competitive Testing Package
Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser have secured encouraging lap and race simulation times during a three day test at the 5.380km Losail circuit in the deserts of Qatar by finishing second and third quickest, respectively.
Haga finally edged out his team-mate Corser although the Australian had been the fastest man on the opening two days, only deprived of a final chance to be fastest again after crashing shortly before the end of the morning session today. He had fitted a hard compound front tyre and his front washed out, and for the second time in two days he took a battering on the unforgiving Losail gravel traps.
Each rider had a full schedule of work to get through at these first official tyre tests of the new season, and found improvements in machine set-up and race pace. The team also made advances in terms of tyre performance on the abrasive Qatar circuit.
Corser's fall over-extended his left thumb socket, but despite this he attempted to complete the afternoon session. As he could not grip the handlebar properly under braking, or operate his handlebar-mounted rear brake lever, he opted not to go for even one more fast lap to reassert his name at the top of the rankings.
Noriyuki Haga (2nd - 1'58.40 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"Most of the bike is not that much changed compared to 2007 but the biggest improvement for me was the new design of rear swingarm. We had more traction but we still have a small question over tyre life. We tried some wider tyres, but they did not have as much grip on the way out of corners, and they seem to move around more. It seems that the 190 tyre is still better for us. I think all the things we improved here we can make even better at the next test in Phillip Island."
Troy Corser (3rd - 1'58.50 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"I made a faster time this morning than yesterday and it was all going well until I put on a new front I just lost some grip on the first left corner. The gravel here is so hard that it really gives your body a pounding. I added to my bruising, and then bent back my left thumb. We did about 85% of the testing we hoped to do, but pretty much everything on the bike was already done; it was just trying out the last few new tyres we hadn't used yet. We have been fast from the start so I have to say we are happy with this test. The bike is definitely working better for me now."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"We brought some new stuff and most of the components are working well. Swingarm, front fork and new discs, we had good response from all of them. Also, we moved some weight around on the bike for balance and really I think we had a good test. We are satisfied and now we can go home to get everything ready for the next test in Australia with confidence."