WSBK - WSS Phillip Island test
Pirelli Test Session: Australia
Circuit: Phillip Island
Date: 13 - 15 January 2007

Temp: 25 C
Weather: Sunny, cooler in mornings

Yamaha makes steady progress with the new YZF-R1

The all-new YZF-R1 was given its first 2007 testing shakedown by Yamaha Motor Italia riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga, at the final official Pirelli tests of the close season. Corser took the equal fourth best time of the three days, with a lap of 1'32.2, set on day two - some 0.2 seconds under the current race lap record pace. Haga also had to rely on a day two best to set his fastest mark of the sessions, a 1'32.8, in what was another largely closely contested outing for the five Superbike teams in attendance.

For this second outing with the new R1, the team had limited preparation time. Meaning that not all of the usual adjustments in chassis/ swingarm combination were available to the riders, and thus the ultimate best times were limited. Corser, despite this temporary handicap, was still a force on his home circuit while Haga found a good race set-up on the final day. Both riders managed to gather important information for the final test in Qatar next February. Fastest rider at the test was Troy Bayliss, who scored a new Superbike track best of 1'30.7, with his team-mate Lorenzo Lanzi half a second behind.

Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"The top speed and the engine feel is not bad, but we are struggling a bit with rear grip coming out of corners. We are a bit too sideways. So the lap times are not coming for us at the moment. I'm pretty happy with the bike and the team is working well, but we just need a bit more testing, and this is only the third day of riding a Yamaha at Phillip Island. We need to adjust the swingarm angle. We could use a hard tyre and get the same grip and push as a qualifier. But it's not that disheartening because despite having some troubles we are not that far away on lap time. I know where I'm losing time and how much time I'm losing, and I'm confident we can fix it."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"Finally I found a good setting and good acceleration, but I still had problems with a few things, same as Troy. Today I made 20 laps in a long run, which went very good, but after eight laps the rear problem started and the tyre started grooving. We need more testing with the new parts."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)
"We did not experience a rear grip problem in Qatar during the last test, so this was an important test. Now we can make the necessary changes to the specs to become fully competitive with our new R1. In discussion with the riders and chief mechanics, we know what the solution is for the set-up and we will test the parts here during race weekend. It is not a big thing, but we simply did not have time to bring these parts here now. Noriyuki made a good race simulation today."

***

Curtain equal fastest and at record pace

Yamaha World Supersport Team riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes completed their latest schedule of long haul testing in an ultimately successful fashion, with Curtain setting the joint fastest lap of the test and Parkes carrying out a satisfactory long run to simulate a real race.

Curtain tied for the new circuit Supersport best ever lap with Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu, each setting a remarkable 1'33.9 - more in 2006 Superbike territory than Supersport. The new selection of rear tyres the team tested proved able in terms of permitting a few fast lap times, but the rears operated best in the lower track temperatures of the morning sessions. The main competitors had quite some difficulties countering the lap times of Curtain, resulting in many crashes.

Parkes suffered a crash on the second day and a trivial problem with his repaired bike on the morning of the final day stopped him improving his still impressive best of 1'34.8 even more. Nonetheless, the team tested all their new equipment and the new tyre solutions, in readiness for the start of the season on February 24th, at Losail, in Qatar. This test was the first outing under direct ownership of Yamaha Motor Europe. Although the team still operates from their Yamaha Motor Germany workshop, the overall management and ownership of the team is transferred to the European headquarter of Yamaha in the Netherlands. This enables the team to benefit from Yamaha Motor Europe's experience and resources.

Kevin Curtain (Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"I did a 1'33.9, and I was really impressed! Pretty good for a 600. Today was obviously good in terms of the outright lap times but we have quite a big rear endurance problem on the tyres that give the best lap time, and I think most people have the same. We always have a known quantity tyre that we can fall back on for the race and in general my test has been really good right from the start. The front has been good here, and we know what works and doesn't work. We basically used the setting from the recent Qatar tests as a base point."

Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"A pretty good test but yesterday I crashed one of my bikes and we didn't use it again that day, and then we put a new gearbox in the other bike. Due to my crash, I suffered a problem with chattering and that cost us a lot of time in the morning, when the conditions where best, so I couldn't improve my time. In the afternoon we did a race simulation and that was really good. We used a tyre from last year on the back for that and of course the individual times were not as good. Track temperature has been a big question here."

Terrell Thien (Team Manager - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"We could only set our very best times when the track temperature is around 20 degrees, and above 30 everything goes slower. So for long runs in these conditions we have to use an older spec tyre, without the same outright grip, but with the endurance. For our work, everything was on schedule, if not a little ahead. That allowed us to work on some electronics, and if we use all the electronics we have, it saves the rear tyre a lot. This may be the way for the future."

-credit: yamaha racing