Yamaha riders all ready to race after final test
Circuit Length: 5.380km
Weather: Dry, sunny
Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (both Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) made their final pre-race preparations for the 2008 World Superbike season at the Losail International Circuit today; the same venue that serves as the championship kick off on Saturday 23 February.
The Losail track surface was not in as good condition as it was for the team's previous winter test around the 5.380km circuit in Qatar, but the main objective of this showing was to ensure that all the latest equipment would be in prime condition when points become available for real next week.
The team brought four all-new machines and all of the latest specification, but as this was not an official test the riders had to use a more limited stock of tyres than usual.
Corser was second fastest rider of all on the final day, posting a 1'59.0, with Haga only marginally behind with a time of 1'59.3.
Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha) was also out testing in preparation for the start of the year, running his latest spec of Yamaha YZF-R1 machine in his one-man team. He set a best of 2'00.7, on off-the-shelf Pirelli control tyres. Yamaha's second French WSB team GMT94 did not attend this last pre-season test.
Troy Corser (2nd - 1'59.0 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"We tried a few new things with the variable intake settings for example, but only a little bit at this test. That said, we still found a lot of positive stuff over the past two days. It was mostly a shakedown test, with a bit of back-to-back comparison of the different bikes and I feel really confident with our starting package for this coming season. The only downside was that I felt a bit feverish this afternoon, aching a bit, like am catching the 'flu, so it wasn't that much fun on the bike sometimes. The results were still good, so I'm confident in the bike and team. With what we found today, I would be happy to go and start the championship tomorrow."
Noriyuki Haga (3rd - 1'59.3 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"It has been good to test so close to the start of the season and things went well with the bike. We only really had one type of tyre to test so we had to make changes in our suspension settings to be able to work with them. We found a setting that worked, which shows that we know how to adjust the bike in a good way. We will see how we get on during the race weekends but my long run this morning went well. I think when we get the real race tyres, we will be ready to go."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"Things went well, a positive test for us all. We arrived here with four completely new bikes, so the first day was spent mostly running things in and checking the bikes over. On the final day we did some long runs and in the end we were quite satisfied with the performance of both riders and the bikes. We used tyres that we didn't use in the previous Qatar tests as well. The times were not as good as they were in November but the track conditions at this circuit are quite changeable. The important thing was to make our final preparations and I can say that we are ready to race now." Preparations complete for Parkes and Foret
Broc Parkes and Fabien Foret (both Yamaha World Supersport Team) declared themselves ready to take the 2008-specification Yamaha YZF-R6 into competitive action after their final pre-season test was completed earlier today in Qatar.
Although the ever-changing Losail track provided the team with less than perfect conditions in the pursuit of absolute lap times, the last-minute alterations to the all-new machine provided both riders with a confidence-boosting set of results, especially when simulating real race conditions.
Parkes was the faster of the two on the stopwatch, setting a best of 2'02.9, with Foret 0.6 seconds from his team-mate. Foret, the 2002 World Supersport Champion, found improvements in two main areas of performance and each rider is now ready for the task of qualifying and then racing, at the first round on 23 February.
David Salom (Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team), recovering from a hand injury he sustained in a recent test at home in Almeria, was also fast on the slippery Losail circuit yesterday, setting a 2'03.1 after his two days of testing. Salom's regular team-mate David De Gea could not make this test due to a serious injury to his left leg, but his place was taken by Spanish Championship regular, Josep Pedr0x00f3, who will substitute for De Gea in the opening two WSS rounds of the season. Pedr0x00f3 set a best of 2'09.2 on his first visit to the fast and tricky Losail circuit.
Broc Parkes (2.02.9 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"I'm happy with how the test progressed. We were really lucky to have this test now to get everything ready at the same place we're having the first round. We had some new equipment and parts to get bedded in and the test was good. The track was a bit slippery over both days, and that's why we only got into the high 2'02s. That wasn't bad considering how different the grip was. The main thing here was to get the bike the way we wanted it and to find out all the little things you don't want to find a week from now. We basically ran the same set-up as the Phillip Island test, so it's very positive that it also worked here."
Fabien Foret (2'03.5 - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"We fixed a lot of small but important things and it helped me gaining confidence, mainly in the area of the rear traction and corner entry. I have a bit more feedback than before on the front, so I have to be happy. We will always be searching for better and better, but we learned a lot at this test and I feel good going into the first race." Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Manager, Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"Our test went quite well, even if our times were not as fast as the last time out here. We didn't find any problems, no crashes, and we found some good points to focus on. It was important to give the riders this test or they would have had a month off the bikes, so it was very helpful to be here so soon before the race. Because it was not an official Pirelli test, we could not use a lot of new tyres but this was useful to us as well, because we could see the behaviour of the bike with worn tyres. We found some benefits compared to when we were here before, and we can say that we are fully ready to start the season." David Salom: (2'03.1 Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team)
"I am very satisfied with the whole test. I have improved 1.8 seconds from last year's lap time and we have made good times with a race set-up. I feel optimistic. I am also very happy with the work of the team, especially with the improvements in suspension and the engine."