Tough Race Day for Yamaha The ninth round of the World Superbike Championship today proved difficult for the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team with both Corser and Haga suffering set backs during the day. Haga managed to walk away with two fourth ...
Tough Race Day for Yamaha
The ninth round of the World Superbike Championship today proved difficult for the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team with both Corser and Haga suffering set backs during the day. Haga managed to walk away with two fourth position finishes and 26 points while Corser finished seventh in the first race before having to retire from race two.
In race one Haga was in a four-way battle at the front of the pack for most of the race, putting up a good fight with Toseland, Biaggi and Kagayama as they challenged each other for position every lap. Eventually Haga was forced to settle for fourth and 13 vital points rather than risk crashing as his tyre wore out. Corser's initial race of the day proved a difficult one as he struggled with tyre grip from the outset and ended the race in seventh place.
Race two was delayed after it started to rain lightly during the warm up lap and was subsequently declared a wet race with the race distance reduced by one lap. Corser got a good start and took an early lead before slipping to third. Haga's start wasn't so good and the pole man slipped to sixth before regaining first place on lap two with Corser right behind him. It was Corser who set the best lap on two occasions, taking the overall best lap of the race with a 2'00 time. Frustratingly he was forced to retire on lap six when an engine bolt broke leaking oil.
With Corser out, it fell to Haga to lead the way from Toseland and Biaggi. By lap 13 Haga was stuck in another on-track battle but was unable to hold off the challengers when his front tyre life came to an end. Haga continued despite his loss of grip and finished fourth.
Team Yamaha YZF faired better than many today; Brno is obviously a circuit that suits Shinichi Nakatomi and his YZF-R1. The young Japanese rider had a good result this weekend, coming tenth in race one and ninth in race two - his best two finishes this so far this season.
The next race is in two weeks at Brands Hatch in the UK and Haga will be keen to reduce the 45 point margin up to first place and, with 260 points, he is only 2 points away from second-place man Biaggi.
Noriyuki Haga (4th and 4th - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) "Everything was feeling good for race one but I made a small mistake at the start, which is why I went backwards briefly. My big issue today though was my tyre life, particularly in race two. I did some long runs yesterday and the day before and I didn't have the problem that I had today - the front tyre was finished after ten laps. We need to look at the geometry of the bike to see if we can do anything there to help the tyres."
Troy Corser (7th and DNF - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) "This weekend just hasn't been my weekend. I came here looking for a win but it wasn't to be. In race one, we had tyre grip issues as we've had all weekend and I just couldn't make the pace. We changed bikes for race two as well as the set-up and it felt much better; a definite improvement. Everything was looking good when it all went wrong and I know I would've been on the podium if that bolt hadn't broken." Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) "After the weekend's practice sessions we expected something completely different to today's events. Today was cooler and most of the set-up we had sorted out over the weekend then needed changing. In the end Nori got two fourth places which are good for our championship standing. Brands Hatch will be a completely different story and we must now move forward from today."
Shinichi Nakatomi (10th and 9th - Team Yamaha YZF) "Things have just got better and better every session this weekend. I was pleased with my race one result because it was my best yet this year, but to go one better in race two was very pleasing. We made some small setting changes between races and it made a definite improvement; my lap times showed my improvement. I'm so happy with how this weekend has gone." Martial Garcia (Team Manager, Team Yamaha YZF) "I'm very happy with today's results; our championship gap has reduced even further. I now feel that we have a good chassis set-up and the engine has improved a lot since the start of the year. We have been playing catch all year because we didn't get any winter testing in before the start of the season but I feel that we are now there."