Yamaha Set for Czech Triumph The World Superbike Championship goes to Brno this weekend for the ninth round in the 2007 season. Since the last race at Misano in June, the teams have been in the thick of testing at Brno and Vallelunga and are now...
Yamaha Set for Czech Triumph
The World Superbike Championship goes to Brno this weekend for the ninth round in the 2007 season. Since the last race at Misano in June, the teams have been in the thick of testing at Brno and Vallelunga and are now raring to clarify their race winning potential again.
There has been a race circuit at Brno since the 1930s and it first hosted a motorcycle world championship in 1965, though this year will only be the fifth time the World Superbike Championship has stopped at the Czech circuit. Its first appearance on the calendar was in 1993, then 1996 and then it didn't reappear until 2005 when it was the scene of Yamaha's first WSB win, with Haga taking the honour for the team when he went from 18th to win with over three seconds lead.
Almost all the riders in the championship like Brno with its flowing elevation changes and wide, grippy surface. The Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team returns to Brno after testing there only three weeks ago. During the two-day test Corser posted the second fastest time with a 2'00.4 on both race and qualifying tyres. This time was matched only by Kagayama on the Suzuki. Haga came in a close third fastest over the duration of the test, posting a 2'00.8 on race rubber. The objective of the test was to try a variety of tyres and to find the right set-up for the forthcoming race but cooler temperatures than normal and windy conditions may have affected the results of the test.
Haga goes to Brno third in the championship standings but only five points behind Bayliss and an achievable 26 points behind Toseland in first place. Haga's podium at Misano reinforced his championship standing although he was fiercely disappointed to be stopped from taking away further points due to a race one incident in which Biaggi took him out. Misano proved better for team mate Corser as he took his 111th podium with a second place as well as finishing fifth in the second race. He goes to Brno still fifth in the championship standings.
2006 proved to be a good year for Haga at Brno - he took the Superpole, best lap and race record (for race two) and finished third and fourth there. He also previously won there in 2006 and showed good form at the test last month, posting the fastest time on day one before finishing the test in third overall.
"I like Brno because it's such a challenge to ride properly. You need to have a good amount of power to be quick on the uphill sections but you also need to have the bike set up well in order to shave time off in all the tight corners," Haga says of the Czech circuit. "The test at Brno was good for getting a base setting but with the conditions cooler than we expect for the race we know that we will still have some work to do at the start of the weekend finding the best set-up. I am confident though! My main aim for Brno is to cut the points gap as much as possible but you just never can predict what will happen until the chequered flag has dropped. One thing is for sure - I'll be doing my best this weekend to get maximum points in both races!"
Corser has had a good relationship with the Czech circuit to date, with him racking up three out of six wins there, including a double win in 1996, and two pole positions so far. His recent form at the test in June suggests that this good relationship is set to continue this weekend.
"The test last month was very useful; the times we managed are what we will need to achieve in the race this weekend but it is totally achievable," Corser says of June's testing session at Brno. "The weather was a bit cooler than we'd have expected but, in that respect, the test at Vallelunga a couple of weeks ago gave us some good information which we'll be able to use. I like the circuit with all its elevation changes and on/off camber corners; it's fun to ride but also a technically challenging place that demands the bike to be set up just right. I think I've had good results there in the past because it is similar to my home circuit of Phillip Island; they're both fast and flowing and just the kind of tracks that I like. I'm looking for a win this weekend; it's about time I got on the top spot of the podium!" World Supersport Championship This weekend will only be the third visit to Brno for the World Supersport Championship but the Yamaha World Supersport Team is positive of a good round following on from their test there last month in which Parkes finished third fastest. Last year's round at Brno was fruitful for the team with a first and second in the race and they will be looking to repeat this success this year. Having won the last two rounds the team is very upbeat and hoping to continue their winning ways going into this weekend.
"I rather like Brno as it is one of the few tracks we go to that's wide and open, a bit like Phillip Island. I normally go quite well there and am looking forward to the race this weekend after the progress we made in testing last month. We tried lots of different things at the test and I'm told to expect some good chassis developments for the race following on from what we found at the test, so I can't wait to see what's new!" says Parkes. "The weather conditions at the test weren't normal for the circuit at this time of year so our set-up results may not be totally useful this weekend but everyone is in the same boat so I don't feel that it's a big issue. We'll also be able to use some of the data gathered at the Vallelunga test; the two circuits are similar. We actually went to Vallelunga with the Brno settings and it worked fine, which gives me confidence that we've now found a good base set-up for the rest of the season."
Track length: 5403m
Track opened: 1986
2006 WSB winners: Kagayama (Suzuki), Kagayama (Suzuki)
2006 WSB fastest lap: 2'00.457 (Haga, Yamaha, Race 1)
WSB lap record: 2'00.457 (2006, Haga, Yamaha)