Cold and wet weather hampers day one at Donington Cold and wet weather conditions hampered today's free practice and qualifying sessions at Donington, adding to the Yamaha Motor Italia Team's challenge in finding the right race set up for Sunday.
Cold and wet weather hampers day one at Donington
Cold and wet weather conditions hampered today's free practice and qualifying sessions at Donington, adding to the Yamaha Motor Italia Team's challenge in finding the right race set up for Sunday. With both Corser and Haga having taken double wins here previously, the riders were looking to simply remember the circuit and focus on finding the best bike set-up. But they had to wait until the afternoon qualifying to really get to work.
This is the first time Troy Corser has ridden the Yamaha YZF-R1 around Donington but that didn't stop him posting the best time in free practice and the second best time in the afternoon qualifying session. A high-speed but minor accident in the last 18 minutes knocked him off top spot, making it hard to regain the fastest time, which he had for the majority of the session.
Noriyuki Haga spent the day working around the challenging weather conditions to try different set up options. He achieved a best time of 1'34.553 putting him in a solid eighth position going into tomorrow's second qualifying session where weather conditions should be better.
Team YZF Yamaha rider Shinichi Nakatomi had his first on-track experience of Donington today and therefore was focused on getting to know the track and lines. Nakatomi is no stranger to learning race tracks quickly though. Last year was his first year in the championship and he had never ridden at any of the circuits prior to the race weekends.
The provisional front row is headed up by Troy Bayliss (Ducati) followed by Troy Corser. Ruben Xaus (Ducati) is in third and James Toseland (Honda) completes the front row.
Troy Corser (2nd - 1'32.817 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"I'm pretty happy with the engine changes we've made today. The bike is easier to ride and is pretty comfortable so now we can focus on finding the right balance and settings. The crash was my fault, I just went in a bit too quick but I was lucky and got away lightly. After this morning's cold session where we didn't get much opportunity to really try the tyres, we got some consistency this afternoon and there was good grip."
Noriyuki Haga (8th - 1'34.553 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"I remembered the track from my last ride here in 2003 in the MotoGP class so today was more about trying to finding the right set up. This morning was very wet and too cold, though, making it difficult to push the bike too much. The lines were drying this afternoon but some corners were still wet so I spent much of the time looking for the best lines. Tomorrow I hope to get more time to focus on our race set up, but that depends on the weather and luck."
Shinichi Nakatomi (23rd - 1'38.568 - Team YZF Yamaha)
"This is my first time riding at this circuit, the only time I have been to Donington before was last year when I came to watch the British Superbike round. This circuit is very beautiful but very difficult technically, with high speed up and downhill corners. I did not get a good position in this afternoon's session due to the weather but I am hoping for drier weather tomorrow to allow me to get a better qualifying position for the race."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"The progress we made at Valencia has been evident here today and Corser is quite satisfied with the result of today's sessions. Nori says his bike is okay and that is a very good sign as he is quite demanding of the bike. We hope the weather is dry tomorrow so we can just focus on the race set up and check the tyre life for race distance."