Yamaha Raring to go after Summer Break This weekend sees the return of the World Superbike Championship after the traditional summer break and the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team are fired up and raring to go. With Haga in second place and 66 ...
Yamaha Raring to go after Summer Break
This weekend sees the return of the World Superbike Championship after the traditional summer break and the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team are fired up and raring to go. With Haga in second place and 66 points behind the current championship leader, the team has worked hard during the weeks since the last round at Brands Hatch to ensure that the fight for the title will go right to the wire this weekend at the German circuit in Lausitz.
The Eurospeedway circuit is Germany's youngest track and was built in Lausitz to help rejuvenate the old mining area following the closure of many coal pits. Although the circuit was first conceived in the 1980s building work didn't start until 1998. Development of the circuit was dogged by financial crises as well as local petitions both for and against the track but it was finally opened in August 2000 in front of an 110,000 strong crowd. The circuit is built on 370 hectares, which is almost twice the size of Monaco and features seven different track layouts.
Prior to the summer break, the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team claimed three podium positions at Brands Hatch, with Haga taking a second position finish while Corser took second and third. Yamaha also took their 150th WSB podium with Corser's race one second place.
Corser's best result at Lausitz to date is third, which he has achieved twice, but following a few weeks rest he is determined to improve on this result. "It's been good to have a rest from racing for a few weeks as it's given me time to get some training in. I now feel a lot more refreshed and am focused and raring to go for the last three rounds," Corser says.
"Lausitz is quite a different track to many of those on the calendar and I like it for that reason. It's a bit like an American track with the infield section and grandstands around the outside. From a riding point of view it's quite challenging for set-up and you also have quite an unusual turn at the end of the straight where you join the infield section," Corser says of the track. "This weekend I'm going all-out to win; I've gone well at Lausitz in the past and Nori's previous results there show that the Yamaha also goes well so it should be a good weekend."
Haga has an impressive previous form at the German circuit with a pair of second places last year and a second and a third in 2005, as well as the fastest lap of both races that year, which gave him his 25th fastest lap of his WSB career. "Last year was a difficult race for me at Lausitz because I hurt my wrist there in the last practice session on the Saturday. I'd been doing some long runs and was on a final one when I almost high-sided twice which sprained my wrist. I had to have pain killing injections for the race which, in my opinion, hampered my results," Haga says looking back to last year's race. "Even though I got two second places I feel I could've done better under other circumstances. The bike was good then and it's even better now so this weekend I'm determined for the race win."
Talking about his riding style, Haga says "During the summer rest period I've given much thought to how I can improve my riding and I'm going to be trying a slightly new riding style this weekend to see if it has any effect. Don't worry; the usual Haga-style will still be there though!"
World Supersport This weekend also sees the season resume for the Yamaha World Supersport Team and Parkes is joined once again by Tommy Hill following his good performance and fifth place finish at Brands last month. The star of the Brands weekend, though, was Parkes who took his first victory of the season which puts him in fifth championship place going into the 11th of 13 rounds.
The team actually returned from their summer break last week when they attended a test at Magny-Cours. Despite wet weather hampering the test, the team gained some good data and set-up options in addition to brushing away the cobwebs in anticipation of the start of the final push to the season finale.
Parkes didn't race at Lausitz last year due injury sustained in a crash at Assen but he took second in 2005, proving his capability on the R6 at this circuit. This weekend he will be looking for a good result, not least because the German round is the home round for the Yamaha World Supersport Team. "Although I didn't race at Lausitz last year because of my Assen crash I've normally had good results at this circuit, including when I rode in WSB here in 2001 and 2002. The track is good; it's very technical and demanding because the corners are pretty tight and there aren't a lot of straights. It's also quite a tough track for hard braking," Parkes says. "Brands was a real boost to my confidence and, with good results also in the last three races, I'm looking to get some more wins before the end of the season and I'll be working towards one this weekend."
This weekend's race comes hot on the heels of Yamaha's announcement of their WSS rider line up for 2008. Parkes will continue to ride the R6 for the Yamaha World Supersport team and will be joined by Fabien Foret for next season. "I'm really excited to be staying with the team for a fourth year," Parkes says. "I'm getting back to peak fitness following my accident at Donington earlier this season and I'm getting to the point where I wanted to be originally. I really like the team and am positive I can do a good job for them next year. Foret is a strong team mate to have and it'll be good to have two of us in the team who can push the bike's development even further."
Tommy Hill is reunited with Parkes for this weekend; his second race partnering the Australian in the Yamaha World Supersport Team. Hill's first appearance with the team was last month at his home track in the UK where he brought the bike home in a credible fifth position. Tommy has been drafted in from the Yamaha Virgin Media Optima Loans British Superbike Team for this weekend's race following a good test session with the team last week at Magny-Cours.
"I've never been to the Lausitz circuit before so it's not going to be easy this weekend. I need to get to know the track before I can start to focus on my times but I learnt the Magny-Cours circuit quite quickly last week and the team say that circuit is harder than this one so I'm hopeful of being able to put in some good times by the second practice session," Hill says. "I'm looking forward to working with the team again - they are so professional and good to work with. I'm also keen to get back on the R6 again. I want to be on the podium this weekend and right now I don't see why I shouldn't be."
As a point of note Jason O'Halloran recently took the Australian Supersport Title. 19-year old Jason was a guest rider for the Yamaha World Supersport Team in Brno in July, where he finished a credible 12th.
FIM Superstock 1000 Cup Brands Hatch provided a dramatic race for the Yamaha Superstock riders with Corti taking third after a race-long battle for all three podium positions while Van Keymeulen was forced to retire after running wide off the track. Umbria Bike rider Matteo Baiocco maintained his championship lead despite finishing fourth and Corti's team mate, Pirro, struggled with some arm pain, eventually finishing in ninth.
This weekend Baiocco will be looking to increase his 12-point lead but he will have to watch out for Corti and Van Keymeulen, who won at Lausitz in 2006 and 2005 respectively. Pirro is hoping to have resolved his arm-pump issues in order to return to this season's previously good form. With only 51 points between Pirro in seventh and lead-man Baiocco, he is certain to be keen to finish on the podium in Germany.
Circuit Data Track length: 4265m
Track opened: 2000
2006 WSB winners: Kagayama (Suzuki), Toseland (Honda)
2006 WSB fastest lap: 1'38.635 (Bayliss, Ducati)
WSB lap record: 1'37.623 (Bayliss, Ducati, 2006)
Circuit tel: +49 (0) 357 543 1110
Circuit website: www.eurospeedway.de