Yamaha riders go back to the future in Germany Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) approach the seventh round of the 2008 World Superbike Championship, at the Nurburgring in Germany this coming weekend, safe in the ...
Yamaha riders go back to the future in Germany
Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) approach the seventh round of the 2008 World Superbike Championship, at the Nurburgring in Germany this coming weekend, safe in the knowledge that they are as experienced at this circuit as almost any of their peers. Both Yamaha factory riders have raced on the 1998 and 1999 versions of the circuit, located in the Eifel Mountains close to the Belgian border, and will have little difficulty remembering the majority of the layout.
After an action-packed WSB round in the USA, Haga has had to show grit and determination to participate in the German round. His nasty collarbone fracture, plated and pinned in California last week, did not stop Haga competing and scoring ten more points than championship leader Troy Bayliss. Haga, now sporting a steel plate and eight screws in his right collarbone, will be out to score as many points as possible in Germany without taking undue risks that may cause further complications to his injury. Remarkably, Haga's fracture was his first significant injury since taking up racing, almost 30 years ago!
A rejuvenated Corser had a one-up and one-down experience in America, securing a close second place and a crash when pushing for another podium finish, he approaches the Nurburgring race safe in the knowledge that he won the last SBK race held at this track, in 1999.
The circuit has been altered somewhat since Haga and Corser battled it out in 1998 and 1999 (When Haga rode for Yamaha and Corser Ducati) with the first corner now a hairpin, followed by a stadium-style complex of corners, before the riders head back out to a more familiar full circuit layout.
Haga is ready for another challenging weekend, as he goes for win number three of the 2008 season. "We got back from America on the Tuesday evening after my operation from Doctor Ting in San Francisco. I was in so much pain right afterwards but day-by-day the pain has got less and less. I went to the hospital in Italy for checks and it all seems OK. I expect to approach the German round pretty much like any other race, and score good points, even though I need to be a little careful. All of this is a new experience for me anyway. It is the first time I have broken a bone in 29 years of racing! As for the track, I remember some of it, but everybody will be finding their way around and I am a quick learner. I am not worried about the track or anything else this weekend."
Corser is looking for his first win of the year and his return to podium status at Miller has buoyed him with confidence to get the job done in Germany. "I have been there before and a lot of guys haven't but it's been changed a bit anyway. As I remember, it's a bit like Brno, lots of straights and then up and downhill corners. We found a good setting with the chassis when we went to America, and I hope that we can get the same grip from the track surface that allowed us to use our bike the way we wanted to in Germany as well."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Team YZF) scored in neither American round, but is ready to step up to improve once again, with Yamaha GMT94 regulars Sebastien Gimbert and David Checa also in the same situation, albeit in 23rd and 24th places in the overall standings.
Technically speaking - The Nurburgring according to Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team - Team Manager)
"The layout of the Nurburgring seems OK for our bike and to be honest it will be almost a new track because we were there quite a few years ago now. At the moment we have no real data covering the circuit. We will work the same way we did in Miller to find the best possible set-up in the shortest space of time."
"I think that Troy really can repeat his Miller performance again in Germany. Last time Troy raced here he won and he can take a lot from that. For Noriyuki, it depends on the scale of his recovery from injury. What he did in Miller was unbelievable, and after the operation he should be even better. We should hopefully have good results again."
"Considering that the doctors in America felt Nori wouldn't be able to race at all, anything is possible here in Germany"
"It took some time for the bikes to come back from America, but there will be some updates and adjustments for Germany. We always put the bikes on the dynos in the workshop to check everything is OK after each race and we took that opportunity to adjust the engine mapping for Germany."