Corser on Provisional pole at home circuit Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) set the fastest lap on the first day at Phillip Island, posting a 1'32.366 lap time on his 17th out of 21 laps. Despite suffering bruising and a pain from...
Corser on Provisional pole at home circuit
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) set the fastest lap on the first day at Phillip Island, posting a 1'32.366 lap time on his 17th out of 21 laps.
Despite suffering bruising and a pain from two crashes in last week's opening SBK round, Noriyuki Haga battled to 13th today, finding his current suspension settings less than ideal for the ever-changing Phillip Island track surface.
The relatively cool temperatures of final qualifying were nonetheless a great improvement on the first unofficial qualifying conditions, after morning rains had arrived to welcome the first day of action and the track surface took some time to give any great level of grip. Both Corser and Haga had set better times in testing than during the first qualifying hour, but the January tests were held in far warmer conditions than the 21 degree air temperatures of today.
Full season SBK rookie Davide Checa (Yamaha GMT94) was an impressive 16th in his first Superbike visit to the challenging 4.445km Phillip Island circuit, particularly as he only attempted to set fast times after evaluating his overall set-up on race tyres. His team-mate Sebastien Gimbert was 20th from 27 riders, some 0.6 seconds from Checa.
Shinichi Nakatomi from the Team YZF Yamaha squad learned a lot from his Qatar experiences last weekend, and used them to push into the top 20, going just over two seconds slower than Corser's best.
Troy Corser (1st - 1'32.336 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"We have quite a good feeling from the bike, but I feel we can get it even better than it is. The test we had was held in very different conditions and the chassis setting we had for the test doesn't seem to be working now. The grip just seems to be different on the ground. We tried a few different things this morning and the afternoon, so we'll overlay data and see where to go with set-up tomorrow. We started today with a combination of settings from Qatar race and the winter tests. We jumped between the two bikes, trying to get the best life and performance out of the tyre. That's the main thing to do. If the temperature goes up again tomorrow it will get back to what we normally have at Phillip Island at this time of year, so it means we may have to change the bike yet again. The track here just gets bumpier and bumpier ever time we come here, especially in the first and last corners, and up to Hayshed corner."
Noriyuki Haga(13th- 1'33.588- Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"We are still working on our suspension settings, to try and improve bump absorption, front and rear. We may also change our geometry to try and make things better for tomorrow. We still have some chattering on the last corner as well. I have some pain in my shoulder and my right side in general after Qatar, and have a little bit of a problem here when braking for right hand corners. I will go for a massage at the Clinica Mobile later and I think it will be better for tomorrow."
Massimo Meregalli(Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team, Team Manager)
"It's good to start fast for Troy but tomorrow we will do some long runs, to try to find the best race tyre choice that lasts until the end. This is the key point. But the first day was very positive for Troy. Noriyuki was worried about his physical condition, but he just gritted his teeth and got on with. This is already a positive sign and when he is focused on the race, he may feel even less pain. Troy is at home here at Phillip Island and he has done what he can do best, so we have good reason to be confident about Sunday."
David Checa (16th- 1'34.050 - Yamaha GMT94)
"It's our first year in Superbike after last year in Supersport so this morning I did a long run, 22-laps on the tyres, and this afternoon I worked through the available tyres to see how the life is. I put in a softer race tyre near the end and went 16th fastest. The bike doesn't have the best possible settings in it yet; we know the gearing is not yet quite right and we need to improve the front suspension. After our work today we will focus on qualifying tomorrow, but the most important thing for us is to concentrate on the race, because this winter we did not have the chance to test too much. For me, the first round in Qatar was like winter testing. We learned a lot there about how to approach a race weekend in Superbike, and already we have seen the improvements."