Haga and Corser head to the USA for the all new Salt Lake City race After two gutsy rides at his team's home circuit of Monza, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team rider Noriyuki Haga has now moved into overall third in the championship table. At the ...
Haga and Corser head to the USA for the all new Salt Lake City race
After two gutsy rides at his team's home circuit of Monza, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team rider Noriyuki Haga has now moved into overall third in the championship table. At the previous round in Italy Haga only just lost the battle in race one by 0.058 seconds, before going on to win race two by 0.009 seconds. This coming weekend the 33-year-old Japanese star is ready for more podium success at the all-new American WSB venue of Miller Motorsports Park, near Salt Lake City, in the state of Utah. Haga arrived in the USA early to catch up with friends and got the chance to play some golf with legendary racer Kenny Roberts and his family. Find out more in his column on the Yamaha Racing website.
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) has not found the 2008 season a straightforward challenge, slipping to sixth after Monza in a closely contested fight for second spot in the rankings. Having been crowned AMA Champion in his first ever full season in America in 1994, the latest new Stateside venue of Miller Motorsports Park will hold no fears for a rider with two world championships to his name.
Miller Motorsports Park, some 50 kilometres from Salt Lake City itself, is as well appointed as any brand new circuit could be, and is currently gearing up for it's first major international bike sport event. Miller Motorsports Park will be an eagerly awaited return to America for the World Superbike Championship, which last raced there, at Laguna Seca, in 2004. Haga won two races at Laguna (in 1998 and 2000) while Corser can count three wins in the previous US rounds of WSB at Laguna, in 1995, 1998 and 2000.
Haga looks to America as a chance of pegging back the lead of championship leader Troy Bayliss. "I am very focused now, and I am determined to close the gap on Troy from now on. It will be a real learning weekend for all the teams and riders, as it is a new track for us all. I don't know that much about it but that's the same for everyone. But after Monza my confidence is high, because we were competitive in each race."
Corser is keen to get back to podium form, having scored three top three finishes earlier in the season. "It's always nice to go back to the USA, I've got some really good old friends there as well so it's great to make some time to catch up. I think it's great for the WSB Championship to be coming here. I haven't heard too much about the track to be honest, the layout looks good and the safety is supposed to be great. I've spoken to a few guys who've done trackdays there on bikes and in cars and they give it the thumbs up, so I'm looking forward to racing there. We've had some tough races this year but the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team is ready to race and win in the US."
Technically speaking - Miller according to Massimo Meregalli ( Yamaha Motor Italia WSBTeam Manager)
"The only information we have about Miller Motorports Park comes from Yamaha Motor US, because we have a good relationship with them. They had a test at the beginning of May and they have supplied us with some data, but the WSB class will only be sharing some parts of the track that they use. We will be running on the entire perimeter circuit, the longer one.
"It's a new track for everyone, but we have two top riders who will be able to learn the track quickly and be competitive. The track layout seems very similar to Qatar, so we can be optimistic as both our riders are fast there."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Team YZF) had his best overall race weekend of the season so far at the previous Monza round, taking 12th and 13th place finishes after making progress with his overall machine set-up.
Yamaha GMT94 regular Sebastien Gimbert also had two points-scoring finishes at the challenging Monza track and at a venue with several high-speed corners, he is going all out to move up from his current position of 23rd overall. David Checa, who missed Monza due to a hip injury, will be back in action at Miller after being cleared to race by his doctor.
The World Superbike races at Miller Motorports Park get underway at the same local time as any European round - 12 noon and 15.30 - which translates to 8pm and 11.30pm in most of Europe