Corser on the podium as Haga defies pain for points Troy Corser secured his fourth podium of the 2008 season after scoring second in race one, while his team-mate Noriyuki Haga overcame the pain and weakness of his multiple right collarbone ...
Corser on the podium as Haga defies pain for points
Troy Corser secured his fourth podium of the 2008 season after scoring second in race one, while his team-mate Noriyuki Haga overcame the pain and weakness of his multiple right collarbone fracture to take sixth place in race two, despite suffering yet another crash in the opening race at Miller Motorsports Park.
In the first event, delayed by a starting grid mix-up between a few riders, Corser was only 2.8 seconds from his first win in Yamaha race colours, pushing hard once settled into position behind eventual leader Carlos Checa. He was a strong podium finisher, almost four seconds ahead of third placed rider, Michel Fabrizio.
Haga's bravery was rewarded for a time with a strong top five position, but he fell on lap six, luckily on the other side from his broken right collarbone. Shortly after, championship leader Troy Bayliss also fell, causing the following Corser to take sharp avoiding action.
In the second race, again won by Checa, Haga was running fifth for much of the time, but got passed by Yukio Kagayama on the last lap. Corser was lying third until he fell on lap 17, losing the front on a fast left-hander, and he was unable to restart his machine. Bayliss had to withdraw from race two, scoring no points and throwing the championship wide open again. Haga is now fifth overall, on 122 points, with Corser one place back, on 121.
Team YZF Yamaha rider Shinichi Nakatomi posted a 16th place finish in race one, just missing points, while Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha GMT94) was 18th in race one, 17th in race two. David Checa was forced to retire on lap seven of race one and did not race in the second outing due to his recent injury.
Troy Corser (2nd and DNF - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"The first race was pretty good and even the second one was going well although I was having to ride hard in the corners to make up the time. So I pushed a bit too hard. We changed the fork settings between race one and race two and it was better, but it gave a bit less warning. I felt I could have had another podium in that race. Race one was a good confidence booster but I just made a slowish start."
Noriyuki Haga (DNF and 6th - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"In race one I lost grip in the same corner as I did on Saturday. I think I opened the throttle a bit too much at maximum lean angle. In the end it was impossible for me to do more than I did in the second race. I scored ten points more than Troy Bayliss so that is the most important thing. Now I will have an operation to pin my collarbone and be ready for the next race. I was happy to race today because nobody thought I would be able to."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Manager, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"What Noriyuki did was like a miracle; I don't remember anything like it. Probably he will go to California tomorrow to get an operation on his collarbone. Now we are waiting to see if we can schedule in the operation. Today we saw the Troy that we saw in the first two races of the year and I am very pleased about that. He really deserved his podium in race one. The championship is still open and we will start to make up more ground from the next race."
Martial Garcia (Team Manager Team YZF Yamaha)
"Our choice of tyres was optimistic in race two and after ten laps it was finished. This tyre would have been good if the temperature was higher. We tried an 'A' solution and it was a gamble - but we lost. The bike was good and the top speed was fine, but we tried to make a jump and it was too much."