Fourth and sixth provisional qualifying for Yamaha WSB Team Valencia's notoriously changeable track conditions provided an interesting day at the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Valencia. The damp track this morning dried out...
Fourth and sixth provisional qualifying for Yamaha WSB Team
Valencia's notoriously changeable track conditions provided an interesting day at the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Valencia. The damp track this morning dried out with slightly warmer and drier conditions this afternoon for the first qualifying session of the weekend.
Haga had the most success of the day in the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team, being third fastest in this morning's free practice. He then went on to finish in fourth in qualifying having spent the session focusing on testing various tyre and suspension options. Having finished the morning practice session second fastest, Corser then fought throughout the afternoon session to find the right set-up. He ended the day in sixth position.
Shinichi Nakatomi, riding for the French Team Yamaha YZF squad, finished the day in 18th position. Nakatomi was keen to try and find a good set up, so spent the day focusing on small suspension and tyre settings.
The day's result is headed by Bayliss (Ducati), who surprised everyone with such a good result in light of the injuries he sustained at Donington. Spaniard Ruben Xaus (Ducati) finished in second today at his home circuit. James Toseland (Honda) finished in third and Haga completes the line up in fourth.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit is renowned for being very changeable in its grips conditions due to the variety of vehicles that use the circuit. Any damp brings out the rubber and oil that has been laid down previously, making it very slippery.
The rapidly changing conditions were nowhere more evident than towards the end of the day's on-track sessions, when thunder and lightning accompanied a sudden downpour, leaving the track under a couple of inches on rainwater.
Noriyuki Haga (4th - 1'35.440 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"I managed some improvement in my lap times during today but I struggled with finding the right tyre. We tried three different tyres this afternoon but I didn't find the right one for the race. Although it was still damp on the track this morning, the lower track temperatures actually suited the tyre.
I'm not feeling too bad, tomorrow I hope to find the right tyre and I am hoping it is not raining, as this track gets very slippery when it is wet."
Troy Corser (6th - 1'35.483 - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
"Today has been tough - all day I have struggled with the engine character. Following the test session here last month and after Donington, we made some engine changes which have completely altered the feel of the bike somehow. The engine character is different between my main and my spare bike, even.
I'm glad we found this out today as it gives us tomorrow to sort out the problem so we are ready for race day. We think we have already worked out the problem and are working on a solution, which we will test out in the morning."
Shinichi Nakatomi (18th - 1'36.757 - Team Yamaha YZF)
"Today we have made many small changes and improvements throughout both sessions. Now we just need to combine the changes for tomorrow's qualifying session. I am hopeful of a higher qualifying position tomorrow - I just hope it is not raining."