Haga Says He Is Sore From His Crashes In Qatar But Confident Heading To Australia

Haga Says He Is Sore From His Crashes In Qatar But Confident Heading To Australia

© 2008, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

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From a press release issued by Yamaha Racing: Only a week after the 2008 World Superbike season kicked off at Losail with a podium for Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) the second round approaches at Corser’s home circuit, Phillip Island (PI), this coming weekend. After the Saturday race in the Middle East, normal Sunday service will be resumed from this weekend, with raceday at PI coming on March 2. Both Corser and his team-mate Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) have taken part in a successful pre-season test at the 4.445km circuit, setting faster lap times on their YZF-R1s than they had ever done before in Australia. Corser is not only a double World Champion and the most experienced rider ever in World Superbike, he is something of a virtuoso performer at Phillip Island, having won six races in front of his adoring home fans; the most recent was in race one, 2006. Based in Europe for most of the racing season, Corser relishes putting on a show in his native country and will be all out to add to his Qatar podium – ideally with his first WSB race win in Yamaha colours. Haga is nursing a battered and bruised body in the run up to the Australian round, after one heavy fall in qualifying at Losail and another in race one, but he is determined to ride at his normal level this weekend to get his championship challenge back on track. He has won with Yamaha at the Phillip Island circuit before, way back in 1998 on a YZF750SP; one of his 26 total career wins so far. Expectations for the team are high after a solid winter test at Phillip Island, during which many aspects of the YZF-R1’s roadbike technologies – like the YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake) and the more track oriented overall chassis design – were extensively evaluated by the riders. Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha) hopes for better fortune in round two than he experienced at Qatar, with one finish in 21st and a DNF poor reward for all his efforts in the one-rider team. He is now in his third competitive year with the same squad and now knows the Phillip Island circuit well. The Yamaha GMT 94 World Superbike team, featuring David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert, learned a lot in Qatar in what was their first competitive meeting since jumping up from World Supersport to World Superbike. Not able to use their full WSB engine specification yet (as there are still some Endurance racing parts inside) the team now feel they know a better way forward in terms of machine set-up over full race distance. Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) Starting the season with a podium at Qatar was good and I’ve already put the race two result from last weekend behind me. We will just be taking things one race and one round at a time from now on. It’s good to be going to my home circuit, it’s one of the best tracks in the world and I always look forward to riding there.” Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) After two big crashes at Qatar I am quite sore but I’m pretty confident I will be OK for Phillip Island. We have to work well to get a good race set-up but as we have tested there recently we should start from a good position. I need to get my mind focused for this race, but first I just need a small rest to let my injured right wrist heal a little bit.” Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) “It is time for us to be in front again so we are happy to move on to Phillip Island this weekend as the last test results were very promising. We tried many new things there, so we should start qualifying from a good point. We really want to be in a position to allow Troy and Noriyuki to be competitive on raceday as well as qualifying this weekend. I think we will only see how Noriyuki’s injured wrist is when he gets on the bike again.” Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha) We proved in parts of race two at Qatar that with the right settings we can run at the same pace we qualified with, so we will have to concentrate hard on race suspension and tyre choices at PI.” Parkes heads home in championship lead Broc Parkes and Fabien Foret (both Yamaha World Supersport Team) could not have had greater contrasts in their results at the season opener last weekend in Qatar, with Parkes scoring the first World Supersport win for the all-new Yamaha YZF-R6 at the very first attempt and Foret losing out on an almost certain victory when his tank ran dry with half a lap to go. Parkes now has the drive of not only extending championship lead but also his local crowd’s support for Sunday’s race pushing him on as he goes for his first WSS win at the classic 4.445km circuit in the State of Victoria. Foret, who won the WSS race in Australia last year after cutting through the field in cavalier style, displayed nothing less than front-running dominance in qualifying and most of the race at Losail. Coming so close to glory himself, last week and then seeing his team-mate Parkes take the final race victory, Foret now knows that his 2008 YZF-R6 is capable of wins already. Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha Team Italia Lorenzini by Leoni) and his squad will be working on solving the issue that kept him off the list of finishers in Qatar to make sure it will not return in Australia while the quietly impressive David Salom (Yamaha Spain World Supersport Team) heads off to Phillip Island looking for another top ten to go with his eighth from Losail. Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team) “I’m looking forward to racing at my home circuit and it’s great to go there with a win at Qatar under my belt. Sometimes you have to have a bit of luck in racing especially in a class where there are so many good riders out there who look like they can win in 2008. Our bike has been fast right out of the box, testing was really great and even after a difficult first day for me in Qatar, I was fortunate enough to win the race after some good battles for first position. Fabien was a bit quicker than me in the race until he stopped, so maybe he’ll get one back soon. It’s shaping up to be a great season in WSS racing and I’m looking forward to all of it.” Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport Team) “I’m just going to forget last weekend and get on with it in Australia. I am very disappointed about what happened, but I am not blaming anyone. I have to keep in my mind that I was fastest in qualifying and the race until I ran out of gas, and of course it doesn’t hurt my confidence that I won the race at Phillip Island last year. I have to be positive and now work hard with the team to make sure we have a good set-up and tyre choice. Our new bike is very, very good already and obviously has a lot of potential.” Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Manager, Yamaha World Supersport Team) “It was good for the team to take a win and we have to remember that even though Fabien wasn’t able to finish the Qatar race, his overall performance until the very last lap was very strong. He deserved so much more because he did a lot of tough work and didn’t get the 25 points. We will find a solution to what happened with the fuel consumption, and try to keep the performance up at the same time. We all felt for Fabien last weekend, but with an all-new bike, it’s not bad at all to start with a win from Broc. That is what we have to take forward to Phillip Island, where the aim is to have both riders on the podium this time.”

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