Second row for Yamaha Motor Italia pairing

|

WSB : Second row for Yamaha Motor Italia pairing
Round: 2 - Australia
Circuit: Phillip Island
Date: 4 March 2006
Temp: 37ºC
Weather: Sunny

Yamaha Motor Italia duo Andrew Pitt and Noriyuki Haga bagged second row starts during today's superpole qualifying session for round two of the Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.

Having ended combined qualifying with Haga third and Pitt sixth, the pairing was a little disappointed at being unable to maintain their positions on the soft tyres used for superpole but satisfied with their performances in race trim.

After struggling to find a good balance for his R1 in yesterday's opening qualifying session, Pitt's crew completely revised the machine's settings for today's practice. Their work paid dividends with the Australian carving a massive 1.3 seconds from his Friday time in the Saturday afternoon, lifting him from 16th to sixth in the timesheets with a 1:33.567 lap time. However, on his grid deciding superpole lap, Pitt was one of the few riders not to better his time from the two one-hour sessions, losing one place with a fractionally slower 1:33.598.

Team-mate Haga was another rider unable to improve his lap. His 1:33.631 superpole lap was two-tenths of a second slower than his time from regular qualifying, dropping him five places on the grid - from third to eighth. The Japanese rider had made many changes to the rear suspension on his machine in a bid to improve traction in the sweltering conditions and, despite his team working late into the night and trying many different shock and swingarm combinations, Haga was unable to find a perfect setting for his qualifying lap. The team is expected to make further adjustments this evening ahead of tomorrow's two 22-lap races.

Yamaha Motor France rider Norick Abe starts tomorrow's races from 17th position after missing out on superpole by less than a tenth of a second. The Japanese rider continued to experience set-up problems, as did team-mates Sebastien Gimbert and Shinichi Nakatomi. Gimbert ended the day 21st after being baulked on his flying lap, while world championship rookie Nakatomi took over a second off his Friday time to end the day in 24th.

Troy Bayliss (Ducati) took pole position with a 1:32.159 lap time. Troy Corser (Suzuki), James Toseland (Honda) and Steve Martin (Petronas) complete the front row.

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"We've improved a lot today although we're still not quite there yet. It'll be a hard race as we're struggling for traction but, with the exception of Bayliss and Corser, I think everyone's in the same boat. We can do six or seven quick laps and then it drops off, so we'll try to improve it further overnight. I thought I did a pretty good lap, so I was a bit disappointed when I saw my time. It could be a lot worse though. Second row's not the end of the world and we can get a good start from there."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"We did a good job today. We tried many different things today although the feeling is still quite similar to yesterday and we couldn't quite get a good setting for the superpole. I made a small mistake on my superpole lap but it is ok. Tomorrow we will try a few more things. It will be hard but I know that we are always stronger in the race than in qualifying."

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
"We have less grip than when we tested here in January. Probably this is down to the increased temperature but it means that we must change the settings of the bike. We are still looking for grip. I am disappointed to miss out on superpole for the second week in a row. We are a little down on power and must try to find some improved settings overnight."

Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)
"I am not happy because 21st is not my normal position. A rider exited the pits and cut in front of me as I attacked my fastest lap and this probably cost me about four-tenths-of-a-second, so I am sorry to be so far back on the grid. We made some improvements today. We changed the brake discs and this was better, and we managed to reduce the chatter. We have to work and improve the set-up overnight though, as we have still to match our performance from our test here. The front is still moving around a lot and I am down on top speed compared to the fastest riders."

Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Motor France)
"I'm not happy to end the day so far down. We have a problem with chattering, as well as some other small things. We changed the settings in the afternoon and I hope we can find some more improvements this afternoon."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia) "After our strong performances in Qatar we have found it a little bit more difficult than expected here. I am still confident about tomorrow though. We know what Nori can do in the race while Andrew will have a boost from riding at his home track."

Martial Garcia (Team Manager - Yamaha Motor France) "When we tested here in January we were using the 2005 tyres and although the new specification Pirellis perform better, they also create more chatter with these settings. As a result we have been almost able to match our performances with from the test but not improve on them. Because of the early start to the season we have had to use 2005-specification engines and because the level is much higher this season we have not been able to make the superpole today."

Round: 2 - Australia
Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4448
Lap Record: 1' 33.019 (Troy Corser, 2001)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 32.193 (Troy Corser, 2001)
Date: 4 March 2006
Temp: 37ºC

Session 2 :
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying 2nd Qualifying Superpole
1 T. Bayliss Ducati AUS 1' 33.387 1' 32.321 1' 32.321
2 T. Corser Suzuki AUS 1' 33.868 1' 32.991 1' 32.373
3 J. Toseland Honda GBR 1' 33.851 1' 33.548 1' 33.003
4 S. Martin Petronas AUS 1' 34.501 1' 33.566 1' 33.206
5 A. Barros Honda BRA 1' 33.790 1' 33.749 1' 33.373
6 K. Muggeridge Honda AUS 1' 34.756 1' 33.702 1' 33.571
7 A. Pitt Yamaha AUS 1' 34.863 1' 33.658 1' 33.598
8 N. Haga Yamaha JPN 1' 34.577 1' 33.441 1' 33.631
9 L. Lanzi Ducati ITA 1' 35.202 1' 34.174 1' 33.791
10 C. Walker Kawasaki GBR 1' 34.589 1' 33.945 1' 33.928
11 P. Chili Honda ITA 1' 34.601 1' 34.132 1' 33.998
12 Y. Kagayama Suzuki JPN 1' 34.461 1' 34.158 1' 34.111
13 F. Nieto Kawasaki ESP 1' 34.618 1' 33.784 1' 34.158
14 R. Laconi Kawasaki FRA 1' 35.033 1' 34.182 1' 34.492
15 R. Rolfo Ducati ITA 1' 34.644 1' 33.658 1' 34.719
16 I. Clementi Ducati ITA 1' 34.708 1' 34.089 1' 35.032
17 N. Abe Yamaha JPN 1' 35.010 1' 34.269
21 S. Gimbert Yamaha FRA 1' 34.832 1' 34.666
24 S. Nakatomi Yamaha JPN 1' 36.080 1' 35.039

WSS : Front row for Curtain and Parkes
Round: 2 - Australia WSS
Circuit: Phillip Island
Date: 4 March 2006
Temp: 36ºC
Weather: Sunny

Yamaha riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes will start tomorrow's second round of the Supersport World Championship from the front row of the grid after a strong showing at Phillip Island today.

The Australians, who ride for the Yamaha Motor Germany squad, changed the set-up of their YZF-R6s to improved their times from Friday's session and maintain the important front row starts. Curtain posted a best of 1:36.436 to end the day second, just ahead of Parkes, who was just over a tenth of a second slower than his team-mate.

After experimenting with the settings during yesterday's session, the squad reverted to the data gained during January's Phillip Island test for today's final qualifying. Both riders declared themselves happier with the machine today and confident that they can run with pole position man Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) during tomorrow's 21-lap race.

A third R6-riding Australian featured heavily in qualifying, with Anthony Gobert posting the seventh fastest time on the Yamaha GMT94 machine. A five-time world superbike winner at the venue, Gobert was in impressive form in his second stand-in ride for the injured David Checa.

FIM Superstock 1000 Cup champion Didier van Keymeulen ended the day 19th on his R6, ahead of Yamaha Team Italia riders Massimo Roccoli and Gianluca Vizziello. They continued to experience set-up problems and ended up 21st and 24th on tomorrow's grid.

Round: 2 - Australia WSS
Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4448
Lap Record: 1' 36.642 (Katsuaki Fujiwara, 2003)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 35.291 (Chris Vermeulen, 2003)
Date: 4 March 2006
Temp: 36ºC

Session 1 :
Pos. Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying 2nd Qualifying
1 S. Charpentier Honda FRA 1' 35.869 1' 35.616
2 K. Curtain Yamaha AUS 1' 36.772 1' 36.436
3 B. Parkes Yamaha AUS 1' 36.758 1' 36.548
4 R. Harms Honda DNK 1' 37.997 1' 36.672
5 C. Zaiser Ducati AUT 1' 38.428 1' 36.741
6 K. Sofuoglu Honda TUR 1' 37.586 1' 36.865
7 A. Gobert Yamaha AUS 1' 38.499 1' 36.929
8 Y. Tibero Honda FRA 1' 37.691 1' 36.992
9 M. Berger Kawasaki FRA 1' 38.730 1' 37.147
10 J. Stigefelt Honda SWE N/A 1' 37.190
11 B. Veneman Suzuki NED 1' 38.452 1' 37.311
12 T. Lauslehto Honda FIN 1' 38.779 1' 37.405
13 J. Brookes Ducati AUS 1' 39.010 1' 37.533
14 D. Thomas Kawasaki AUS 1' 38.241 1' 37.587
15 K. Andersen Suzuki NOR 1' 39.464 1' 37.682
16 M. Sanchini Yamaha ITA 1' 37.865 1' 37.701
17 X. Fores Yamaha ESP 1' 38.380 1' 37.701
19 D. Van Keymeulen Yamaha BEL 1' 38.559 1' 37.769
20 G. Nannelli Yamaha ITA 1' 39.239 1' 37.857
21 M. Roccoli Yamaha ITA 1' 39.449 1' 37.869
24 G. Vizziello Yamaha ITA 1' 39.885 1' 38.219
25 C. Peris Yamaha CAN 1' 40.276 1' 38.785
27 V. Ivanov Yamaha RUS 1' 40.543 1' 38.991
29 J. Enjolras Yamaha FRA 1' 39.947 1' 39.161
30 D. Garcia Yamaha ITA N/A 1' 39.439