Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
Haga debuts at Phillip Island test


Yamaha's 2005 Superbike and Supersport World Championship campaigns got into
full swing at Phillip Island today, as the officially supported Yamaha Motor
Italia and Yamaha Motor Germany teams completed the first day of their test at
the picturesque Australian circuit.

The test marked Noriyuki Haga's return to the manufacturer with whom he made his
name in the mid-Nineties and the Japanese star completed shakedown laps aboard
the Yamaha Motor Italia YZF-R1 which he will campaign in the superbike series.

Day one of the test was a familiarisation session for Haga, as he worked with
his mechanics to find a comfortable seating position and a basic understanding
of the YZF-R1. The Japanese ace suffered some minor fuelling problems but
completed a total of 50 laps with a best time of 1'36.3. 

While Haga acquainted himself with his new machine, team-mate Andrew Pitt
concentrated on the fuel mapping on his YZF-R1. The Australian rider started the
day on the bike with which he completed two tests at the Valencia circuit in
Spain, but switched to a new machine with a slightly higher specification in the
afternoon. In total Pitt ran 84 laps, with a best of 1'36.8.

Yamaha Motor Germany's Australian duo Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes took to the
circuit on the 2005-spec YZF-R6s they hope will take them to success in the
Supersport World Championship. Both riders had ridden the machine at a wet test
at Valencia in December, but today's outing was the first time the riders were
able to fully evaluate the improvements made to the 2005 machine in dry

New signing Broc Parkes had an eventful morning, hampered by several brushes
with the Phillip Island wildlife. On three occasions the Australian's machine
was hit at high speed by seagulls, destroying the radiator, windscreen and
instrument panel of his YZF-R6.

Curtain meanwhile had no such problems and was able to evaluate a number of new
parts for his Yamaha. The experienced Aussie has a huge knowledge of the R6,
having campaigned the previous model in 2003 and 2004, and was able spend the
whole day working on suspension settings.

The teams will remain at Phillip Island on Monday and Tuesday, when weather
conditions are forecast to be even warmer than today's 25-degree temperatures.
Tomorrow Haga is due to work on the evaluation of new Pirelli tyres, while Pitt
will focus on development parts for the R1. Parkes and Curtain will continue to
focus on front suspension and tyre longevity.

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team YZF-R1)

"Today we concentrated on making the bike how I like it. At the start of the day
I found the rear end was too high, so we have been making changes to make the
bike lower and more comfortable for me. We still have a few small changes to
make tomorrow but otherwise my first impression is good. This is only my first
test on the bike so we are still a little bit behind where we would like to be,
but I love a challenge!"

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team YZF-R1)

"We've had a few little problems with the mapping, the injection and the balance
today, but we have found a direction in which to go in tomorrow. At the end of
the day, that's what testing's all about - finding problems and solving them -
so it's not a problem." 

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team)

"I was waiting for this day for some time and in the end it was very exciting.
Ideally it would have been best to have had this test one or two months ago but
it has not been possible. The whole team has really enjoyed working with Nori.
Having him in the team adds some pressure for us, but this makes it very

Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany World Supersport Team YZF-R6)

"It's been a good start. The front forks on the new R6 are definitely an
improvement over the old bike. They give us a lot more grip and feel from the
front end but at the moment we're not getting the tyre life we want. That's what
we'll work on tomorrow: working with the suspension set-up to get good grip but
also to save the tyre."

Broc Parkes (Yamaha Motor Germany World Supersport Team YZF-R6)

"I've spent the Aussie summer training at the Australian Institute of Sport in
Canberra with Andrew McFarlane (Yamaha motocross rider) and I have been really
looking forward to riding the R6 in anger for the first time. It was quite windy
today and I was really just riding around today to get a feel for the bike but
already I am able to lap within half-a-second of my race pace from last year so
it is a good start. The birds were a problem though. I hit three of them this
morning and that cost us quite a lot of track time."

Terrell Thien (Team Manager Yamaha Motor Germany World Supersport Team)

"Broc only really started in the afternoon due to the problems with the birds.
Between them they cost us over 2000 Euros in the first hour of the day! But he
got a good rhythm in the afternoon and is starting to learn how to ride the bike
and the differences between the Yamaha and a Honda. Kevin did a great job for us
again but he is the sort of guy who is always expecting more. The front
suspension is working well but it is also the newest part of the motorcycle, so
that is what we will have to spend most time working on."