Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
WSB : R1 shows potential in Qatar
Round: 1 - Qatar
Circuit: Qatar
Date: 24 February 2005
Temp: 23C
Weather: Sunny

Yamaha's superbike riders demonstrated the potential of the YZF-R1 at the
opening qualifying session of the first round of the 2005 Superbike World

R1 riders occupy two places on the provisional front row of the grid with
Spanish Formula Xtreme champion Jose Luis Cardoso second and Yamaha Motor
France's Sbastien Gimbert fourth. Cardoso's time of 2'1.388 is just over one
tenth of a second slower than provisional polesitter Troy Corser (Suzuki).

Yamaha Motor Italia's Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt ended the day ninth and 12th
in the standings, happy with the progress made during the day if not their
provisional qualifying positions.

All but a few riders had ventured out for the morning's free practice session,
which was held in wet conditions. Because of this the track lacked grip in the
qualifying session, causing the riders to spend much of their time adjusting
their machines' set-up.

Haga's best time of 2'2.687 came on his final lap of the day and took him ahead
of defending champion James Toseland (Ducati), while Pitt was unlucky to run
into heavy traffic on his final run. The Australian had been lying sixth going
into the final minutes of the session, but was shuffled back to 12th as the pace
heated up.

Gimbert's team-mate Norick Abe, like Pitt a class rookie despite his
considerable experience, clocked up more laps than any other rider (24) as he
adjusts to his R1 after spending over a decade in Grands Prix. The Japanese
rider finished the day just behind Pitt, in 13th, with a best of 2'2.868.

Second qualifying takes place tomorrow morning, with the afternoon superpole
session deciding the final grid positions.

Yamaha Motor Germany riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes got their 2005
Supersport World Championship underway by respectively setting the fifth and
seventh fastest times in today's first qualifying session at the Losail
International Racetrack in Qatar.

Heavy rain meant that both riders completed just a handful of laps in the
morning's free practice session and although the track was dry for qualifying,
conditions proved slippery as the sand and dirt washed onto the racing line.
Curtain set a best lap time of 2'5.196 with Parkes just over a second behind on

French rider Sbastien Charpentier (Honda) set the fastest time in today's
session with a best of 2'3.841.

Sbastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France) - fourth, 2' 2.217

"I feel positive about the rest of the weekend. The times are all very close but
we have the bike working well and are able to do consistent lap times - at the
end of the session I did three fast laps in a row."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) - ninth, 2' 2.687

"Not so bad today. The bike is still very new so always we are finding new
things to improve. Tomorrow I hope we can find some improvements through the
suspension settings. The engine is very fast and has good torque, so if we can
make the suspension a little better we can really fight on Saturday."

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia) - 12th, 2' 2.769

"It was a shame we couldn't ride in the morning session as we tried some
different settings from the weekend's test. Perhaps tomorrow we will go back to
the engine mappings we used last week. Where I'm struggling is in the third
sector. I'm losing over half a second there so we will have to look at the gear
ratios and how we can make an improvement there tomorrow."

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France) - 13th, 2'2.868

"We did a lot of laps today and although I am in 13th place the gap to the
leading riders is quite small. I am quite happy with how things went. Every
session I am learning more about the bike and the championship. We decided not
to use a qualifying tyre today so I know that I can find more time tomorrow."

Round: 1 - Qatar

Circuit: Qatar
Circuit Length: 5400m
Date: 24 February 2005
Temp: 23C

Session 1 :

Pos.Rider           Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  T. Corser       Suzuki        AUS   2' 1.244
 2  J. Cardoso      Yamaha        ESP   2' 1.388
 3  R. Laconi       Ducati        FRA   2' 1.980
 4  S. Gimbert      Yamaha        FRA   2' 2.217
 5  M. Neukirchner  Honda         GER   2' 2.236
 6  Y. Kagayama     Suzuki        JPN   2' 2.284
 7  C. Vermeulen    Honda         AUS   2' 2.469
 8  P. Chili        Honda         ITA   2' 2.507
 9  N. Haga         Yamaha        JPN   2' 2.687
10  D. Toseland     Ducati        ITA   2' 2.754
11  I. Silva        Yamaha        ESP   2' 2.759
12  A. Pitt         Yamaha        AUS   2' 2.769
13  N. Abe          Yamaha        JPN   2' 2.868
14  C. Walker       Kawasaki      GBR   2' 2.921
15  M. Borciani     Yamaha        ITA   2' 3.178