Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
WSB : Pitt heads Yamaha charge in Qatar
Round: 1 - Qatar
Circuit: Qatar
Date: 26 February 2005
Crowd: 1
Temp: 20C
Weather: Changeable

Yamaha's return to the Superbike World Championship got under way at the Losail
circuit in Qatar, with Yamaha Motor Italia rider Andrew Pitt finishing fourth
and ninth in today's two races to leave the Middle East fifth in the
championship standings.

Not only did the Yamaha prove to be the most popular bike on the grid, with 10
of the 29 riders using R1s, it also proved its outright speed with Sbastien
Gimbert establishing the Losail superbike lap record and Pitt leading the early
laps of race two. Rain throughout the race weekend meant lack of testing time to
find perfect engine and chassis settings meant that performance dropped off as
the race wore on.

Pitt finished fourth in an aggregate 18-lap first race. He then led race two
before slipping back due to a lack of front end grip. Team-mate Noriyuki Haga
finished fifth, also experiencing front end grip problems.

Race one, a rain-stopped aggregate affair with the first section comprising ten
laps and the re-start of eight, was won by Troy Corser (Suzuki) from his
team-mate Yukio Kagayama and Ducati rider Regis Laconi.

The Yamaha Motor France IPONE pairing of Norick Abe and Gimbert enjoyed
contrasting fortunes in the first race of 24 this season, with Abe having
electronic gearchange problems during warm-up on the re-start, yet finishing
tenth. Gimbert ended his opening race clashing with two other riders to record a
DNF after a front row start.

In the second contest of the day, run in dry and sunny conditions, Abe was top
Yamaha finisher, in seventh place, after a multi-rider fight for fourth. At the
end Pitt led Gimbert and Haga from ninth to 11th places, with Gimbert
experiencing clutch slip after what were three race starts in a single afternoon.

After the opening two races, Kagayama leads on 45 points with team-mate Corser
four adrift. Pitt lies fifth, with Haga seventh and Abe eighth.

Yamaha's superbike teams will now travel to the Valencia circuit for an official
FGSport test on the weekend of 12-13 March, with the following round held at
Phillip Island three weeks later (1-3 April).

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia) - (fourth, ninth)

"Race one was good for the result but in race two my front tyre felt like it was
finished too early. I fought as hard as I could to keep other riders behind me
but I had a couple of big front-end pushes and I really didn't want to crash.
The speed of the bike is not too bad, pretty much on par with most other bikes.
It's a good result though. We always said that we might have to settle for solid
points in the opening rounds and that's what we achieved today."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) - (fifth, 11th)

"So far so good but we have some set-up difficulties. The rain interfering in
race one was good for us. The front tyre did not seem so suitable in the second
race, for us at least. I had a good start in both races, but I was not able to
keep positions. This is only the first race so I hope to improve the set-up in
the coming tests and to challenge for top positions in the next round."

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France IPONE) - (tenth, seventh)

"I think today I did not have good luck, especially in the first race. I went
fourth then the next lap it started to rain. Afterwards the electronics on the
quickshifter broke and I needed to make a pitlane start. In the beginning of
race two the start was not bad but the engine was not quite as fast as normal. I
finally passed some other riders but if I had more speed I would have taken many
more top riders."

Sbastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France IPONE) - (DNF, tenth) 

"It's a real shame because I got taken out by another rider in race one, and in
race two I burned the clutch a bit on the start and could not use all the engine
power. It was OK to ride on my own but not to pass, as I could not run out of
the slipstream on my own."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)

"The only thing we can do is say that we are paying for some delays in testing,
in terms of set-up. Andrew knows this bike a little bit better than Noriyuki,
and the bike set-up is not yet perfect. But we had four finishes and some good
points. At this track we have had some problems so we expected some difficulty

Martial Garcia (Team Manager - Yamaha Motor France IPONE)

"Sbastien made the best lap time and he said he had very good tyres and good
chassis settings. We wanted to get a fine start in the first race and except for
our bad luck we have had an encouraging first couple of races. We took some
points and showed our power - and we have another 22 races." 

Race classification WSB

Round:  1 - Qatar
Circuit:  Qatar
Circuit Length:  5400m
Lap Record:  2' 1.852 (Sebastien Gimbert, 2005)
Fastest Lap Ever:  2' 1.244 (Troy Corser, 2005)

Race 1: 18 Laps

Pos. Rider           Manufacturer  Nat. Total Time
 1   T. Corser       Suzuki        AUS  37'10.394
 2   Y. Kagayama     Suzuki        JPN     +3.065
 3   R. Laconi       Ducati        FRA     +3.496
 4   A. Pitt         Yamaha        AUS    +14.714
 5   N. Haga         Yamaha        JPN    +20.300
 6   J. Toseland     Ducati        GBR    +20.562
 7   I. Silva        Yamaha        ESP    +22.031
 8   C. Vermeulen    Honda         AUS    +22.188
 9   K. Muggeridge   Honda         AUS    +26.929
10   N. Abe          Yamaha        JPN    +27.231
11   G. Bussei       Kawasaki      ITA    +38.995
12   M. Borciani     Yamaha        ITA    +42.208
13   F. Nieto        Ducati        ESP    +43.494
14   C. Walker       Kawasaki      GBR    +44.894
15   S. Martin       Petronas      AUS    +49.673
19   G. Vizziello    Yamaha        ITA  +1' 5.885
20   M. Praia        Yamaha        POR  +1'27.742

Race 2: 18 Laps

Pos. Rider           Manufacturer  Nat. Total Time
 1   Y. Kagayama     Suzuki        JPN  37' 0.062
 2   R. Laconi       Ducati        FRA     +2.454
 3   T. Corser       Suzuki        AUS     +5.959
 4   C. Vermeulen    Honda         AUS     +7.245
 5   P. Chili        Honda         ITA     +8.600
 6   J. Toseland     Ducati        GBR     +8.601
 7   N. Abe          Yamaha        JPN     +9.731
 8   M. Neukirchner  Honda         GER    +11.501
 9   A. Pitt         Yamaha        AUS    +11.790
10   S. Gimbert      Yamaha        FRA    +11.808
11   N. Haga         Yamaha        JPN    +21.364
12   L. Lanzi        Ducati        ITA    +25.875
13   F. Nieto        Ducati        ESP    +34.084
14   G. Bussei       Kawasaki      ITA    +34.119
15   M. Sanchini     Kawasaki      ITA    +47.446
17   G. Vizziello    Yamaha        ITA  +1' 3.995
18   M. Praia        Yamaha        POR  +1' 5.222

Fastest Race Lap:
Pos. Rider           Manufacturer  Nat.  Lap Time
 1   S. Gimbert      Yamaha        FRA   2' 1.852

Championship standings WSB

Pos. Rider                Manufacturer  Nat. Points
 1   Yukio Kagayama       Suzuki        JPN    45
 2   Troy Corser          Suzuki        AUS    41
 3   Regis Laconi         Ducati        FRA    36
 4   Chris Vermeulen      Honda         AUS    21
 5   Andrew Pitt          Yamaha        AUS    20
 6   James Toseland       Ducati        GBR    20
 7   Noriyuki Haga        Yamaha        JPN    16
 8   Norifumi Abe         Yamaha        JPN    15
 9   Pierfrancesco Chili  Honda         ITA    11
10   Ivan Silva           Yamaha        ESP     9
11   Max Neukirchner      Honda         GER     8
12   Karl Muggeridge      Honda         AUS     7
13   Giovanni Bussei      Kawasaki      ITA     7
14   Sebastien Gimbert    Yamaha        FRA     6
15   Fonsi Nieto          Ducati        ESP     6
16   Marco Borciani       Yamaha        ITA     4

Manufacturers standings WSB

Pos.Manufacturer Points
 1  Suzuki         50
 2  Ducati         36
 3  Yamaha         22
 4  Honda          21
 5  Kawasaki        7
 6  Petronas        1

WSS : Top six for tough Aussies

Round: 1 - Qatar
Circuit: Qatar
Date: 26 February 2005
Crowd: 1
Temp: 23C
Weather: Sunny

Yamaha Motor Germany riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes displayed true grit to
overcome injuries and post top six finishes at round one of the Supersport World
Championship at the Losail circuit in Qatar today. The Australians finished the
18 lap race in fourth and sixth places respectively.

Curtain overcame a bad start that saw him end the first lap down in 10th place,
but a gritty ride saw the experienced Australian claw his way up to a lonely
fourth place by half distance, despite suffering from a lack of front end grip
and a shoulder injury sustained in testing last month. 

Team-mate Broc Parkes put in a determined ride to finish in sixth place despite
the pain of a broken bone in his right hand. The 23-year-old made a good start
and ran as high as fourth in the early stages, only to slip back due to the pain
in his hand.

The race was won by Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda) who fought through after stalling
on the grid. His team-mate Sbastien Charpentier was second, with Michel
Fabrizio (Honda) third.

The next round takes place at Curtain and Parkes' home circuit of Phillip Island
on 3 April, although both should be fully fit when they take part in the
official FGSport tests at Valencia on 12-13 March.

Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany) - fourth

"It was hard work out there. We knew that we didn't have a front tyre that would
last the distance today and by the end of the race it felt like I was riding in
the wet. A few of the other guys went down on right handers, so I guess that
most people were having the same kind of problems. But I'm happy with the
result, especially after I broke my collarbone last month. It's a solid start to
take to the next round in Phillip Island."

Broc Parkes (Yamaha Motor Germany) - sixth

"After four or five laps the pain in my hand really started to hit me. I got a
good start but as the race went on my laptimes dropped off and there wasn't a
lot I could do about it. I had hoped to finish on the podium in my first race
for Yamaha so I'm a little disappointed I didn't manage that, but really sixth
is a good result considering my condition."

Race classification WSS

Round:  1 - Qatar

Circuit:  Qatar
Circuit Length:  5400m
Lap Record:  2' 4.686 (Sebastien Charpentier, 2005)
Fastest Lap Ever:  2' 3.747 (Sebastien Charpentier, 2005)

Race 1: 18 Laps

Pos. Rider           Manufacturer  Nat. Total Time
 1   K. Fujiwara     Honda         JPN  37'54.414
 2   S. Charpentier  Honda         FRA     +5.462
 3   M. Fabrizio     Honda         ITA    +13.970
 4   K. Curtain      Yamaha        AUS    +28.713
 5   F. Foret        Honda         FRA    +31.316
 6   B. Parkes       Yamaha        AUS    +32.459
 7   S. Chambon      Honda         FRA    +36.842
 8   X. Fores        Suzuki        ESP    +42.491
 9   G. Nannelli     Ducati        ITA    +54.930
10   T. Lauslehto    Honda         FIN    +59.092
11   A. Berta        Ducati        ITA  +1'31.728
12   T. Miksovsky    Honda         CZE  +1'36.071
13   P. Szkopek      Honda         POL  +1'47.590
14   M. Baiocco      Kawasaki      ITA  +1 lap(s)

Fastest Race Lap:
Pos. Rider           Manufacturer  Nat.  Lap Time
 1   S. Charpentier  Honda         FRA   2' 4.686

Championship standings WSS

Pos. Rider                  Manufacturer  Nat. Points
 1   Katsuaki Fujiwara      Honda         JPN    25
 2   Sebastien Charpentier  Honda         FRA    20
 3   Michel Fabrizio        Honda         ITA    16
 4   Kevin Curtain          Yamaha        AUS    13
 5   Fabien Foret           Honda         FRA    11
 6   Broc Parkes            Yamaha        AUS    10
 7   Stephane Chambon       Honda         FRA     9
 8   Xavi Fores             Suzuki        ESP     8
 9   Gianluca Nannelli      Ducati        ITA     7
10   Tatu Lauslehto         Honda         FIN     6
11   Andrea Berta           Ducati        ITA     5
12   Tomas Miksovsky        Honda         CZE     4
13   Pawel Szkopek          Honda         POL     3
14   Matteo Baiocco         Kawasaki      ITA     2
15   Christophe Cogan       Suzuki        FRA     0

Manufacturers standings WSS

Pos. Manufacturer Points
 1   Honda          25
 2   Yamaha         13
 3   Suzuki          8
 4   Ducati          7
 5   Kawasaki        2