Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
Haga and Pitt happy in Valencia


This weekend's official Superbike World Championship tests in Valencia ended
today with Yamaha Motor Italia riders Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt both posting
times in the top eight.

Having debuted their R1s at the opening round of the championship in Qatar just
two weeks ago, the Yamaha Motor Europe supported squad concentrated refining the
overall package and working mainly on the front end geometry of their machines.

Despite warm and dry weather, the track surface proved slippery and caused both
riders to complain of a lack of traction. In spite of the inconsistent track
conditions both riders felt they made considerable progress at the Catalan
circuit, not only in terms of ultimate lap times but more significantly with the
consistency of the machine over a race distance. Haga ended the test sixth
fastest overall. The Japanese rider completed a total of 115 laps over the two
days, finding an improvement of almost a second in the final session to set a
best of 1:36.347 with Pitt eighth after clocking a fastest lap of 1:36.766 in
his 127 laps.

Yamaha Motor France's Sbastien Gimbert was 15th fastest with a best of 1:37.305
from 125 laps while team-mate Norick Abe put in more kilometres than any other
rider present in Valencia. The former MotoGP star completed a total of 157 laps
between the four 140 minute sessions as he continues to familiarise himself with
the R1. He ended the session in 18th place with a best lap of 1:37.347. Local
privateer Jose Luis Cardoso was another Yamaha rider in the top ten, placing his
R1 seventh in a time of 1:36.443.

Troy Corser (Suzuki) was the quickest rider over the two days, his lap time of
1:35.566 just pipping his team-mate Yukio Kagayama to the top slot. The next
outing for the Yamaha riders will be for round two of the series at the Phillip
Island circuit in Australia, on the weekend of 1-3 April.

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"I am happier today than I was at Qatar, so this is good. We tried some changes
to the front of the bike and that is giving me a better feeling. We made a big
step in the final session and I was able to push harder and go faster. At the
end I put on a qualifying tyre and the feeling was very good, but the track has
been very slippery this weekend and we did not find a tyre option that will work
well for the race here."

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"We've certainly made some improvements to the bike since Qatar but you only
have to look at the timesheets to see that we still have some work to do if we
are to catch the Suzukis. The front end was better this weekend but now we're
struggling for traction. This morning it wasn't so bad but then when I went out
in the afternoon it felt like I was riding a different bike. It's a problem at
Valencia, the grip levels change so much here and for that reason it's not
always the best track to test at."

Sbastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France IPONE)

"Making a quick lap is not the most important thing at these tests so we took
our time and were able to try some things out on the bike during the weekend.
I'm feeling comfortable on the bike and feel that I am able to push harder if I
need too. Just at the end we found a solution to a small problem we had with the
front suspension. Had we been able to make this change earlier then I would
surely have been able to set a much faster lap time."

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France IPONE)

"Ok, our lap time this weekend - 18th place - was not good but we are here to
test for the race and not just get one fast lap time. So it's ok. On the first
morning we ran with the Qatar settings. They worked well and I was sixth
fastest, but in the other sessions we had a proper test and changed many of the
parts and settings on the bike. Some of the changes worked, some did not, but I
have learned a lot about the bike and the parts we tested so this is fine."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Co-ordinator, Yamaha Motor Italia)

"I think that we have made some big steps this weekend. We came here with some
new parts to test and almost all of them gave us the improvements we expected.
Also, today is the first time I have heard Nori say we have made 'big
improvements' so this is positive for us going to Phillip Island."

Superbike World Championship Valencia test - leading times

 1. Troy Corser (Suzuki)         1:35.566
 2. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki)      1:35.698
 3. Chris Vermeulen (Honda)      1:35.724
 4. Regis Laconi (Ducati)        1:35.881
 5. Karl Muggeridge (Honda)      1:36.084
 6. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha)       1:36.347
 7. Jose Luis Cardoso (Yamaha)   1:36.443
 8. Andrew Pitt (Yamaha)         1:36.766
 9. Chris Walker (Kawasaki)      1:36.793
10. Pierfrancesco Chili (Honda)  1:36.813
15. Sbastien Gimbert (Yamaha)   1:37.305
18. Norick Abe (Yamaha)          1:37.347

Yamaha Germany make big progress


Hard work from the Yamaha Motor Germany supersport team allowed riders Broc
Parkes and Kevin Curtain to make considerable progress with the development of
their 2005 model YZF-R6s at this weekend's official tests in Valencia. The
Australian pair set the third and fourth fastest times of the weekend and
declared themselves pleased with improvements made to the bikes.

After finishing fourth and sixth in the opening round in Qatar two weeks ago,
the team was able to try new settings on the front forks which transformed the
handling characteristics.

Both riders were able to run consistently at race pace in the four 90 minute
sessions over the two days. Parkes, almost fully recovered from the broken hand
which hampered him at the opening race in Qatar, completed 104 laps and set a
best time of 1:38.804. Curtain completed fewer laps than his team-mate due to a
high speed crash on Saturday but ended up just a fraction of a second behind
with a best of 1:38.913 from his 82 laps.

Honda team-mates Sbastien Charpentier and Katsuaki Fujiwara set the fastest
times of the weekend. Round two of the championship takes place at the Phillip
Island circuit in Australia on the weekend of April 1-3.

Supersport World Championship Valencia test - leading times

 1. Sbastien Charpentier (Honda)  1:37.880
 2. Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda)      1:38.178
 3. Broc Parkes (Yamaha)           1:38.804
 4. Kevin Curtain (Yamaha)         1:38.913

Broc Parkes (Yamaha Motor Germany)

"The bike was heaps better here than it's been all year and we've made more
progress in these two days than we did in all of our time in Qatar. My broken
hand is better. It's not quite 100 percent but almost there it - it feels good
to be fast again! I was able to put in consistent lap times and the front tyres
are working really good over a race distance. I felt I could have gone quicker
in the afternoon but the wind was a bit stronger and that affected times. Even
so, this is the closest we've been to Charpentier."

Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany)

"We made big improvements to the suspension overnight and that gave me much more
rear end grip. Because we're running a new bike we're still having to work our
way through things with the suspension, but we are getting there and we've now
got the bike working good round here. The crash was a real big one. I had just
gone out and done a few and felt that I had found the limit, but I lost it going
into turn five and got spat right off. I'm heading back off to Australia on
Tuesday and I'm really looking forward to the race at Phillip Island."

Terrell Thien (Team Manager, Yamaha Motor Germany)

"I think everyone is really pleased with how things have gone. We've made good
progress with the chassis and it was good that we didn't have the high front
tyre wear we suffered in Qatar. Broc's wrist is much better now and today is the
first time in around 18 months that Kevin has been beaten by his team-mate. It's
good to have two riders in the team who can push each other and they're both
keen to get back to Australia and race at Phillip Island."