Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
WSB : Pitt on provisional front row in Australia
Round: 2 - Phillip Island
Circuit: Phillip Island
Date: 1 April 2005
Temp: 42ºC
Weather: Sunny

Local hero Andrew Pitt gave his home fans something to cheer today, placing his
Yamaha Motor Italia YZF-R1 fourth in today's first qualifying session for
Sunday's round two of the Superbike World Championship at the Phillip Island

The 29-year-old from New South Wales, fifth in the championship after the first
round, started the session using settings gained during January's three-day test
at the Australian venue. Warm and sunny conditions, combined with a strong
tailwind down the long main straight, led to fast times and high top speeds in
the opening session, allowing Pitt to post a number of consistent laps in the
1'36 bracket while working his way methodically through a number of set-up
changes to improve the set-up of his R1. Pitt fitted qualifying tyres in the
closing stages of the session to post a best of 1'34.094, less than a second
behind provisional polesitter Troy Corser (Suzuki).
Yamaha Motor France's Norick Abe found himself as high as second on the
timesheets, before a late charge by his rivals saw him shuffled back down to
11th at the end of the session. The hard working Japanese once again racked up
more mileage than his rivals, completing 24 laps of the 4.5km circuit with a
best of 1'34.775, despite feeling the effects of a fever which left him short of

Abe's team-mate Sébastien Gimbert steadily improved his pace throughout the
weekend, to finish just behind, in 13th place with a best of 1'35.178. However,
Pitt's team-mate Noriyuki Haga however found himself in an uncharacteristically
low 20th place on the grid after suffering from chatter problems. The Japanese
ace will need to improve by at least four places in tomorrow morning's second
session to qualify for the superpole session.

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"We got through a lot of work today, comparing the changes we've made with the
bike to the data we got from our test here earlier in the year and eliminating a
few little problems we had there. We've found the best front tyre to use in the
race and we've got the rear down to a choice of two, so that's obviously
important for Sunday. Sure, I'd like to have gone a little quicker but that time
should get us into superpole and we have some improvement still to make."

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France IPONE)

"I have had a very bad fever this week so I was not feeling so good today. My
time was quite good but it is normal that the other riders come out and do a
fast lap on a qualifier late on. But overall my feeling is ok in the conditions.
I will go to my hotel early and get some rest, so hopefully I will be able to
give some more tomorrow."

Sébastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France IPONE)

"This is our first time here with the R1 so there was no need to ride crazily
today. I am happy because we have found some good settings. Tomorrow we can work
on making some more improvements and going for some faster lap times."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"Today, yes, what can I say? We have a very bad chatter problem and this means I
cannot push like I want to. We are working with the Ohlins technician to look to
solve the problem. We will improve things tomorrow and that will make our lap
times better."

Massimo Meregalli (Team coordinator, Yamaha Motor Italia)

"Andrew has done a good job here at his home circuit. I could see that he is
very motivated to do well here this weekend and this is also motivating for the
whole team. Hopefully we can continue to make good progress tomorrow and give
him the best chance of a good result. For Noriyuki, he likes this circuit and I
am sure that when he solves this problem he will be back at the front."

Round: 2 - Phillip Island

Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4448m
Lap Record: 1' 33.019 (Troy Corser, 2001)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 32.193 (Troy Corser, 2001)
Date: 1 April 2005
Temp: 42ºC

Session 1 :
Pos.Rider          Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  T. Corser      Suzuki        AUS   1'33.191
 2  Y. Kagayama    Suzuki        JPN   1'33.787
 3  R. Laconi      Ducati        FRA   1'34.084
 4  A. Pitt        Yamaha        AUS   1'34.094
 5  K. Muggeridge  Honda         AUS   1'34.364
 6  C. Vermeulen   Honda         AUS   1'34.405
 7  G. McCoy       Petronas      AUS   1'34.491
 8  S. Martin      Petronas      AUS   1'34.499
 9  M. Sanchini    Kawasaki      ITA   1'34.676
10  P. Chili       Honda         ITA   1'34.775
11  N. Abe         Yamaha        JPN   1'34.960
12  S. Gimbert     Yamaha        FRA   1'35.178
13  J. Cardoso     Yamaha        ESP   1'35.237
14  C. Walker      Kawasaki      GBR   1'35.282
15  J. Toseland    Ducati        GBR   1'35.344
16  G. Bussei      Kawasaki      ITA   1'35.381
20  N. Haga        Yamaha        JPN   1'35.715
21  L. Alfonsi     Yamaha        ITA   1'35.787
23  M. Borciani    Yamaha        ITA   1'36.130
24  G. Vizziello   Yamaha        ITA   1'36.556

Parkes and Curtain looking for some home improvements


Yamaha Motor Germany's Australian duo Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes enjoyed a
productive first day in preparation for their home round of the Supersport World
Championship, finishing the day's opening qualifying session in third and eighth
place respectively despite not finding the ideal suspension set-up for their

Sunny conditions allowed the local heroes to spend the day working on set-up of
their R6s ahead of Sunday's 21 lap race, with Curtain setting his best time of
1'36.932 midway through the session, despite not being totally happy with grip
levels from the rear of his machine. 

Parkes also struggled to find a good setting on his R6 and finished just over a
second behind his team-mate, with a 1'38.021 on his final lap pushing him up to
a provisional second row spot.

Fastest rider of the day was Frenchman Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) with a lap
time of 1'35.999. Final qualifying to determine Sunday's grid position takes
place tomorrow afternoon at 13:45 local time.

Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany)

"We're really struggling for rear grip today and it's quite strange as it just
shouldn't be the case with the improvement we made to the bike. Last year we
struggled all year for front grip and struggled with the rear, but here it is
the opposite: the front is great but the rear grip isn't what we expected. I was
following Charpentier for about a lap, until his team put out the board to say I
was following and he let me past. I could keep up with him until the exits of
turn 11 and turn 12, where I was just sliding. That's a big problem here because
if you can't get good drive out of the last corner you're going to get hosed
down the straight. That shouldn't be the case on a new tyre so we're going to
have to have a long think about it now to try and find a solution for tomorrow." 

Broc Parkes (Yamaha Motor Germany)

"Not the best qualifying I've had. We've not quite had the set-up today and it's
a bit of a surprise after the improvements we made at the last test in Valencia.
I was actually faster when we tested here in January so I know that I can go
faster tomorrow - I have to, because the front few guys were really on it today."