Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
WSB : Pitt fifth on superpole debut
Round: 2 - Phillip Island
Circuit: Phillip Island
Date: 2 April 2005
Temp: 35ēC
Weather: Sunny

Yamaha Motor Italia rider Andrew Pitt will start tomorrow's Yamaha-sponsored
Australian round of the Superbike World Championship from fifth place after an
impressive performance in his first ever one-lap superpole run.

The local hero had been consistently in the top five all weekend but had to
survive a scare during the pre-superpole practice session. The Australian was
heading the time sheets when he highsided on the exit of turn 10 and was struck
by his machine. Pitt was thankfully uninjured in the incident and was able to
resume the session on his second machine.

Pitt went into the superpole session as the third fastest rider from regular
qualifying, but despite setting his fastest time of the weekend, a 1'33.461, on
his flying lap the Australian found himself slipping back to fifth despite
setting his fastest lap of the weekend.

Norick Abe was another Yamaha rider who impressed in his first outing in the
one-lap shootout. The Japanese rider gained four places on his position after
regular qualifying and will start the race from 12th place and the third row of
the grid. 

Pitt's team-mate Noriyuki Haga was 19th fastest in qualifying, and did make the
cut for the top-16 superpole shootout after failing to find a good suspension
setting during the morning qualifying session. However Haga was able to set the
14th fastest time in the untimed afternoon practice session, giving hope of an
improved performance in tomorrow's races. Lining up behind Haga in 20th and 21st
places respectively are European superstock champion Lorenzo Alfonsi, making his
world superbike debut with the DFX Yamaha team, and Yamaha Motor France's
Sebastien Gimbert, although all three riders are likely to move up one place as
17th qualifier Pierfrancesco Chili (Honda) will not start after breaking his

Championship leader Yuki Kagayama (Suzuki) will start tomorrow's races from pole
position after setting a superpole time of 1'33.241, narrowly pushing out local
ace Steve Martin (Petronas) and young German talent Max Neukirchner (Honda).
Another Australian, Troy Corser (Suzuki), rounds out the front row in fourth.

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"I'd have liked to have been on the front row but I did my best lap on the
superpole so I feel that I did my best. We've got a good set-up and I have been
up the front all weekend on race tyres, so this looks good for the race. I
expect a good race tomorrow with many riders fighting for the lead. I am happy
with the way my bike is, so hopefully I will be one of them!"

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)

"I have been feeling sick all weekend so I am quite happy with my superpole
performance - it was good fun! I have a good set up and was able to do a lot of
consistent lap times, so I am looking forward to the races tomorrow."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"It's been a difficult day and I do not really know why I was riding so slowly.
We have had big chatter problems here all weekend. We tried so many changes and
we made some improvements in the last session, so we will need to see how it
goes tomorrow."

Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)

"This is my first time here with the R1 and I made a small mistake with my
suspension settings today. That is why I couldn't go fast enough to get into
superpole but we made some changes in the free practice session so I am sure
that we will have a much better performance in the races tomorrow."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator Yamaha Motor Italia)

"We are feeling very positive about tomorrow's races. Andrew is running very
strongly on race tyres and thankfully also he was uninjured in the crash. It was
also good that he but in his best laps after the crash because, although a rider
will always deny it, they usually lose some feeling in these events. With Nori I
believe he can do a good job for us. He is always better on race day than on
qualifying and I remember him, I think it was at Brands Hatch in 2000, starting
in 16th and being second at the first corner, so we know what he is capable of

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: 2 April 2005
Temp: 35ēC

Session 2 :

Pos.Rider           Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying  2nd Qualifying   Superpole
 1  Y. Kagayama     Suzuki        JPN   1'33.787        1'34.762         1'33.241
 2  S. Martin       Petronas      AUS   1'34.499        1'33.836         1'33.301
 3  M. Neukirchner  Honda         GER   1'36.788        1'33.631         1'33.375
 4  T. Corser       Suzuki        AUS   1'33.191        1'34.793         1'33.398
 5  A. Pitt         Yamaha        AUS   1'34.094        1'33.677         1'33.461
 6  K. Muggeridge   Honda         AUS   1'34.364        N/A              1'33.557
 7  G. McCoy        Petronas      AUS   1'34.491        1'34.304         1'33.676
 8  R. Laconi       Ducati        FRA   1'34.084        1'34.291         1'33.837
 9  C. Vermeulen    Honda         AUS   1'34.405        1'33.781         1'34.053
10  J. Toseland     Ducati        GBR   1'35.344        1'34.428         1'34.068
11  G. Bussei       Kawasaki      ITA   1'35.381        1'34.437         1'34.503
12  N. Abe          Yamaha        JPN   1'34.960        1'34.725         1'34.742
13  C. Walker       Kawasaki      GBR   1'35.282        1'34.678         1'34.803
14  G. Vizziello    Yamaha        ITA   1'36.556        1'34.396         1'34.939
15  J. Cardoso      Yamaha        ESP   1'35.237        1'34.401         1'35.003
16  M. Sanchini     Kawasaki      ITA   1'34.676        N/A              1'35.132
19  N. Haga         Yamaha        JPN   1'35.715        1'34.927

Front row for Curtain as Parkes sits it out


Yamaha Motor Germany's world supersport riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes had
opposing fortunes on the final day of qualifying at Phillip Island today.
Curtain put his YZF-R6 on the front row, in fourth place, but Parkes was forced
to sit out the afternoon session after crashing during the morning's free

Curtain improved his time by almost half a second during the second qualifying
session with a best of 1'35.436, but was unable to eliminate the set-up problems
which is causing excessive wheelspin and tyre wear on his YZF-R6. The
experienced Australian, winner of this race in 2002, and his team will make
further changes to the rear suspension in a bid to improve the settings for
tomorrow's 21 lap race.

Parkes crashed heavily midway through the morning session and was taken to the
medical centre after being highsided from the machine. Thankfully examinations
revealed no broken bones and the rider was sent back to his hotel to rest. He is
expected to take part in tomorrow's race and, if fit, his Friday time of
1'38.021 will put him 12th on the grid.

Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) will start on pole position after posting a time
of 1'35.746.

Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany)

"I'm really glad to be on the front row at my home race. I rode as hard as I
could on that lap but we've still got problems with the rear suspension. We
tried a few things today to solve it but unfortunately it's still there. We're
just spinning up coming out of the corner and that's destroying the tyre and
losing us drive down the straight. We'll make some more changes for tomorrow and
if we can get some good times in the warm-up I feel confident that we can get a
good result."

Broc Parkes (Yamaha Motor Germany)

"I'm pretty badly beaten up but I intend to race tomorrow. My back is badly
bruised and I'm very stiff just now, but I will have an early night tonight and
hopefully will feel better tomorrow. It's a shame as I felt that we had made
some good improvements to the bike since yesterday. At least my Friday time was
good enough for the third row, so that's not as bad as it could have been."