Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
WSB : Abe leading Yamaha in Valencia
Round: 3 - Spain
Circuit: Valencia
Date: 22 April 2005
Temp: 43ēC
Weather: Sunny

Norick Abe finished as the top R1 rider during today's first qualifying session
for Sunday's Superbike World Championship round in Valencia.

The Japanese rider, not normally known for his pace in qualifying, set the 10th
fastest time during this afternoon's one hour timed practice, which saw a number
of surprise names at the top of the leaderboard. Abe's team-mate Sebastien
Gimbert, fresh from winning the Le Mans 24-hour race with Yamaha GMT94 last
weekend ended the day 15th, while Yamaha Motor Italia pairing Noriyuki Haga and
Andrew Pitt remained positive despite finishing way down the timesheets in 21st
and 24th respectively.

Both riders experienced set-up problems in the warm conditions. Having made good
progress during the last round in Phillip Island, the team used the base
settings from the Australian races during today's action. However these proved
less effective around the tight Spanish track and the team will revert to
settings developed during last month's test in Valencia. Both riders also opted
to save their soft qualifying tyres for tomorrow morning's qualifying session,
which alone should lead to a significant improvement in time.

Despite not using the soft rubber, Haga's best time of 1:38.158 was just over a
second behind third placed rider Pierfrancesco Chili (Honda) in a surprisingly
close session. The Japanese star was fourth fastest during the morning session
with a 1:37.470 lap. Pitt was also slower in the afternoon session, where he
clocked a best of 1:38.291, with championship leader Troy Corser (Suzuki) taking
provisional pole position with a 1:35.954.

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)

"This is a track I know very well both from testing and MotoGP. Also I am more
familiar with the R1 every time I ride it so I am optimistic for a good result
this weekend. We had no problems today, so hopefully I can improve my time some
more tomorrow."

Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)

"I am still very happy after winning Le Mans last week and I hope we can
continue this form in Valencia. I am quite happy with today, I got pushed back a
little late in the session but I know I can push a little harder tomorrow."

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"Some days are good and some days are not so good, but this is racing. Ok, I
want to be higher but the times are very close and I expect that everyone will
go faster if it stays dry tomorrow. The track was very slippery today so I think
that tomorrow we can go and make a faster time."

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)

"It's been a tough day today and I just haven't felt comfortable on the bike. We
actually put a qualifying tyre on right at the end, but we were not sure if we
could beat the clock and get another lap in before the chequered flag so we
decided to call it a day rather than waste the tyre. Looking back I think this
was a good decision as we will be able to find a better set-up tomorrow and take
full advantage of the soft tyre."

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)

"We made a big step forward in Australia and so came here with the same
settings. But they did not work here and tomorrow we will go back to the
settings from our previous tests here. We also have the advantage that each
rider can use two qualifying tyres tomorrow, so we are confident that we can
make big improvements tomorrow and that both riders will make the superpole."

Round: 3 - Spain

Circuit: Valencia
Circuit Length: 4005m
Lap Record: 1' 35.007 (Neil Hodgson, 2003)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 34.633 (Neil Hodgson, 2003)
Date: 22 April 2005
Temp: 43ēC

Session 1 :

Pos.Rider           Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying
 1  T. Corser       Suzuki        AUS   1'35.954
 2  C. Walker       Kawasaki      GBR   1'36.731
 3  P. Chili        Honda         ITA   1'37.003
 4  M. Neukirchner  Honda         GER   1'37.127
 5  K. Muggeridge   Honda         AUS   1'37.146
 6  Y. Kagayama     Suzuki        JPN   1'37.159
 7  I. Clementi     Kawasaki      ITA   1'37.299
 8  S. Martin       Petronas      AUS   1'37.332
 9  L. Lanzi        Ducati        ITA   1'37.465
10  N. Abe          Yamaha        JPN   1'37.520
11  R. Laconi       Ducati        FRA   1'37.566
12  J. Toseland     Ducati        GBR   1'37.648
13  J. Cardoso      Yamaha        ESP   1'37.650
14  I. Silva        Yamaha        ESP   1'37.727
15  S. Gimbert      Yamaha        FRA   1'37.763
16  C. Vermeulen    Honda         AUS   1'37.878
21  N. Haga         Yamaha        JPN   1'38.158
23  L. Alfonsi      Yamaha        ITA   1'38.282
24  A. Pitt         Yamaha        AUS   1'38.291
25  G. Vizziello    Yamaha        ITA   1'38.389
27  D. Checa        Yamaha        ESP   1'38.700
29  M. Praia        Yamaha        POR   1'39.581
30  M. Borciani     Yamaha        ITA   1'39.725

Five and nine for   Yamaha Germany


Yamaha Motor Germany riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes took their R6s to
fifth and ninth place respectively on the provisional grid for Sunday's round
three of the Supersport World Championship in Valencia.

Track temperature touching 41 degrees led to slower than expected lap times
during the afternoon session, with most of the top competitors unable to better
their times during the morning's cooler untimed practice.