(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
WSB : Front row for Nitro Nori
Round: 5 - United Kingdom
Date: 28 May 2005
Yamaha Motor Italia rider Noriyuki Haga bounced back to his best form to take
second position on the grid for tomorrow's two 28-lap races at Silverstone in
the United Kingdom.
Starting the superpole session fourth after ending regular qualifying in 13th
place, Nitro Nori belied his wild man image to scorch to a super smooth lap time
of 1:26.985, the fastest lap of the weekend at the time. It was a lap that was
good enough to see off all but one of Haga's rivals. Ironically the only man to
better Nori's time was his close friend Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki), who clocked a
1:26.679 to eclipse his fellow Japanese and deny him what would have been his
second pole position in the class.
Haga's team-mate Andrew Pitt also had a productive day to claim ninth on the
grid. The Australian had to dig deep after ending day one down in 23rd place,
but characteristically he and his team worked hard to improve the set-up of the
R1 and, combined with increased knowledge of the circuit, was able to end
regular qualifying in 11th - a position he was able to further improve to ninth
with a weekend best lap of 1:27.861 in superpole.
With this year's Silverstone races being held on the shorter International
configuration (unlike the Grand Prix circuit used previously) both riders made
maximum use of their track time to find optimum settings for the slow and bumpy
circuit. Haga used a different specification swingarm in the afternoon session
while Pitt made great strides with his suspension settings.
Joining Haga and Kagayama on the front row will be Regis Laconi (Ducati) and
Troy Corser (Suzuki). Spaniard Jose Luis Cardoso set the sixth fastest time on
his private R1, with young debutant Massimo Roccoli qualifying for superpole on
his Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha - the 21-year-old from Rimini setting the 16th
fastest lap in his first attempt at the discipline.
Yamaha Motor France pairing Norick Abe and Sebastien Gimbert had a tough
initiation to the British circuit. Abe qualified for superpole and improved one
place to a 14th position grid slot while Gimbert starts 19th after missing out
on the one-lap shootout after failing to improve his Friday time in the
morning's windy second qualifying session.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"I am very happy with the superpole result. My settings today were a little
better than yesterday and I am also very happy because this is the best I have
felt on the bike all year. Tomorrow morning we will try a few small things to
improve the bike further but already the bike is very good and my decision has
been made on tyre choice. Maybe I was a little disappointed to see Yuki-san go a
little quicker than me but I think tomorrow we should be able to have a good
fight and I am looking forward to the races very much - my only hope now is that
the weather stays sunny and dry."
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"I've got to be happy with the improvement we made today. Mostly it was a case
of learning the circuit but yesterday we got a bit lost, improving the bike
while I was trying to learn the circuit so for today we went back to a setting
similar to what we used in Valencia and it works a lot better. There's still a
bit of a question mark over which rear tyre to use, but otherwise I'm happy with
our set-up for the race."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)
"Finally everything worked well today and all the hard work we are doing now
seems to be paying off. I am very happy to see Noriyuki at the front today. This
is the Noriyuki that the fans love. Also the big improvement from Andrew is
positive for both him and team and I am now very curious to see the races go
tomorrow. My hope for tomorrow is that the weather is dry. I looked at three
forecasts and all were different, but I think a dry race will be very
spectacular and better for both the spectators and riders."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
"Not so bad. We have quite a good race set-up for tomorrow and will try a few
more things in the warm-up to try to make some more improvements. The times are
all very close in qualifying so if I can make a good start I think I can ride
with the leading group."
Round: 5 - United Kingdom
Circuit Length: 3619m
Lap Record: 1' 53.629 (Gregorio Lavilla, 2003)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 52.875 (Neil Hodgson, 2003)
Date: 28 May 2005
Session 2 :
Pos.Rider Manufacturer Nat. Superpole
1 Y. Kagayama Suzuki JPN 1'27.832 1'27.649 1' 26.679
2 N. Haga Yamaha JPN 1'28.240 1'28.834 1' 26.985
3 R. Laconi Ducati FRA 1'27.578 1'27.686 1' 27.086
4 T. Corser Suzuki AUS 1'27.696 1'27.539 1' 27.177
5 C. Vermeulen Honda AUS 1'28.310 1'27.508 1' 27.261
6 J. Cardoso Yamaha ESP 1'28.650 1'27.854 1' 27.399
7 J. Toseland Ducati GBR 1'27.627 1'27.741 1' 27.584
8 C. Walker Kawasaki GBR 1'28.373 1'27.936 1' 27.805
9 A. Pitt Yamaha AUS 1'29.638 1'28.135 1' 27.861
10 M. Neukirchner Honda GER 1'29.356 1'27.641 1' 27.888
11 K. Muggeridge Honda AUS 1'28.189 1'28.099 1' 28.014
12 G. McCoy Petronas AUS 1'28.449 1'28.819 1' 28.085
13 P. Chili Honda ITA 1'28.145 1'28.919 1' 28.129
14 N. Abe Yamaha JPN 1'28.986 1'28.388 1' 28.133
15 B. Bostrom Honda USA 1'28.366 1'28.610 1' 28.897
16 M. Roccoli Yamaha ITA 1'28.625 1'28.020 1' 28.908
19 S. Gimbert Yamaha FRA 1'28.731 1'28.980
20 L. Alfonsi Yamaha ITA 1'28.965 1'29.907
26 M. Praia Yamaha POR 1'30.315 N/A
Kev shapes up for Silverstone with second
Yamaha Motor Germany rider Kevin Curtain will start tomorrow's fifth round of
the Supersport World Championship from second on the grid after an exciting
qualifying session that saw the Australian narrowly pipped to pole position by
championship leader Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) in the 45-minute session.
Curtain cut over a second from his best time in Friday's opening session early
in the session to take provisional pole with a lap time of 1:28.792, before
concentrating on developing his race setting and banging in an ultra consistent
sequence of eight laps in the 1:30 bracket.
Charpentier and Curtain were the only riders able to break the 1:29 barrier,
although in the end the Frenchman denied Curtain the pole by just 0.042 seconds.
However, the 39-year-old Curtain goes into tomorrow's race in an upbeat mood
after finding good settings for tomorrow's 28-lap race.
Team-mate Broc Parkes will start from the second row of the grid after setting
the seventh fastest lap of timed practice. Like Curtain, the 23-year-old goes
into tomorrow's race with a positive attitude after finding a good race set-up
on his YZF-R6. Parkes too was able to string together an impressive sequence of
1:30 laps in what is just his fifth race on the Yamaha, which has shown its
liking for the British circuit with two wins in the past two seasons.
Joining Charpentier and Curtain on the front row will be young British wild-card
Craig Jones (Honda) and Italian Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati).
"I'm happy with second although I actually missed a gear on my fastest lap and
that cost me around two-tenths of a second. The front row is important but 28
laps is going to make it a long hard race tomorrow. Again we set a target for
Charpentier to shoot at and he's come out and pushed a bit harder to beat us.
But I think we have a very good set-up and I was able to a lot of quick laps in
practice, but we'll just have to wait and see how the race goes."
"We've made some big progress this weekend and this is the happiest I've felt
with the bike all weekend. I'm a little disappointed not to be a bit higher on
the grid but I'm able to run a good consistent pace which is more important than
one fast lap in qualifying."