Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
Superbike World Championship preview - round seven: Brno


Round seven: Czech Republic, Brno
Track length: 5403 m
Opened: 1987
Superbike lap record: 2'04.019 (Troy Corser, 1996)
Circuit web site:

The Superbike World Championship welcomes back the Brno circuit in the Czech
Republic to its calendar, with the 2005 series passing the halfway point there
this weekend.

The long and flowing circuit is a firm fixture in the MotoGP calendar, but has
been visited just twice by the superbikers - in 1993 and 1996. Yamaha Motor
Italia riders Noriyuki Haga and Andrew Pitt will not be strangers to the circuit
however. The pair spent two days testing at Brno last month and found good base
settings ahead of Friday's first qualifying. Having gone into the last two
rounds with no set-up data, Haga and Pitt are confident of continuing the R1's
development during the race weekend. Haga goes to Brno as the top Yamaha runner
in the championship, with a brace of hard fought sixth places at Misano moving
him up to sixth in the standings. "Misano was very tough but I think we did a
good job to take two sixth places after qualifying down in 21st," said the
Japanese rider. "We've already spent two days at Brno, working on the chassis
settings and finding a race set-up. That was all we did during the test there -
working on the race set-up and not using qualifying tyres - so I am confident
that we have a good base that won't see me starting from the sixth row again!"

Team-mate Pitt goes to Brno after a Misano nightmare that saw him fail to finish
either race and slip back to ninth in the championship. However the resilient
Australian feels that testing at Brno will give them a head start this weekend.
He said: "After two tough weekends at new tracks for our R1 it will be good to
get to a circuit where we at least have some data ahead of the race weekend.
We're going to Brno with a base setting and we should be able to spend Friday
improving them rather than just trying to find something that works like we did
in Misano and Silverstone."

Also looking for improved fortunes are the Yamaha Motor France team. Misano saw
the team's Norick Abe score just one point in "one of the worst weekends of my
career" while team-mate Sebastien Gimbert looks to return to action after
missing Misano with a leg injury. "The last three races have been tough,"
admitted Abe. "The first three were held on courses of which I had experience
from Grands Prix and I am looking forward to Brno, which is a circuit I know
well. It is a course which I enjoy riding, although I have never finished on the
podium there. Maybe that is something I can change this weekend."

Brno technical guide

Although a new track for most of the superbike teams and riders, Brno is a
popular stop on the MotoGP calendar. At 5.4km, Brno is the longest circuit the
superbikers will race at this year. Combined with the wide, smooth, track
surface, it's a venue which also allows a variety of competitive racing lines
and passing opportunities - majority of the time this takes place under brakes.
Far from being a flat circuit the elevation changes are quite varied in the
second half, while the corners themselves often feature a typically positive
camber. The Brno tarmac also offers good grip, without the reputation for
tearing up tyres. With this in mind, recent tests at the venue focused almost
exclusively on chassis settings. By altering the height of the rear swingarm
pivot, both Haga and Pitt were able to improve the steering characteristics of
their machines, while Pirelli's new, wider, 200 section rear tyres, introduced
for the first time in Misano, should offer improved side grip and drive out of
the many long radius corners. Brno features no really hard braking zones but,
with so many constant radius corners, throttle connection and a linear power
delivery are important, another key development area for the Yamaha Motor Italia
team this year and an area where the machines have been transformed throughout
the season.

Supersport World Championship

Yamaha Motor Germany riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes go to Brno on a high
after a hectic June that has seen them improve the settings of their YZF-R6
machines dramatically. Both joined their superbike colleagues to test at the
circuit a few weeks ago and were delighted with the results: finding good
suspension settings for the race and testing tyres for championship supplier
Pirelli. This work was continued last weekend when the squad stayed on at Misano
to compete in a national championship round at the Italian venue. Parkes won the
race, his first victory on a Yamaha, but more importantly both riders reported
improved front end suspension set-up. With six of the 12 rounds gone, Curtain
lies third in the championship with Parkes in fifth.

FIM Superstock 1000 Cup

Occupying the top three positions in the Superstock FIM 1000 Cup, the internal
battle between Yamaha's officially-supported superstock riders should provide a
fascinating appetiser in Brno. Just 10 points separate the R1 riders, with
Italian class rookie Massimo Roccoli taking the championship lead at his home
race in Misano three weeks ago. Early season pace setter Kenan Sofuoglu is set
to return to action after missing out on Misano, albeit not yet 100 percent
recovered from his a broken hand. The Turkish rider remains second in the
series, eight points behind Roccoli but just two ahead of Yamaha Motor Germany
team-mate Didier van Keymeulen. Van Keymeulen scored another second in Misano
and goes to Brno with the advantage of a day's testing at the venue last month.
Another Yamaha youngster to look out for is Italian starlet Claudio Corti, who
leads the European Superstock 600 Championship after winning three of the first
four rounds on his YZF-R6.