WSB : Yamaha men happy with Assen opener
Round: 9 - Netherlands
Date: 2 September 2005
Yamaha Motor Italia riders Andrew Pitt and Noriyuki Haga prepared for Sunday's
two Superbike World Championship races at Assen, The Netherlands, with a strong
showing on the first day of practice.
After ending the morning's free practice in first and third place, the R1 riders
ended the afternoon's qualifying session with Pitt eighth fastest and Haga in
11th, despite both men working towards finding a good race setting rather than
seeking the fastest outright lap time.
Australian Pitt was in the top three of the time sheets for the majority of the
session, only to be shuffled back late on. Having opted to use his softer
qualifying tyre to set his fastest lap early in the one hour session, the
29-year-old used the remainder of the session to work on race settings.
Haga, a race winner at the last two rounds, once again decided to concentrate on
race settings and did not use a qualifying tyre in today's sessions. Despite
this, the Japanese ace headed the timesheets for the first 20 minutes and ended
the day 11th, 1.4 seconds from pole sitter James Toseland (Ducati). Haga was
happy with his day's work and is likely to test an evolution of the R1 engine
Yamaha Motor France riders Sebastien Gimbert and Norick Abe endured contrasting
days at Assen. Gimbert showed a return to his best form to end the day in 14th.
The Frenchman has suffered a dip in form since a mid-season injury but full
fitness and some developments to the front braking system on his R1 saw him
regain confidence and improve his pace. Abe, however, was left scratching his
head at a lack of rear end grip that saw him finish the day down in 21st position.
Final qualifying takes place tomorrow (Saturday) morning, with the grid
positions for Sunday's races decided in the afternoon's superpole session.
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"We thought that there was a chance of rain during the session so we used the
qualifier right at the beginning. It wasn't a bad lap but the qualifier didn't
seem to give that much improvement over the race tyres we used in the morning.
In the end the rain didn't come so we spent the rest of the hour working on race
set-up. In that respect it's good. We're able to run consistent times on the
race tyre and I'm feeling good about the race on Sunday. I just hope that
tomorrow we can get a better lap in on the qualifier."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"Today I worked only on the race settings and did not use the qualifying tyre.
Basically the bike is already good and we are trying things to make a better
set-up. Tomorrow we also have some new parts to try which should give more
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Motor Italia - Team Coordinator)
"Although our positions today are not so special I think that we are making good
preparations for the race. Both riders were very fast in the morning session but
in qualifying I think Andrew chose to use his soft tyre too early while Noriyuki
decided not to use a qualifier and concentrate on the race setting. He has
already decided on the race tyre and I am sure that we will make further
Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)
"I am very happy because we found a good solution with the braking of the bike.
We tried some things with the front brake and now the stability under braking is
much better. This is good for the confidence and I was able to put in some good
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
"Today I have a problem with no rear grip. Even on the qualifying tyre we have
wheelspin everywhere. Tonight we must work to find a solution and make the
Round: 9 - Netherlands
Circuit Length: 5997m
Lap Record: 2' 2.395 (Colin Edwards, 2002)
Fastest Lap Ever: 2' 0.874 (Pierfrancesco Chili, 2003)
Date: 2 September 2005
Session 1 :
Pos.Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying
1 J. Toseland Ducati GBR 2' 4.742
2 T. Corser Suzuki AUS 2' 4.835
3 K. Muggeridge Honda AUS 2' 5.136
4 C. Vermeulen Honda AUS 2' 5.445
5 L. Lanzi Ducati ITA 2' 5.594
6 S. Martin Petronas AUS 2' 5.793
7 M. Neukirchner Honda GER 2' 5.822
8 A. Pitt Yamaha AUS 2' 5.908
9 Y. Kagayama Suzuki JPN 2' 5.921
10 G. Vizziello Yamaha ITA 2' 5.968
11 N. Haga Yamaha JPN 2' 6.145
12 I. Clementi Ducati ITA 2' 6.235
13 C. Walker Kawasaki GBR 2' 6.474
14 S. Gimbert Yamaha FRA 2' 6.520
15 R. Laconi Ducati FRA 2' 6.691
16 M. Borciani Ducati ITA 2' 6.711
17 L. Alfonsi Yamaha ITA 2' 6.734
18 J. Cardoso Yamaha ESP 2' 7.031
21 N. Abe Yamaha JPN 2' 7.118
29 M. Nickmans Yamaha BEL 2'11.122
30 B. Withag Yamaha NED 2'11.143
Provisional front row for Parkes
Yamaha Motor Germany rider Broc Parkes enjoyed one of his best performances of
the season today, ending the opening qualifying session on the provisional front
row for Sunday's supersport race at Assen.
The 23-year-old Australian posted a best lap time of 2:09.662 around the long
and technical Dutch circuit, less than a second behind championship leader
Sebastien Charpentier (Honda), who set the day's best time, a 2:08.683.
Parkes' team-mate Kevin Curtain found himself in the unusual position of being
outqualified by his younger countryman and ended the day sixth on the
timesheets, taking his YZF-R6 around the circuit in 2:09.837 despite being held
up by slower riders on each of his 'flying' laps.
Grid positions for Sunday's race will be determined during tomorrow's second
45-minute timed practice.
"I'm feeling really good this weekend. I've been training real hard in the month
since Brands Hatch and have lost three or four kilos. The bike's working pretty
good and although I'm still a second off Charpentier we should be able to go a
bit quicker tomorrow."
"I had a lot of problems with traffic today and I don't think I managed to get a
clean lap in. We can also find some improvements with the handling of the bike.
We need to improve the way that the bike behaves going into the corners. We'll
work on something overnight but I think we already know the way to go and I'm
confident that I can get further up in second qualifying."