WSB : Pitt leads Yamahas in Imola
Round: 11 - Imola
Date: 30 September 2005
Andrew Pitt led the Yamaha runners in first qualifying for Sunday's Superbike
World Championship round at Imola, ending the day with the seventh fastest time.
The Australian ran strongly throughout the one hour session, only missing out on
higher position after running onto the grass during his flying lap on a
It proved a difficult day for all the riders at Imola, with overnight rain
making the circuit treacherous and ensuring the teams were unable to take full
advantage of vital set-up time.
No-one suffered more from the wet conditions than Pitt's team-mate Noriyuki
Haga, who was unable to fully evaluate the new specification swinging arm on his
YZF-R1 during the morning session. The Japanese star ended the day in 17th
place, just outside the cut-off for the grid deciding superpole session, but not
too dejected, having opted not to use his soft qualifying tyre and electing to
work on finding a good set-up for Sunday's races. Haga and his team will make
changes to the machine overnight in order to find a setting that can allow him
to qualify for the superpole session from tomorrow morning's final one hour
Yamaha Motor France rider Norick Abe ended the day 16th fastest but happy with
his opening day performance. The Japanese, who has raced here many times during
his 500cc Grand Prix career, was running consistently within the top ten on race
tyres but was unable to find an improvement on the soft qualifying tyre.
Team-mate Sebastien Gimbert was also unable to take advantage of the soft
rubber, being unable to start his flying lap before the end of the session.
Championship leader Troy Corser (Suzuki) was the fastest rider today, just ahead
of title rival Chris Vermeulen (Honda) with Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) and Steve
Martin (Petronas) completing the provisional front row.
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"I'm quite happy today. We're generally running in the top five on race tyres
although I made a mistake and ran onto the grass on the qualifier, which cost me
some time. We lost some time because of the wet weather this morning and we've
got some things to try tomorrow which should improve the bike even further."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
"On race tyres I am quite happy and able to run in the top 10 although it was
strange that I could not go faster on the qualifier. I like Imola and have been
on the podium here in Grands Prix, so I am hopeful we can have a good race this
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"We lost about 30 minutes with the wet weather this morning and we are finding
it difficult to get a good setting. We tried some new swingarms today but it
changes the feeling for the bike and we just couldn't get it right. It is not so
bad though. The times are very close and as I worked on the race setting I did
not use a qualifying tyre today. Tomorrow we will make many changes so I hope
that it is dry and we have a chance to properly test them and improve to the
Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)
"We made a mistake and put the qualifier on too late, so that lost me the
opportunity to make an improvement. This is my first visit to Imola and I like
the track and am generally happy with today and confident of some improvements
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yammaha Motor Italia)
"Andrew has found his race tyre already and the setting he has is good, but not
perfect so tomorrow we will try some things to make the bike more easy to ride.
With Nori I think we took a risk by trying some new parts in qualifying practice
which did not work. We tried the parts in Monza and the feeling was not so bad
but here we could not find such good settings. Tomorrow we will take a safer
option and return to the traditional swingarm. We will also change the gearbox
settings and I think that will allow him to return to the front again."
Round: 11 - Imola
Circuit Length: 4933m
Lap Record: 1' 48.389 (Troy Bayliss, 2002)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 48.389 (Troy Bayliss, 2002)
Date: 30 September 2005
Session 1 :
Pos.Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying
1 T. Corser Suzuki AUS 1'49.161
2 C. Vermeulen Honda AUS 1'49.280
3 L. Lanzi Ducati ITA 1'50.007
4 S. Martin Petronas AUS 1'50.028
5 P. Chili Honda ITA 1'50.029
6 Y. Kagayama Suzuki JPN 1'50.126
7 A. Pitt Yamaha AUS 1'50.142
8 J. Toseland Ducati GBR 1'50.487
9 K. Muggeridge Honda AUS 1'50.537
10 R. Laconi Ducati FRA 1'50.560
11 M. Neukirchner Honda GER 1'50.692
12 G. Bussei Kawasaki ITA 1'50.969
13 C. Walker Kawasaki GBR 1'51.067
14 M. Borciani Ducati ITA 1'51.097
15 G. Vizziello Yamaha ITA 1'51.285
16 N. Abe Yamaha JPN 1'51.286
17 N. Haga Yamaha JPN 1'51.387
18 S. Gimbert Yamaha FRA 1'51.529
26 A. Gramigni Yamaha ITA 1'53.262
28 M. Lucchiari Yamaha ITA 1'53.720
30 I. Silva Yamaha ESP 1'54.267
Curtain second in first qualifying
Yamaha Motor Germany star Kevin Curtain was in fine form in Imola today, posting
the second fastest time in the opening qualifying session for Sunday's
penultimate round of the Supersport World Championship.
The Imola Lap record holder, who was fastest in the wet morning practice
session, posted a time of 1:53.379 to hold the provisional pole position until
the dying moments of the 45 minute session - only to be eclipsed by 2005 world
champion Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) just before the chequered flag came out.
Despite this, the experienced Australian was happy with his day's work, having
finished ahead of all his rivals for second place in the championship.
Team-mate Broc Parkes ended the day fifth fastest, within a second of Curtain's
time around the classic Italian Formula One circuit. The young Australian, who
last week signed an extension to his contract with Yamaha Motor Germany,
completed 13 laps with a best of 1:54.136.
Joining Charpentier and Curtain on the provisional front row are local riders
Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati) and Michel Fabrizio (Honda). Final qualifying for
Sunday's race takes place tomorrow afternoon.
"The same old story really, with us setting the target and Charpentier coming
out to set a faster lap right at the end. Things are generally going well, I sat
out most of the morning session because the track was so wet and slippery so
that cost us some track time. I'm confident for the race. With the championship
already decided our race isn't with Charpentier, it's Foret and Fujiwara we need
to look out for."
"A decent start. The track was so slippery this morning but I went out to get as
much information as possible. Other than Charpentier the times are quite close
and hopefully it will be dry tomorrow so that we can push for the front row."