Press Release
(2005 FIM Superbike World Championship)
YRC News
WSB : Pitt leads Yamahas in Imola

Round: 11 - Imola
Circuit: Imola
Date: 30 September 2005
Temp: 23ēC
Weather: Sunny

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
qualifying tyre.

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: 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
Temp: 23ēC

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.

Kevin Curtain

"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."

Broc Parkes

"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."