WSB : Haga on front row at Magny Cours
Round: 12 - France
Date: 8 October 2005
Yamaha Motor Italia rider Noriyuki Haga will start tomorrow's final rounds of
the 2005 Superbike World Championship from the front row after posting a
stunning lap during superpole today.
The Japanese ace had been the sixth rider to start his superpole lap after
ending the two one-hour qualifying sessions down in 11th place. In typical Nitro
Nori fashion, Haga showed his ultimate speed to take over a second off his best
time from Friday to hold pole for most of the session and end up third on the
grid. Haga aims to consolidate his third position in the championship and extend
his run of eight consecutive podium finishes in tomorrow's 23-lap races.
After holding third in the overnight standings, team-mate Andrew Pitt had an
up-and-down day today. The Australian improved his time slightly during the
morning qualifying session but had a crash early in the afternoon warm-up
session after losing front end grip. Pitt did not lose too much track time as
the session was delayed due to oil dropped by another rider, however it did mean
that he was forced to use his spare machine for the remainder of the session. A
scrappy superpole lap by his own smooth standards saw him drop down to eighth
place and the second row of the grid for tomorrow's season ending races.
Yamaha Motor France riders Sebastien Gimbert and Norick Abe missed out on
superpole after ending a troubled combined qualifying saw them 17th and 19th
respectively. David Checa and his Yamaha Motor France-supported GMT94 squad,
Gimbert's team in the 24 hour endurance races, are making their third appearance
in this year's championship this weekend. The Spaniard was 15th in regular
qualifying and will start from 13th on the grid despite failing to beat his
fastest lap of the weekend in superpole.
Pole position for tomorrow's races goes to Chris Vermeulen (Honda), with Lorenzo
Lanzi (Ducati) second and Karl Muggeridge (Honda) completing the front row.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"I think we will be in good shape for the race. The feeling with the bike is
already very good and I've already decided what tyre to use for the race. It's
always good be on the front row and I am confident that my pace can match anyone
in the race."
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
"The crash this afternoon caught us out a bit. I went out with an old front tyre
and a new rear and I just lost the front end. I was able to go out and go
quicker, but we lost some time in the pits which upset the rhythm. I made a few
mistakes on the superpole lap and I'm disappointed to miss out on the front row
because that's where we've been all weekend. But second row's what we've got and
the race set-up is good, so we'll hope for a good start and see what happens."
Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)
"All weekend we have had problems with the front end. Today we tried everything:
making it higher, making it lower, but so far we have not found a solution.
Tonight we must try some more things to look for a solution for the race."
Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
"Today we had many small problems that stopped me going for a fast lap. Four
times I had to come into the pits and this cost me a lot of time. I think that
we can be strong in the race though, we have to wait and see."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia)
"I think we are looking good for the races. Andrew is strong around this circuit
although I was a little bit worried about Nori until superpole, when he showed
his real strength for tomorrow."
Round: 12 - France
Circuit Length: 4411m
Lap Record: 1' 41.219 (Neil Hodgson, 2003)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 39.836 (Chris Vermeulen, 2005)
Date: 8 October 2005
Session 2 :
Pos.Rider Manufacturer Nat. 1st Qualifying 2nd Qualifying Superpole
1 C. Vermeulen Honda AUS 1'41.473 1'40.741 1'39.836
2 L. Lanzi Ducati ITA 1'41.184 1'40.450 1'40.349
3 N. Haga Yamaha JPN 1'41.681 1'41.262 1'40.510
4 K. Muggeridge Honda AUS 1'40.854 1'41.633 1'40.536
5 J. Toseland Ducati GBR 1'42.033 1'41.350 1'40.981
6 M. Neukirchner Honda GER 1'41.695 1'40.687 1'41.043
7 Y. Kagayama Suzuki JPN 1'40.512 1'41.040 1'41.112
8 A. Pitt Yamaha AUS 1'41.169 1'40.935 1'41.241
9 C. Walker Kawasaki GBR 1'41.520 1'40.817 1'41.264
10 R. Laconi Ducati FRA 1'42.249 1'41.608 1'41.398
11 B. Bostrom Honda USA 1'41.615 1'41.311 1'41.573
12 G. Bussei Kawasaki ITA 1'41.597 1'41.372 1'41.657
13 D. Checa Yamaha ESP 1'41.437 1'41.550 1'41.744
14 S. Martin Petronas AUS 1'41.251 1'42.537 1'41.747
15 P. Chili Honda ITA 1'42.124 1'41.113 1'41.887
16 T. Corser Suzuki AUS 1'41.224 1'40.497 1'42.659
17 S. Gimbert Yamaha FRA 1'41.760 1'41.695
18 G. Vizziello Yamaha ITA 1'43.212 1'41.726
19 N. Abe Yamaha JPN 1'41.812 1'41.743
23 J. Da Costa Yamaha FRA 1'42.615 1'42.560
27 M. Nickmans Yamaha BEL 1'44.437 1'44.145
Double front row for Yamaha Germany duo
Yamaha Motor Germany riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes will start tomorrow's
final round of the Supersport World Championship from the front row after
setting the second and fourth fastest times at Magny Cours today.
In a close session that saw Curtain end the day just over a tenth of a second
behind pole man Michel Fabrizio (Honda) the Yamaha riders confirmed that they
are in good shape for tomorrow's 23-lap finale.
Despite being guaranteed second in the championship regardless of the outcome of
tomorrow's race, Curtain pushed hard throughout the session and posted a
1:43.983 lap time to move to the top of the leader board in the closing minutes
of the session, only to be eclipsed by the following Fabrizio's 1:43.835 seconds
Parkes ended the day fourth fastest and happy with his set-up for tomorrow's
race. The 23-year-old was leading last weekend's race in Imola, only to slip
back when the rain arrived, and is keen to end his first season with Yamaha on
the podium. Tomorrow marks the final appearance for the current model YZF-R6 in
world supersport. Next year Curtain and Parkes will ride the all-new R6 unveiled
10 days ago in Paris.
"We tried a different tactic today but it didn't quite work! Normally I go out
and set a fast lap early on but that seems to just set a target for the other
guys to aim at. Today I decided to stay in the pits and see what they could do
and 10 minutes from the end I came out. Unfortunately Fabrizio was behind me and
although I was in two minds whether to let him go or not I decided just to go
for it or else I would be stuck in traffic on the next lap. I did get the pole
position but it seems that I towed Fabrizio around as well! Still, the front row
is fine and I expect a good race tomorrow. The times are very close and I expect
that it will be a good battle between me, Broc, Fabrizio and possibly Foret for
the win tomorrow."
"I'm not much of a qualifier so I'm always happy to be on the front row. I
probably could've gone quicker today but I made a bit of a mistake by going out
too early on the best tyre option. I was slower today than my pole time from
last year, but then no-one went any quicker than that, so I am not worried.
We've got a good race set-up and a front row start, so we're in good shape for