Troy Corser gave his Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team something to cheer with a hard fought podium finish in the second race at today’s opening round of the 2007 Superbike World Championship in Qatar.


With team-mate Noriyuki Haga digging deep to finish fourth, it was a promising start for the 2007-model YZF-R1, which was making its world championship debut at the Losail circuit. Having proved its pace by taking Corser to pole in qualifying, the new R1 wasn’t quite able to repeat its performance over the race distance – although things started promisingly as the red Yamahas hit the front on the opening laps of the first race. The R1s fought a four-way battle for the lead with Max Biaggi (Suzuki) and James Toseland (Honda) but it soon became obvious that the Corser and Haga were suffering more than their rivals in the warm conditions when they started to fall off the pace after six laps.


Haga struggled for front end grip as his tyre wore while Corser’s machine vibrated heavily due to his rear tyre spinning on the rim. In the circumstances both men rode well to bring their machines home in the top 10, Haga eighth and Corser ninth. In the second race the Yamaha men were able to battle with Biaggi and Toseland for around 11 laps before dropping off the pace. Corser and Haga were able to stay closer to the leading duo and maintained their third and fourth places to the flag, the Japanese rider only just fending off Fonsi Nieto (Kawasaki) as he crossed the line.

Team YZF Yamaha’s Shinichi Nakatomi scored points for 12th place in the opening race, although the Japanese rider finished just outside the points, in 17th, in the second.

Biaggi and Toseland each took a win and a second place to jointly lead the championship. The Italian won the day’s opener, his first ever superbike race, while British rider Toseland held the advantage in the second. Corser’s podium sees him leave Qatar fourth in the championship while Haga heads to next weekend’s second round, held at Australia’s Phillip Island circuit, sixth in the standings. Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)
“The first race was really tough because but the tyre was more consistent in the second and that meant that I could stay with James and Max for longer. I decided to stick with the same tyre choice and tried to put the problems we had in the first race out of my mind. I was ok when I was with them as the slipstream helped me make up a little bit down the straight, but when they made a break I didn’t have an answer to them. Overall though it’s been a positive start. It’s my first weekend with Yamaha, on a new bike, and we’ve finished on the podium. We’ve got a very good chassis and I feel really comfortable riding the bike, so if we can make the tyres last then there’s no reason why we can’t get a good result at Phillip Island next weekend.”

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)
“It has been a difficult day because after about six laps my front tyre is gone! For race two we made some changes and used the softer rear tyre, but already we used the hardest option on the front. I did the best possible today and I am looking forward to next weekend.”

Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha)
“It was good to score some points in the first race. We are learning about this new bike all the time so we will be stronger as the year goes on. The second race was more difficult as more riders finished but I am hoping to get more points next weekend.” Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator – Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)
“While we were all very happy with our performance in qualifying yesterday we also knew that it would be difficult in the races today. We have a new motorcycle this year and tyre wear was a problem at this race especially with Noriyuki, maybe because of his riding style. But we were not the only team to experience problems and thankfully we understand what has happened and how we can work to improve the bike. There are many positives to take from this weekend and if Troy hadn’t have had his problems in the first race I am sure he would have been on the podium twice.”



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