Noriyuki Haga gave Yamaha their first race win of the season today at Donington by winning race two, which was made all the sweeter by Troy Corser following it up with a third place at the same time. With Haga taking fourth and Corser romping home second in race one it is just what the team have been working towards all season.

In race one Corser made good progress from eighth place and charged through the field to take second place by only lap six. Haga’s start was marred by his tyre struggling to warm up in the first few laps. As the tyre warmed up, Nori worked his way through the field taking fourth. A comfortable gap between the top four riders saw little change with Toseland (Honda) taking the win, Corser second and Biaggi (Suzuki) third. Bayliss failed to finish after a nasty high-side at Coppice corner in which he took injuries that made him fail to take part in race two.

Race two was virtually a dream race for the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team. Haga took the leading place on the first lap after a great start but was swiftly overtaken by Toseland to put him in second. Corser moved from eighth place to third within the same lap due to better drive off the start line. The team mates rode shotgun in second and third until a technical problem forced leading man Toseland to stop suddenly, resulting in a near miss as both Haga and Corser shot past the Honda rider – one either side.

With Biaggi making up third place in the group, the front pack started to break away from the rest of field. All three riders diced with each other in a very close race with all the positions changing frequently.

Biaggi put in several passes on lead-man Haga but only made it stick at the Old Hairpin. Haga stayed on Biaggi’s tail, though and took it right to the wire, passing him on the last corner of the last lap. Corser remained in a comfortable third position throughout the lead battle.

Shinichi Nakatomi had a difficult weekend at Donington, managing a best result of 14th in race two. The young Japanese rider spent the initial part of the weekend learning the Donington circuit, which was totally new to him and got a good start from 23rd place up to 15th in the opening stages of race two. He remained there for the duration of the race, battling it out with Bussei and Martin, taking 14th towards the end of the race.

Today’s results mean the teams go into the fourth round at Valencia in two weeks with Toseland in 1st place (115 points) and Biaggi second (110 points). Haga lies in third place after this weekend’s excellent results with 88 points and Corser is just behind on 81 points.


Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“I could not get the tyre to work in race one for the first few laps so could not push. If the tyre had worked in race one like it had in race two then I would have had a podium finish for certain.”

I am very happy with my win and the race overall, my father is also very happy. With my number being 41, and after getting fourth place in the first race, I had to get 1st place! And with it being my father’s birthday today on 1st April I had to get the win for him too.”

Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“I’m reasonably happy with today’s results but I would have liked to do the double here at Donington as I like the track and have achieved it before. I felt comfortable throughout all the practice sessions this weekend and feel I should have got higher.

In race one I didn’t get off the line well so found it hard to make up places. Race two was a better start, but the tyre didn’t work as well as in the first race. I had initial spin and had to slide the bike into corners whereas I could see Biaggi and Nori had more grip.

To come out with two podium finishes is good, though, and I am pleased that Nori won the second race for the team and Yamaha. Nori and I have worked closely together, sharing set-up information. But now I know that he can beat me on these settings I am going to have to be more secretive! It was important to get the bike and team working well but I want to win the Championship also so must now focus on that.”

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator – Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“We have really done a lot of work this weekend so it is the best re-payment to have both riders on the podium at the same time. We made up some distance in the championship today, with Toseland and Bayliss both out in the second race. But I would like to say I am sorry for Bayliss and we wish him well and hope he is back for Valencia.


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