Round: 5 – United Kingdom
Circuit: Silverstone
Date: 27 May 2006
Temp: 11ºC
Weather: Wet

Yamaha-riding British wild-card Tommy Hill, who normally competes in his national championship, had a sensational world championship debut, taking pole position on his Virgin Mobile Yamaha YZF-R1 at Silverstone today.

For the first time this year superpole was run under wet weather regulations, giving each rider 50 minutes and 12 laps in which to set their qualifying time, rather than the usual one flying lap in dry conditions.

The 21-year-old former British R6 Cup champion did all his laps in one stint, riding spectacularly to head the times for much of the superpole session. Hill slid off on his final lap while try to improve his pole position time of 1:38.001. Despite the slip-up, no other rider could knock the Virgin Mobile Yamaha rider from the top of the time sheets and he will start his first ever world superbike races from the front of the grid tomorrow.

Yamaha Motor Italia rider Noriyuki Haga grabbed a front row start at Silverstone, powering his YZF-R1 to the fourth fastest time at the British circuit. The Japanese star has been consistently strong in both the wet and dry, although he was forced to use his spare machine for the superpole after his number one machine developed a a vibration in the preceding free practice session. Haga used all his experience to stay upright in the slippery conditions and get a valuable front row start at a circuit where he has excelled in the past.


With the rain stopping and the sun making its first appearance of the day the track prior to the session, the Yamaha Motor Italia duo stayed in the pits until 20 minutes into the session in the hope that the conditions would improve.

With heavy rain falling throughout the day, the riders have been unable to work on improving the settings for what are expected to be dry conditions for tomorrow’s races.

Haga’s team-mate Andrew Pitt was a disappointed 11th after superpole. The Australian rode strongly in the dry conditions, going into superpole as the sixth fastest rider, but the rider and his team could not find an ideal wet weather setting and Pitt struggled for grip in the wet superpole session.

Yamaha Motor France riders Sebastien Gimbert and Norick Abe completed the five YZF-R1 riders competing in superpole. Gimbert crashed on his first lap in superpole, his third tumble of the weekend, but came back to 12th on his spare machine. Abe, no fan of the wet conditions, finished 15th after superpole – improving his position from regular qualifying by one position.

Shinichi Nakatomi will start the race from 20th position after failing to make the top 16 in yesterday’s opening qualifying session. The Japanese newcomer is making his first visit to the historic British circuit and is looking to score some more championship points despite having completed only one session in dry conditions.

Tommy Hill (Virgin Mobile Yamaha)
“I can’t believe that I’ll be starting my first world superbike races ahead of the guys that I am used to watching on television! I’m not sure what to expect from the races and I think that it’ll only really sink in when I’m sitting on the grid tomorrow. It was probably just as well that I crashed as we are so far down the pit lane that I couldn’t read my lap board properly. I was feeling really comfortable and I would probably have stayed out even longer if I hadn’t come off and been penalized for doing too many laps! It’s great to be here and riding on the same tyres as everyone else. I like the wet but it’ll be nice for the fans if it’s dry tomorrow as we have had so many wet races in the British championship this year. In the dry I’d love to get a top eight but for now I’m just enjoying what we’ve achieved today.”

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
“This circuit has no grip and is very scary in the rain. We waited a while to see if the track would dry but it was still very slippery out there. I almost crashed many times so I am really happy to be on the front row. We have a good setting for wet or dry, so I think I can make a good race tomorrow. I hope for sunshine but this is England and no-one ever knows what the weather will do here!”

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)

“We are struggling for rear grip in the wet and it didn’t matter what we did we couldn’t improve the situation. We’ve got a good set-up for the dry so I’m hoping that there’s no rain tomorrow. It will be tough from the third row of the grid though.”

Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)
“Not so bad but I was not feeling 100 percent after the crash in superpole. I have had quite a few crashes this weekend and need to rest up and get ready for the race.”

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
“I am still trying to find a good feeling with the superbike and the Pirelli tyres in rain conditions, so I was not pleased that qualifying was wet today. The forecast for tomorrow is dry so I am hoping that we can have some good races.”

Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Motor France)
“I’d have liked at least one more hour in dry conditions today as it has been difficult trying to learn the circuit in these conditions. I have never ridden at Silverstone before and it was difficult to find out about the circuit while I am still learning the characteristics of this bike and the wet-weather Pirelli tyres.”

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator – Yamaha Motor Italia)
“Nori is running strongly in both conditions and is ready to fight at the front tomorrow. His bike developed an unusual vibration before the superpole so we decided not to risk anything and switch to the spare bike. The set-ups are almost identical so this was not such a problem. Andrew had some problems with the back of the bike coming around when he backed off the throttle and this has dropped him back a little. Tonight we will follow the weather forecast. It looks like being dry but we will prepare a wet weather bike and a dry weather bike for each rider. In case of a dry race we already know which front tyre to use and will have the 20 minute warm-up to make our final decision on the rear.”

Round: 5 – United Kingdom
Circuit: Silverstone
Circuit Length: 3619
Lap Record: 1′ 27.130 (Regis Laconi, 2005) Fastest Lap Ever: 1′ 26.679 (Yukio Kagayama, 2005)
Date: 27 May 2006
Temp: 11ºC

Session 2 :
Pos.  Rider  Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying  2nd Qualifying   Superpole
1  T. Hill  Yamaha  GBR   1′ 27.807     N/A     1′ 38.001
2  T. Bayliss  Ducati  AUS   1′ 27.011     N/A     1′ 38.254
3  C. Walker  Kawasaki  GBR   1′ 27.656     1′ 58.930     1′ 38.265
4  N. Haga  Yamaha  JPN   1′ 27.364     1′ 46.090     1′ 38.546
5  M. Fabrizio  Honda  ITA   1′ 28.078     1′ 52.640     1′ 38.899
6  A. Barros  Honda  BRA   1′ 27.940     1′ 45.802     1′ 39.082
7  R. Xaus  Ducati  ESP   1′ 27.810     N/A     1′ 39.388
8  K. Muggeridge  Honda  AUS   1′ 27.648     N/A     1′ 40.023
9  R. Laconi  Kawasaki  FRA   1′ 27.721     1′ 51.550     1′ 40.042
10  T. Corser  Suzuki  AUS   1′ 27.068     1′ 45.726     1′ 40.181
11  A. Pitt  Yamaha  AUS   1′ 27.539     1′ 51.876     1′ 40.552
12  S. Gimbert  Yamaha  FRA   1′ 27.730     N/A     1′ 40.574
13  F. Nieto  Kawasaki  ESP   1′ 27.205     1′ 46.955     1′ 40.729
14  J. Toseland  Honda  GBR   1′ 27.418     N/A     1′ 41.004
15  N. Abe  Yamaha  JPN   1′ 28.246     1′ 51.269     1′ 42.069
16  Y. Kagayama  Suzuki  JPN   1′ 27.599     1′ 48.928     1′ 42.262
20  S. Nakatomi  Yamaha  JPN   1′ 28.503     1′ 53.912

WSS : Rain means no improvements for supersport riders
Round: 5 – United Kingdom WSS
Circuit: Silverstone
Date: 27 May 2006
Temp: 14ºC
Weather: Wet

Heavy rain throughout the day meant that the grid positions for tomorrow’s world supersport round at Silverstone were decided by the times from Friday’s damp session.

No riders improved their times in the soaking conditions, although Yamaha Motor Germany riders Broc Parkes and Kevin Curtain both took to the circuit for a handful of laps to test some components and their wet weather settings. Sebastien Charpentier (Honda) will start from pole position, with Curtain and Parkes alongside him in second and third place respectively. Yamaha Team Italia rider Massimo Roccoli heads the second row, in fifth, with Xavi Fores seventh on his privately-entered YZF-R6.

Dry conditions are predicted for tomorrow’s race, with the supersport competitors having had no practice in completely dry conditions.

Round: 5 – United Kingdom WSS
Circuit: Silverstone
Circuit Length: 3619
Lap Record: 1′ 29.027 (Sebastien Charpentier, 2005) Fastest Lap Ever: 1′ 28.750 (Sebastien Charpentier, 2005)
Date: 27 May 2006
Temp: 14ºC

Session 1 :
Pos.  Rider  Manufacturer  Nat.  1st Qualifying  2nd Qualifying
1  S. Charpentier  Honda  FRA   1′ 30.516     N/A
2  K. Curtain  Yamaha  AUS   1′ 30.711     1′ 55.269
3  B. Parkes  Yamaha  AUS   1′ 31.001     1′ 46.493
4  P. Riba  Kawasaki  ESP   1′ 31.492     N/A
5  M. Roccoli  Yamaha  ITA   1′ 31.657     1′ 46.085
6  M. Lagrive  Honda  FRA   1′ 31.692     1′ 56.255
7  X. Fores  Yamaha  ESP   1′ 31.963     1′ 58.969
8  J. Stigefelt  Honda  SWE   1′ 32.136     1′ 48.307
9  K. Fujiwara  Honda  JPN   1′ 32.320     1′ 51.224
10  Y. Tibero  Honda  FRA   1′ 32.450     N/A
11  M. Sanchini  Yamaha  ITA   1′ 32.533     1′ 49.784
12  K. Andersen  Suzuki  NOR   1′ 32.595     1′ 46.573
13  D. Checa  Yamaha  ESP   1′ 32.649     1′ 45.873
14  B. Veneman  Suzuki  NED   1′ 32.732     1′ 47.055
15  G. Vizziello  Yamaha  ITA   1′ 32.755     1′ 47.946
16  M. Berger  Kawasaki  FRA   1′ 32.920     1′ 48.332
17  J. Enjolras  Yamaha  FRA   1′ 32.995     1′ 46.427
27  A. Corradi  Yamaha  ITA   1′ 34.645     N/A
29  V. Ivanov  Yamaha  RUS   1′ 35.041     1′ 58.005
30  B. Martinez  Yamaha  ESP   1′ 35.154     1′ 53.001


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