YAMAHA MOTOR ITALIA: SEASON BEST RESULT

Round: 5 – United Kingdom
Circuit: Silverstone
Date: 28 May 2006
Crowd: 71000
Temp: 15ºC
Weather: Dry

Yamaha Motor Italia enjoyed its best day of the season at Silverstone today, with Noriyuki Haga racing to two second places and Andrew Pitt fighting through from 11th on the grid to take fourth and fifth place finishes.

Haga raced into the lead in both outings, only to be caught by championship leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati). The pair had a fantastic battle each time, with the Ducati rider just managing to pull a slight gap on the charging Haga in both races. Having had only limited dry weather practice, the ever-popular Japanese star made a few minor suspension changes to his YZF-R1 for the second race, allowing him to run closer to Bayliss than in the first but unable to quite make a decisive move on the dominant Australian.

For Pitt the Silverstone races were made difficult after qualifying on the third row in Saturday’s wet conditions, although the Australian was able to show his true pace in the dry races. In both races Pitt made a good start and lapped faster than the leaders as he scythed through the field to challenge James Toseland (Honda) for the third step on the podium. However, the Yamaha rider used up too much of his front tyre and was unable to close the gap on the Brit, using his head to bring his YZF-R1 home for 24 points over the two races.

Race one had been delayed following two huge crashes on the first lap. Thankfully no riders were injured but the incidents brought the red flags out and a delay while marshals cleared up the carnage. Both races followed a similar pattern with local favourite Toseland winning the battle for third.

In the championship Bayliss extends his lead to 76 points over second placed Troy Corser (Suzuki). Haga moves up two places to third in the championship, just 16 points behind Corser, with Pitt maintaining his sixth place in the points standings.

Yamaha Motor France’s Norick Abe retained his ninth place in the championship, finishing 10th and 11th in the races. It was a difficult weekend for the Japanese star, who was troubled by the wrist injury he sustained in Monza. Team-mate Shinichi Nakatomi did not race after crashing on a wet patch in the morning warm-up. The Japanese rider has broken the radius bone in his right arm but hopes to be fit to race in Misano in four weeks time. Sebastien Gimbert retired from both races with electrical problems on another Yamaha Motor France bike. Twenty-one-year-old wild-card Tommy Hill, who grabbed the headlines by setting pole position in Saturday’s wet superpole rode sensibly to take a pair of 12th place finishes on his Virgin Mobile Yamaha.

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia)
“I enjoyed the battles with Troy today and all weekend I had a good feeling with the bike in both the wet and dry. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to test much in the dry. I had to make some suspension changes between the races and it improved the bike but still I did not have enough traction in the last laps. But I am happy with the results and to move up the championship. We have some more testing planned before the race in Misano. We have already had a good test at Misano so I am looking forward to a good race there as well.”

Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia)
“I’m fairly happy with that. I felt I was in with a good shot at the podium but I just couldn’t keep the lap times going at the end. I was using the softest front tyre, which I think the other guys had too, but my style pushes the front quite hard and I had to ride very aggressively in the opening laps. At the end the front was moving around a fair bit and it was getting hard to hang on to Toseland. What I’ve got to do now is make sure that I get the Saturdays right so that I don’t give myself as much to do on the race day because I have proved that the bike is working well and I am capable of getting up on the podium.”

Norick Abe (Yamaha Motor France)
“I did my very best and our settings were not so bad, considering we had so little set-up time in dry conditions. We changed the settings between the two races and the lap times were better, even if the position went down. I would not normally be happy with 10th or 11th places, but today we did our best. A very hard track, and a very physical race considering my wrist is still not 100 percent.”

Tommy Hill (Virgin Mobile Yamaha)
“I was very nervous on the grid, until remembered that I was on pole because I won superpole, which calmed me down a bit. We finished pretty much were we expected to finish, but I couldn’t believe the speed of the world superbike guys from the very first lap. Normally in a British championship race people build up to speed but here everyone races at 110 percent from the very first lap.”

Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha Motor France)
“Three big crashes were not what I needed this weekend. My bike misfired with an electrical problem in both races. The problem seems to be some wires damaged in the practice crashes but it is disappointing because it is now three races and no results.”

Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Motor France)
“I crashed on a slippery part of the track and my arm is broken. I will miss the tests we have planned but I am hoping to be back for the races in Misano.”

Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator – Yamaha Motor Italia)
“Both our riders did an excellent job today and we have reached our goals for the weekend. Our target was to take points from Corser and leave with Nori third in the championship, which we have achieved. Andrew also rode very well from the third row, especially in the second race when he was so close to a podium finish. Again we made some small steps forward with the bike. They are small steps but it is encouraging that they are working and we are going in the right direction. We now have a test at Brno with all the other Pirelli development teams before Misano, where I am confident of a good performance.”

Martial Garcia (Team Manager – Yamaha Motor France) “A very difficult weekend for us and a bad day for Nakatomi, who broke his right radius bone. A simple break but a break all the same. Gimbert had three crashes and we saw the result of that today. The wiring loom had been damaged, but we did not realise at the time and in each race he had a misfire, which caused him to retire. Only Abe saved our honour, with two hard rides after a lack of practice time – although he is not so happy because he expected more.”

Race classification WSB

Round: 5 – United Kingdom
Circuit: Silverstone
Circuit Length: 3619
Lap Record: 1′ 26.299 (Troy Bayliss, 2006) Fastest Lap Ever:  1′ 26.299 (Troy Bayliss, 2006)

Race: 28 Laps
Pos.  Rider Manufacturer  Nat. Total Time
1   T. Bayliss Ducati  AUS  40′ 49.894
2   N. Haga Yamaha  JPN  +0.890
3   J. Toseland Honda  GBR  +1.705
4   R. Xaus Ducati  ESP  +8.285
5   A. Pitt Yamaha  AUS  +12.303
6   C. Walker Kawasaki  GBR  +23.716
7   R. Laconi Kawasaki  FRA  +25.483
8   K. Muggeridge Honda  AUS  +26.049
9   A. Barros Honda  BRA  +29.650
10   N. Abe Yamaha  JPN  +32.208
11   F. Nieto Kawasaki  ESP  +39.607
12   T. Hill Yamaha  GBR  +41.550
13   L. Lanzi Ducati  ITA  +41.935
14   Y. Kagayama Suzuki  JPN  +50.385
15   G. Nannelli Honda  ITA  +52.726

Race 2: 28 Laps
Pos.  Rider Manufacturer  Nat. Total Time
1   T. Bayliss Ducati  AUS  40′ 42.003
2   N. Haga Yamaha  JPN  +1.585
3   J. Toseland Honda  GBR  +12.058
4   A. Pitt Yamaha  AUS  +14.561
5   A. Barros Honda  BRA  +16.826
6   T. Corser Suzuki  AUS  +21.230
7   R. Xaus Ducati  ESP  +22.056
8   C. Walker Kawasaki  GBR  +22.549
9   K. Muggeridge Honda  AUS  +22.708
10   F. Nieto Kawasaki  ESP  +34.025
11   N. Abe Yamaha  JPN  +34.739
12   T. Hill Yamaha  GBR  +35.112
13   Y. Kagayama Suzuki  JPN  +35.518
14   R. Laconi Kawasaki  FRA  +36.322
15   M. Fabrizio Honda  ITA  +47.850

Fastest Race Lap:
Pos.  Rider Manufacturer  Nat. Total Time
1   T. Bayliss Ducati  AUS  1′ 26.299

Championship standings WSB

Pos.  Rider  Manufacturer  Nat. Points
1   Troy Bayliss Ducati  AUS 225
2   Troy Corser Suzuki  AUS 149
3   Noriyuki Haga Yamaha  JPN 133
4   James Toseland Honda  GBR 129
5   Alex Barros Honda  BRA 113
6   Andrew Pitt Yamaha  AUS 103
7   Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati  ITA 62
8   Ruben Xaus Ducati  ESP 56
9   Norick Abe Yamaha  JPN 51
10   Chris Walker Kawasaki  GBR 51
11   Fonsi Nieto Kawasaki  ESP 48
12   Roberto Rolfo Ducati  ITA 46
13   Karl Muggeridge Honda  AUS 45
14   Regis Laconi Kawasaki  FRA 42
15   Michel Fabrizio Honda  ITA 37
17   Shinichi Nakatomi Yamaha  JPN 18
23   Sebastien Gimbert Yamaha  FRA 7

Manufacturers standings WSB

Pos. Manufacturer Points
1  Ducati 226
2  Suzuki 161
3  Honda 156
4  Yamaha 153
5  Kawasaki 75
6  Petronas 4

 

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