Yamaha in provisional second and fifth after a good day at Assen
Yamaha have had a good day in the first qualifying session today at the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship in Assen. In sunny, warm and dry weather Haga took provisional second qualifying place and Corser finished in fifth with both riders promising more progress tomorrow.
Noriyuki Haga started the afternoon qualifying session in fourth place but went on to top the board in front of Xaus and Toseland with only five minutes to go. Unfortunately, in the dying minutes of the session Toseland came back to take the top slot, pushing Haga down to second.
Troy Corser started the afternoon qualifying session in second where he remained for most of the session until Toseland knocked him down into third. Muggeridge and Bayliss also posted faster times putting him in a comfortable fifth slot for tomorrow’s second qualifying.
Team Yamaha YZF rider Shinichi Nakatomi also had a good day, much preferring Assen’s dry conditions to the wet weather experienced at Valencia two weeks ago. Concentrating on getting a good set-up, the young Japanese rider put in 20 laps, doing the second fastest speed of over 285kph and finishing the day in 14th.
Toseland currently tops the provisional qualifying grid at his team’s home track with Haga only 0.147 seconds behind in second and Xaus in third.
Haga currently holds the Superpole record for Yamaha at Assen with a 1’39.009 which he claimed last year. He will be looking to equal this in tomorrow’s qualifying and Superpole sessions, especially as this weekend will be his 137th race start with Yamaha. This will equal Fabrizio Pirovano’s record with Yamaha.
Noriyuki Haga (2nd – 1’39.750 – Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“I used a soft tyre for this afternoon’s session but I know I won’t be able to use it for the race because it will be too warm for it to last the race distance. I have already made a tyre choice for tomorrow, though, and we will make some more minor modifications tomorrow to try and get pole position. Second place is okay today but I want to go for pole position tomorrow.”
Troy Corser (5th – 1’39.938 – Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“Today has been good for my first day on this bike at this track. We now have a good idea of the direction we need to go in tomorrow. This afternoon we made some changes and found some positive results as well as some negative ones. I also rode both bikes to get as much data as possible, but we didn’t have enough time to really try out all the changes we made.
Tomorrow will be about finding a good race setting and to continue testing the changes we have made to the gearbox and suspension. I’m feeling good about how it’s going, though. We’re really close.”
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“I am quite confident after today’s practice and qualifying sessions. We’ve had a problem free start to the weekend and tomorrow we will focus on deciding which tyres to use for the race. We already have an idea which we will confirm tomorrow.”
Shinichi Nakatomi – 14th – 1’41.032 – Team Yamaha YZF)
“I have had a good day today and so far this weekend everything feels much better than at Valencia. I am very positive for this weekend’s result and I am working hard on finding a good set-up. I am certain that tomorrow we will find it.”