Yamaha qualify in 1st and 4th at home round
Noriyuki Haga put in an exceptionally fast lap in today’s Superpole at Monza to take his first pole of the season. This success at the team’s home circuit was made even better by Troy Corser completing the front row of tomorrow’s grid in fourth. The team now goes into tomorrow’s race ready to fight for the World Superbike Championship.
The day started well with both riders making good progress in this morning’s qualifying session. Haga put in several long runs during the qualifying session to check his set-up and took third qualifying position going into Superpole. Corser and his team worked on improving the braking and front end set-up of his bike with the results quickly showing as he moved up from 12th to finish in sixth, with only 0.3 seconds gap up to second.
Corser was the first rider in the team to do his Superpole lap and comfortably beat the Superpole lap record he had set last year. He just missed the top of the leader board by under 0.09 seconds. Haga was one of the final riders to complete his lap and took the pole position as well as setting a new Superpole lap record of 1’44.941 - taking off almost 2 seconds from the standing record.
Today’s track action puts both Yamaha Motor Italia riders on the front row which will be important as they go into the first tight chicane. Both riders will need to be in front when they reach this corner if they are to contend for the lead. The front row grid is completed by Bayliss in second and Biaggi in third.
Shinichi Nakatomi’s weekend took a turn for the worse today as he crashed out of qualifying and ended his race hopes for Monza. He had been progressing well in this morning’s qualifying practice and had secured 20th qualifying place when he lost the front of the bike and crashed into the gravel trap at the Ascari corner. He re-mounted and re-joined the circuit but a collision with another rider sent him back into the gravel where the bike fell on his foot, braking two toes and cutting short his weekend. It is hoped he will return at Silverstone.
Noriyuki Haga (1st – Yamaha Motor Italia)
“I am very happy with pole but tomorrow is the most important day - that is when it all counts. The weekend so far has gone very well for myself and the team and I am confident for tomorrow. We have already fixed a race setting and tyre and have only a few minor suspension changes to do before the race.”
Troy Corser (4th – Yamaha Motor Italia)
“Today has gone well. We got a good set-up in practice this morning and put in some good lap times. Then Superpole went well, I was just a bit cautious going into the first chicane as I have overshot there twice already this weekend. It feels good to be on the front row at the team’s home round. The bike feels really good and I am looking forward to tomorrow a lot.”
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator Yamaha Motor Italia)
“This round is at the team’s home of Monza. To have both riders on the front row with good set-ups and tyre choices done is excellent. Haga’s Superpole lap was fantastic and I am very happy that we have solved Corser’s problems from yesterday. The weekend has come together very well so far and we are now ready to fight for the championship tomorrow.”