“It is time for us to be in front again”
Only a week after the 2008 World Superbike season kicked off at Losail with a podium for Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) the second round approaches at Corser's home circuit, Phillip Island (PI), this coming weekend.
the Saturday race in the Middle East, normal Sunday service will be resumed from this weekend, with raceday at PI coming on March 2.
Both Corser and his team-mate Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) have taken part in a successful pre-season test at the 4.445km circuit, setting faster lap times on their YZF-R1s than they had ever done before in Australia.
Corser is not only a double World Champion and the most experienced rider ever in World Superbike, he is something of a virtuoso performer at Phillip Island, having won six races in front of his adoring home fans; the most recent was in race one, 2006. Based in Europe for most of the racing season, Corser relishes putting on a show in his native country and will be all out to add to his Qatar podium - ideally with his first WSB race win in Yamaha colours.
Haga is nursing a battered and bruised body in the run up to the Australian round, after one heavy fall in qualifying at Losail and another in race one, but he is determined to ride at his normal level this weekend to get his championship challenge back on track.
He has won with Yamaha at the Phillip Island circuit before, way back in 1998 on a YZF750SP; one of his 26 total career wins so far.
Expectations for the team are high after a solid winter test at Phillip Island, during which many aspects of the YZF-R1's roadbike technologies - like the YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake) and the more track oriented overall chassis design - were extensively evaluated by the riders.
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“Starting the season with a podium at Qatar was good and I've already put the race two result from last weekend behind me. We will just be taking things one race and one round at a time from now on. It's good to be going to my home circuit, it's one of the best tracks in the world and I always look forward to riding there."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)
“After two big crashes at Qatar I am quite sore but I'm pretty confident I will be OK for Phillip Island. We have to work well to get a good race set-up but as we have tested there recently we should start from a good position.
I need to get my mind focused for this race, but first I just need a small rest to let my injured right wrist heal a little bit."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team)
"It is time for us to be in front again so we are happy to move on to Phillip Island this weekend as the last test results were very promising. We tried many new things there, so we should start qualifying from a good point. We really want to be in a position to allow Troy and Noriyuki to be competitive on raceday as well as qualifying this weekend. I think we will only see how Noriyuki's injured wrist is when he gets on the bike again."