Going into the fourth round at Valencia
The Ricardo Tormo Circuit will host its first international race of the season this coming weekend, with the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship coming to this popular track for its eighth consecutive year.
is a tight and twisty circuit built with spectators in mind. The venue was designed to be a 'circuit within a stadium' and this has been achieved with over 65,000 grandstand seats that allow spectators to view the track, and the action on it, from the one position. The popularity of this circuit is evident, with over 3 million spectators visiting since its opening in 1999.
Valencia's complicated track, excellent facilities and favourable winter weather conditions make this circuit ideal for all kinds of racing. It is in demand by national and international championships and is not restricted to just motorcycles. Everything from trucks to Formula One cars use this circuit which means that grip levels can be unpredictable, causing conditions to change by the hour and requiring constant adjustments to the set-up of the bike.
Pirelli held their official tyre test here in March, with Yamaha's World Superbike, Supersport and Superstock teams all taking part. The data gathered at this test could be of a big help to put all the Yamaha teams in a good position for their race set-up this weekend. < br>
The last round at Donington saw Haga take the team's first win of the season, showing the potential of the new R1. This was supported by Corser's second and third finishes. Haga goes into the fourth round in third place in the championship standings with 88 points with Corser just behind on 81 points.
Both riders want to win at this round, so the gloves will be off from the outset.
In 2006 Haga claimed two fifth places in Valencia but as he has won here previously in 2000 and 2004, he is keen to add another race win to his one from Donington. "Valencia is one of my favourite circuits and I have won there before", he says. "It is a technically challenging circuit though, and chassis and tyre set-up are very important there. With the testing we have done there recently with Pirelli I am hopeful. After winning at Donington I am feeling very positive and looking forward to winning again!"
Team mate, Corser is looking to take some race win glory himself this weekend, after just missing it at Donington. Last year he took second place in both races and is looking to better that result this year.
"Valencia has a good layout and the weather is normally makes for good riding conditions, although it can get a bit windy and, depending on which way it blows, it can sometimes be a problem. The track grip is different every time we go there because it depends on what's been racing there previously - trucks or Formula Ford - and what rubber they've left."
With regard to the bike, Corser says, "The bike feels good following the testing we have done there, although every team has done testing there so it's going to be a close race."