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Alex Asigno

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  1. The 2008 World Supersport Championship season will witness a rejuvenated official Yamaha presence through all 14 rounds of the series, with long time Yamaha servant Broc Parkes now joined by 2002 World Champion Fabien Foret (both Yamaha World Supersport Team). The experienced squad now enters the fray equipped with a freshly sharpened Yamaha YZF-R6 under its expert care. Both Parkes and Foret won World Supersport Championship races last year, and their most important priority is to see who can be first to give the comprehensively re-designed YZF-R6 its first World Championship race win of the 2008 season. After two intense winter test sessions, one in Qatar and one in Australia, the team faces one last two-day try-out this week in Qatar before the season starts for real. Parkes was fastest rider in each of the two previous tests, with Foret close behind, easing himself into the groove after rejoining Yamaha from another manufacturer. In line with the Supersport Championship’s largely production based regulations, the team has now elected to run with a production-derived blue livery in 2008; a classic colour scheme, instantly recognisable on many Yamaha competition machines of the recent past, and one which will become even more closely linked with Yamaha in the future. As well as a new model to work with the team have instigated many changes in technical partners this season, with the overall effort coming under the control of Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg. Wilco, himself a proven WSS race winner for Yamaha during an illustrious riding career, took over the reins of team management with only a couple of rounds remaining in 2007, and he now starts his first full season in charge of the Yamaha World Supersport Team. The 2007 campaign featured many high points for the official Yamaha entry, but injury to Parkes in the early season held back his push for ultimate championship glory. A continuous programme of improvement to the previous model of YZF-R6 allowed Parkes to score two race wins among his five podium finishes, with another pair of maximum points scores going to temporary stand-in Yamaha World Supersport Team rider Anthony West. Parkes earned second in the championship overall, with Foret third on points. The Germany-based team has been hard at work recently getting their latest machines ready to be shipped out for the final shakedown test, on 12 and 13 February, before the first points become available at round one in Qatar, on 23 February. Broc Parkes - Yamaha World Supersport Team “This is the happiest I’ve ever been starting a season and the best thing is the new organisation of the team. All the new equipment and the way we are using it has allowed us to be fastest in the Qatar test over three days, and then fastest at Phillip Island over three days. I have the best set-up I have ever had. I don’t want to be too confident right now but so far it's all been very good. I have been working hard over the winter back home in Australia, with a personal trainer; to make sure I am as fit as I can be. After a couple more days of preparation in Qatar, we will be ready for the first round.” Fabien Foret - Yamaha World Supersport Team “I think I once more have a bike which is capable of winning races and hopefully the championship. I am not putting any pressure on myself but I know I have everything to do a really good job. We have one more test before the first race to try to set-up the bike as well as possible for my style. We have two races in quick succession so it is important to be ready for not just Qatar but Phillip Island also. We have spent most of our testing time making the whole package work for race distance. I want to be consistently fast not just really fast for one lap, and I have been happy with how consistent our pace can be over a lot of laps on race tyres. I feel that I need the two days of track time at Losail to help me finalise my front-end set-up, but I am also just looking forward to going racing again afterwards. I think it is fair to say I am more of a racer than a single lap qualifier. I just try to get comfortable on the bike and I love the pressure of the race. I love to fight!” Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager Yamaha World Supersport Team “We have signed the two riders who finished second and third in the championship last year - and the clear aim this year is to win the world title back for Yamaha. The riders are both very strong and we are aiming for more consistency in our performances. The new bike has a lot to do with that. The 2008 YZF-R6 has many changes compared to the 2007 machine, even if it may look quite similar from the outside. One big difference is the chassis and the swingarm, giving us a significant step up in overall handling, particular in corner entry. The 2008 roadbike YZF-R6 arrived quite early from Japan so the guys have been able to do a lot of engine development already, and concentrate their efforts on the YCC-I system – the variable air intake. That has been another area where we have seen real progress in a short time, improving in particular performance in the mid-range. I think we are in a good position to start the year, and now we just need the two-day test in Qatar to finalise everything. “For the 2008 season we have full support directly from Öhlins and we’re very confident that this will bring us valuable benefits. The full race suspension package that they have provided to us for the two tests gave the riders a much better front end feel compared to the 2007 package. We also changed the brake supplier to Brembo, which Broc started using during the middle of the season last year. There are a lot of other detail improvements that add up to a much more race-ready machine from the start.” Click here to view the news
  2. As the first ever winner of both MX1 and MX2 Grand Prix there is a lot of hope for new Yamaha Motocross Team recruit David Philippaerts as the 24 year old opens the ‘blue’ chapter of his career this weekend at the Starcross International at Mantova in Italy. The first Italian representative for the crew since the inception of the MX1 category in 2004, Philippaerts is ideally placed to continue his impressive climb in world championship motocross since bursting onto the scene with a volley of MX2-GP podiums in 2005. The Tuscan has spent the winter working with the Rinaldi-helmed squad in preparation for the 2008 MX1-GP season, only his second in the premier class since entering the competition in 2007 and after adapting immediately to the demands of the 450cc four-stroke with six podiums, two moto victories and a single Grand Prix success at the Teutschenthal circuit in Germany. Mantova this weekend – also host of the Italian Grand Prix on May 17/18 - will witness Philippaerts’ christening with the potent YZ450FM. The multi-title winning machine will carry the Italian and team-mate Josh Coppins for the 2008 campaign. “I was really pleased when I first rode the Yamaha because I found it light and easy to handle but with an engine and power output that was very manageable,” he commented. “It meant that I did not have to change anything with regards to my riding style, and this level of comfort gives you confidence.” “The standard bike was already very good from the outset and since then we began to work with pieces and upgrades for the race machine,” he added. “The team are well organised and professional and they provide a perfect working environment.There is always somebody to take care of things and they have good ideas; I’m very satisfied.” The feeling of well-being currently in the set-up is echoed by Co-ordinator ‘Mino’ Raspanti. “Even though we are just at the start of the year we already feel strong as a team and David is an easy guy to work with; he is always kind and professional,” he remarked. “We did some engine and suspension testing but we have not made any big changes to the bike compared to last year, our work was mainly focussed on adapting the YZ450FM to suit his style and to get him comfortable,” he further added. While the expectation of regaining Yamaha’s MX1-GP crown falls mainly in the lap of team-mate Josh Coppins, Raspanti believes that Philippaerts is capable of a few surprises: “We believe that David is one of the fastest riders in MX1 but he still needs some more experience. He is only 24 and potentially has a good career ahead of him. His strengths as a rider are his skills on the bike, his strong character and his fighting spirit. We expect a forward step in 2008 and we will support him totally to help achieve that.” Mantova will be the first of several race appearances for Philippaerts before the world championship gets underway at the Valkenswaard circuit for the Grand Prix of Netherlands on April 6th. “I want to get a lot of race time and hours so that I am completely ready to go at the first round,” the seven-time Grand Prix winner said “so I will be racing the pre-season international events and using them very much as testing opportunities.” Click here to view the news
  3. San Manuel Yamaha rider Chad Reed saw his run of five consecutive victories come to an end in Houston for the seventh round of seventeen in the 2008 AMA Supercross series, a FIM World Championship, but the Australian continued his 100% podium record with second position and guards a 32 point lead in the competition. The 42nd Supercross in Houston did not witness a fourth straight sweep for Yamaha in both classes even though Jason Lawrence did also climb the rostrum in second spot in the Lites West Coast category to remain poised at the top of the standings with one round to go. In 1974 Pierre Karsmakers marked Yamaha's first success in Houston and the manufacturer has enjoyed thirteen more triumphs since then, Reed himself contributing two of those. In a so-far-dominant campaign the number '22' was not able to increase his season statistics at the Reliant Stadium. Kevin Windham, who helped design the short layout, gained his first 25 points of the year after taking the lead on the first lap and setting the pace at the front. Reed, who had started badly, pulled through the pack to pass brand-mate Josh Hill and secure second place at mid-race distance but could not close to Windham's rear wheel. Tim Ferry was third. "That's a tough one to swallow. I gave it everything I've got. Kevin rode a good race, and I want to congratulate him but this is a disappointment," said Reed, who took his third career runner-up position at Houston and has never dropped out of the top three at the event. "It was just one of those nights," added the 25 year old who has totalled 31 victories and became the first racer to win all the Californian rounds with his chequered flag last week in San Diego. "Once I got into second, I couldn't cut into Kevin's lead. We've had a good season, and it's still good to be up on the podium." 18 year old Hill was running as high as second before being overtaken by Reed and Ferry. With Broc Hepler and Grant Langston still absent with physical ailments (broken hand and an eye problem respectively) the teenager produced a positive showing for his second best result of the season so far. In the Lites category Yamaha of Troy's Jason Lawrence again made the podium for the fourth meeting in succession. His second position on the YZ250F behind Austin Stroupe and some costly mistakes by title rival Ryan Dungey means that the 20 year old stretched his advantage in the championship by five points, to six in total. The final round of the West coast series will take place on 26th April in Seattle as the East coast championship now cranks into life. "I think that might be my main advantage, being smart - something Dungey hasn't been all year. That's four races in a row that he's crashed out," said Lawrence. "He's handing me this title, and I've got one more race to hold it together. I'm going to go to that race and do exactly what I did right here. Dungey can win it by a mile, but I'm going to get the title." The schedule refuses to ease for the riders and teams and they continue onto Atlanta for round eight next weekend. Race 1 - 20 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 16'3.700 2, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 0'3.078 3, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 0'13.680 4, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 0'17.600 5, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 0'23.850 6, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 0'41.159 7, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, -1 Laps 8, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 9, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, -1 Laps 10, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, -1 Laps 11, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 12, Ryan Clark, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 13, Jeff Gibson, Kawasaki, USA, -1 Laps 14, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 15, Jason Thomas, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 16, Dusty Klatt, Kawasaki, USA, -1 Laps 17, Bryan K Johnson, Honda, USA, -2 Laps 18, Antonio Balbi, Honda, USA, -3 Laps 19, Josh Hansen, Yamaha, USA, -4 Laps 20, Travis Preston, Honda, USA, -16 Laps Rider Standings 16/02/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 169 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 137 3, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 119 4, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 101 5, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 98 6, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 85 7, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 82 8, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 77 9, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 69 10, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 60 11, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 53 12, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 53 13, Ivan Tedesco, Honda, USA, 53 14, James Stewart, Kawasaki, USA, 47 15, Grant Langston, Yamaha, RSA, 38 Manufacturer Standings 16/02/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Yamaha, 169 2, Honda, 145 3, Kawasaki, 142 4, Suzuki, 94 5, KTM, 77 Click here to view the news
  4. Yamaha's Chad Reed finished off the AMA Supercross podium for the first time this year after a crash during the main event of round eight of the series at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta meant that the Australian crossed the finish line in sixth position. The 30th SX event in Atlanta (the first was won by Bob Hannah with a Yamaha) would not see Reed extend his career tally of podium results to 81. The YZ450F rider won his Heat, and also grabbed the holeshot, but slipped off his San Manuel machine while holding the lead after five laps and need the rest of the 17 minute sprint to clamber back to sixth spot. The 25 year old left the Georgia Dome promptly, after gingerly picking up 15 points. Reed saw his lead in the series, also an FIM World championship, cut to 25 points with nine rounds remaining. It was left to team-mate Nathan Ramsey to hold centre stage on the YZ as the veteran posted his best finish of 2008 with fifth position. "It's been like baby-steps since I started riding again, and I haven't quite gotten there yet, but tonight was a good start," said the American, who is sixth in the standings. "I feel my pace is starting to pick up and if I can get up there and race with them, that stuff will all come back to me. I think tonight was another good step in that direction, and it was fun to be racing with those guys." In the East Coast Lites division top the YZ250F finisher was another Australian, Jake Moss, with fourth position. Five riders from the final top ten were making their SX debuts at the Georgia Dome. Sixteen year old rookie Tyler Bowers was among them - representing the Yamaha of Troy squad - and took a very decent fifth spot on his maiden outing. "My race was good," he commented. "Unfortunately, I made the rookie mistake of not breathing for the first three laps and by about the third or fourth lap, I was out of breath. By the time I actually started breathing and was trying to get loose, it was too late. I was tired and a couple guys got around me. My mechanic threw-out the pitboard and told me I was in fifth, and it said, 'Lap 10'. I was like, 'Cool, I've got five more laps in me.' I found that extra little bit of energy and made it around to the finish and pulled it off. I was happy with that." AMA Supercross travels to Daytona for round nine next weekend. Race 1 - 20 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 17'15.100 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 0'6.051 3, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 0'10.236 4, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 0'11.014 5, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 0'14.607 6, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 0'33.910 7, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 0'35.912 8, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 0'44.317 9, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 0'51.481 10, Jason Thomas, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 11, Ryan Clark, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 12, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 13, Bryan K Johnson, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 14, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, -1 Laps 15, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 16, Cole Siebler, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 17, Jeff Gibson, Kawasaki, USA, -1 Laps 18, Josh Hansen, Yamaha, USA, -2 Laps 19, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, -7 Laps 20, Troy Adams, Honda, USA, -12 Laps Rider Standings 23/02/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 184 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 159 3, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 137 4, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 123 5, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 121 6, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 101 7, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 84 8, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 84 9, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 72 10, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 69 11, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 67 12, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 66 13, Ivan Tedesco, Honda, USA, 53 14, James Stewart, Kawasaki, USA, 47 15, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 45 16, Grant Langston, Yamaha, RSA, 38 Manufacturer Standings 23/02/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Yamaha, 185 2, Honda, 170 3, Kawasaki, 160 4, Suzuki, 106 5, KTM, 84 Click here to view the news
  5. Yamaha Motocross Team riders again picked up more silverware in the 2008 pre-season period with David Philippaerts winning both motos at a bright Castiglione Del Lago for the second round of the Italian championship while Josh Coppins swept all three races at the Valence International meeting in southern France; beating a host of world championship peers including 2007 number one Steve Ramon. The New Zealander won the popular French event for the second year in succession and took holeshots in two of the three motos, enjoying small battles with Sebastien Pourcel, Julian Bill and Ramon across the race programme to mark his perfect score-card. It was the second time that the 30 year old (31 next month) walked the top step of the rostrum after his proficiency last Sunday at Montevarchi in Italy and in spite of discomfort in his left shoulder than he aggravated at Mantova. ”It was an enjoyable race because the weather was good for once and the track offered near Grand Prix conditions which meant that I could really go for it,” said the YZ450FM rider. “I cannot complain with the build-up I’ve had. We have been using the race-bike for three weeks now and I am coming to grips with it. My shoulder is not 100% and I will go for a scan tomorrow. It has become better since Mantova but gave me some trouble on the long and rough down-hills at Valence. I will find out this week what I have to do, whether it be physio or rest, and there is plenty of time before the first Grand Prix to get back to normal. I am in great shape, so my confidence is good.” Further south Philippaerts was busy stamping his authority over the MX1 class of the Italian Championship and, like Coppins, proved the YZ450FM’s prowess from the start-line by hole-shotting both motos. Yamaha Red Bull De Carli ace Antonio Cairoli took positions of 7th and 4th in the two heats and pushed Philippaerts in the first sprint until a mistake saw him crash and lose places. 24 year old Philippaerts was able to forge ahead of Alex Salvini in the second affair. “I could not be happier with how things are going,” said the Italian, who also picked up overall victory with his Yamaha debut at the Mantova International two weeks ago. “I took two holeshots, that made things easier, but Tony was chasing me and I had to ride well to keep ahead. I pushed hard for a few laps and made the break. We used the same set-up as Montevarchi and the Yamaha is really working well for me.” “I was doing well and holding onto the back of leader Philippaerts until I caught the wrong rut on a jump and crashed,” commented MX2-GP World Champion Cairoli. “It was a freak thing because I was not taking any risks. I suffered a bit from this in the second moto because I felt tired. Overall at this stage of my preparation for the season I am not yet ready to push 100% but my sensation with the 450 is improving.” The MX2 class was once more an all-Yamaha story as 3C Racing’s Manuel Monni claimed the chequered flag in the first moto and Yamaha Team Ricci’s Davide Guarneri guided his YZ250F to victory in the second outing. Red Bull De Carli’s Matteo Bonini was also well-placed with second and fourth positions while highly-rated teenager Alessandro Lupino secured a brace of top six finishes with fifth and sixth places. A close championship tussle looks most certainly on the cards as Monni heads the standings by just five points from Guarneri and nine points from Bonini. The next round of the Italian series will take place in two weeks at Ponte a Egola, while the Yamaha Motocross Team will travel to the UK for the last major International meeting of the pre-season period at the sandy Hawkstone Park next Sunday. “We will head to Belgium this week,” said Team Co-ordinator Mino Raspanti “as we have a sandy race for both riders at Hawkstone Park so we will use Tuesday and Wednesday to test some suspension ahead of that meeting.” Click here to view the news
  6. 2008 will be a big season in the short but spectacular career of double Women’s World Cup winner Katherine Prumm. The new Yamaha recruit is busy getting to grips with her new YZ250F in her native New Zealand and will shortly travel over to Europe to begin tests with the Van Beers team in preparation for the first ever FIM Women’s World championship, beginning at the MX1/MX2-GP Bulgarian Grand Prix on May 11th. Articulate and friendly Prumm is a very worthy ambassador for her discipline and a fine figurehead for the rapidly increasing popularity of women’s motocross. The 19 year old speaks here about her transfer to the ‘Blue Army’, her victories in 2007 and the perception of women’s motocross four years after the competition entered the international stage. 2006 was going so well with wins on both sides of the Atlantic but 2007 was probably the harder world cup win. How do you rank your results of last season? 2007 was definitely a harder year for me because I had had six months off the bike with a knee reconstruction to fix my cartilage and snapped ACL ligament. Then my first race back at the end of January at the NZ International Grand Prix I crashed on a big double jump that was wet and compressed the T9 in my back by 60%. This left me with a further 6 weeks off the bike and by the time I got riding again it was only a month out from the first round of the World Cup. I felt like I had the speed to win the opening round in Germany and should have done so but crashed in moto 1 whilst leading and did the same in moto 2. I was really disappointed with round 1 but the points were still close, so I just focused on trying to come back strong for Sweden. I made sure that I got to Europe with plenty of time to recover before the final round of the World Cup. I waited 5 days before I first rode and my brother, Matthew came along to train with me also. I learnt a lot by riding in the sand as we don’t have sand in New Zealand like that of Europe. Coming into Lierop I didn’t really know how my speed was compared to the other girls but I was confident with my riding and this showed in qualifying when the track was rough and I managed to set the fastest lap time by 5.5 seconds. Sunday I had two bad starts but recovered by the middle of the race to win both motos by 25 seconds. It was really awesome to finish the season on a strong note and also to win my second World title. Afterwards there was no time to rest it was back home to NZ, a week and a half to recover and then into the first round on the NZ Motocross champs where I competed in both the Women’s Championship and the Men’s MX2. I had my best season ever this year and finished 12th overall in the MX2 class and my best race finish was 10th as well as taking my third women’s title. My goal for the season in the Men’s was top 15 and I was really proud to have achieved it. During the NZ Championship I also competed for the country in the Oceania MX Champs in Melbourne where I won the Women’s Championship and finally to finish the year I went across to the WMA American Women’s Cup in Texas where I won both motos in freezing temperatures of 2 degrees! Along with the Aussie title it was a good collection of results through 2007. You were so dominant in the sand of Lierop. How did you manage that? I worked really hard in the sand in the weeks leading up to the race with my mechanic, Serge and also my brother, Matthew. He is a great training partner and can show me areas that I need to work on. We also got to race against each other and this helped me to learn a lot. Have you seen many changes in the conceptions of women's motocross since your involvement on a world level in 2005? The sport has grown a lot in the last three years and the number of women competing has also increased dramatically worldwide. The women’s class was more of a side-show compared with the men in 2005 and now it is of equal importance and a full blown world championship. With Papenmeier and co. coming up, the level of competition in the women's series is expanding beyond the usual trio of girls isn't it? Honestly I think every year the level of competition rises. Being based in New Zealand it is difficult for me to know how my speed is developing compared to everyone else but I am sure that 2008 will be no different to previous years with everyone stepping up their speed. How will it be having 5 rounds in 2008, especially for you being based on the other side of the world? In 2008 I will base myself with the Van Beers Yamaha Team during the World Championship season. This will help me a lot as I won’t be flying 36 hours to Europe from NZ all the time and won’t have to battle the jet lag. I may also have some races in Australia for the Australian Women’s Championship if the dates allow. Will you change anything about your preparation for 2008 in light of the 5 races and also having to be based in Europe for longer periods? I will make sure I have plenty of time to get over the jet lag this year through being based in Holland for the majority of my time with Van Beers. It’s a new bike for me this year so I want to make sure I have everything set up 100% and that I am comfortable for the first round. Any plans for AMA competition again this year? At this stage I will be racing in Australia for the Women’s Motocross Champs, New Zealand in the Women’s and MX2 champs and then in Europe for the FIM World Championship. We haven’t made any plans for the US this year but maybe I can do the race in Texas again. How did the Yamaha deal come about and what was the main factor in making the new switch? Yamaha came up with a really good world-wide package for me so that I would have support in all the countries that I race in. The Yamaha deal is an exciting opportunity that will allow me to be a part of a new environment with a new team and bike. Yamaha is behind me 120% and I feel that they will give me the best chance of success in 2008. Tell us a bit about your link with Yamaha Australia and Yamaha New Zealand? In New Zealand I am part of the Subway Yamaha Racing team which is managed by Darryl King. They are a great team to be a part of and have won many national titles over the years. Yamaha NZ is an amazing company to work with and they are already pushing to have me in the media and involved in PR activities. Last night I did an interview on TV for ‘Pitlane’ which is a motorsport programme in NZ. Yamaha Australia will also play a big part in supporting me and if dates allow I will be competing in the Australian Women’s Championship to defend my title. They are really supportive of Women’s motocross and are looking to boost the industry and women’s level of racing there. The YZ250F is one of the dominant machines in MX2. Have you ridden it yet? What are your impressions? I’ve had my new bike for just over a week now and it took me a while to get used to seeing the blue machines parked up in the work shop! I actually had my first race on it over the weekend at the Valley Champs which is a regional event. I was in the 250cc Men’s class and finished 11, 8, and 7 for 8th overall. I got better and better each race as I got more comfortable on the bike and actually almost got the holeshot in the last race. I am still getting used to everything and every time I learn something new about the set-up or the way I need to attack stuff in the turns. I really liked the way the bike handles in the turns from the first time I jumped on it and I can’t wait to get everything dialled in to exactly how I want it. Click here to view the news
  7. After missing the top five in an AMA Supercross event for the first time in 88 starts last week Yamaha's Chad Reed bounced back to record his sixth victory of the season and finished ahead of brand-mate Josh Hill at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis last weekend. The Australian headed a YZ450F '1-2' on the podium of the ninth round from seventeen in the series - an FIM World Championship - to give Yamaha their fourth win at the venue and first since 2002. The 25 year old, who took some time to get into a rhythm during practice on a track he helped design, determinedly seized the holeshot and disappeared with the main event Saturday evening in front of Hill and Andrew Short. It was his first ever SX class success in Indianapolis although the result did extend his impressive tally of five podiums in five starts at the Dome. "I struggled in practice - I was second both times - and I think that wasn't cool to design the track and then not be the fastest guy," he commented. "But I redeemed myself in the main, and it just feels awesome to be back up where we belong." "I'm so happy to get this win," added Reed who had gone two rounds without a triumph after previously setting a record with victory in every Californian event. "A second place and a sixth position really isn't that bad, but in my book, it sucks. I just wanted to get back out here and get on top. I'm just looking forward to Daytona now. It's one of my favourite races in the world, and I can't wait." The former champion now leads the standings by 34 points over Kevin Windham. Hill made the podium for the second time while Nathan Ramsey (eighth place) and Josh Hansen (tenth) ensured that the YZ450F scooped four positions in the final top ten; more than any other manufacturer. Grant Langston was still unable to compete, having to sit out with an eye complaint. "It's Kevin Windham," said Hill who had to pass the Honda man and Reed's main title rival for his podium slot. "I've been watching him since I was like seven years old. It's just amazing for me to be up there racing with him and dicing with him. I had to ride really aggressively out there tonight. There was only really one fast line, and it was on the outside, so you had to just push it in there and take a line away." Teenager Tyla Bowers was seventh on the YZ250F in the East Coast Lites class and currently lies fifth in the standings. Round ten takes place this Friday at International Speedway in Daytona. Race 1 - 20 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 16'31.060 2, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 0'10.621 3, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 0'12.276 4, Ryan Dungey, Suzuki, USA, 0'15.083 5, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 0'22.709 6, Travis Preston, Kawasaki, USA, 0'40.264 7, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 0'43.708 8, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 0'44.323 9, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, -1 Laps 10, Josh Hansen, Yamaha, USA, -1 Laps 11, Troy Adams, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 12, Manuel Gomes Rivas, Kawasaki, ESP, -1 Laps 13, Jason Thomas, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 14, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 15, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 16, Eric Sorby, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 17, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 18, Broc Hepler, Yamaha, USA, -2 Laps 19, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, -7 Laps 20, Bryan K Johnson, Honda, USA, -16 Laps Rider Standings 01/03/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 209 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 175 3, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 141 4, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 137 5, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 127 6, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 114 7, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 106 8, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 84 9, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 84 10, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 80 11, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 69 12, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 69 13, Ivan Tedesco, Honda, USA, 53 14, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 52 15, Troy Adams, Honda, USA, 47 20, Grant Langston, Yamaha, RSA, 38 34, Broc Hepler, Yamaha, USA, 3 Manufacturer Standings 01/03/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Yamaha, 210 2, Honda, 190 3, Kawasaki, 175 4, Suzuki, 124 5, KTM, 84 Click here to view the news
  8. Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo sealed a weekend to remember in Qatar at the first ever MotoGP night race by finishing second on an impressive premier-class debut. The reigning double 250cc World Champion started from pole for the fifth consecutive year at this track, following three 250cc and one 125cc pole, and proved he will be a force to reckon with in 2008 with a mature ride to the runner-up spot behind Casey Stoner. Lorenzo made a tentative start and dropped several places from his starting position, crossing the line after the first lap in fourth. The first eight laps were something of a dog-fight with the front six riders trading places back and forth several times, but the Yamaha rookie kept his head through the melee and gradually worked his way forward, eventually passing Rossi to take second behind Stoner on lap 9. He hung on to the World Champion for a while but gradually the stress of the first part of the race took its toll and the 20-year-old began to tire and suffer pain in his arms. He eventually crossed the line 5.323 seconds behind Stoner but the same distance clear of third-placed Dani Pedrosa. Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2nd Time: +5.323 "For sure I couldn't have expected a better debut than this and I am very, very excited to be on the podium. Second place is an amazing result for me and I had great fun. The start and first few laps were a bit crazy and really a bit of a scary time for me, but anyway I managed to make it through and get past some riders to get to second. I started to go with Stoner but after a while I became very tired and I started to have a lot of pressure and pain in my arms, so I really couldn't push any more! Anyway he was faster than us and I want to say congratulations to him because he deserved to win tonight. I think if I could have got a better start, maybe I wouldn't have got so tired later on and I would have been able to keep a better rhythm, but anyway I don't think I can ask for more than this tonight. I want to thank Yamaha and Michelin for all the hard work they have put in over the winter to get me to this point, and of course my team for all of their work. I don't want to start talking about the championship yet because this is only my first race, and now we will go to Jerez and do our very best again there and see what happens!" Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager "What a weekend! After a long winter it was great to finally arrive at the race and all of us in the team really enjoyed watching Jorge make such a fantastic debut. We couldn't have asked for more and to do what he's done here is really fantastic. From now on it will be easier for him because he will know what to expect from a MotoGP race, and of course we've also collected some important information about his race performance to help us to improve his package. Thank you to the team, to Yamaha and to Michelin for doing a great job throughout the winter and tonight and well done once again to Jorge." Masahiko Nakajima - Team Director "The biggest problem here has been the track temperature but Michelin did a very good job here to counteract a difficult situation and their tyres have worked very well. We managed to find a good set-up for Jorge and we are very pleased with his first race. It's impressive that such a young rookie can do so well in such a tough race so a big congratulations to him for a brilliant second place." Valentino Rossi finished a disappointing fifth tonight, after struggling for pace on the cold track throughout the 22 lap race. Racing on Bridgestone tyres for the first time, Rossi made up two places on the opening lap and for the first few laps looked like he might be a contender for the top spots as he picked his way through the field. On lap five he took the lead and held onto it for three laps, but he was unable to ride his M1 as he wanted to and surrendered first place to Casey Stoner just three laps later. It was downhill for the Italian from then on as his pace dropped off and he began to slip back, unable to keep up with the leaders. Dani Pedrosa passed him for third and Rossi eventually became embroiled in a close battle for fourth with Andrea Dovizioso, with the rookie eventually running out the winner by just a fraction of a second. Valentino Rossi - Position: 5th Time: +13.305 "We expected a difficult race here, but actually not as difficult as this! We haven't been fast here in Qatar since last week's night test but, despite this, I thought we might be able to fight for the podium. Tonight however it was really difficult and now we have to understand the reason for this result. After five or six laps I started doing 56.4 and 56.5 and from then on I couldn't improve on that pace until the end. I was very fast in braking, but not so fast in the corners. We know that we can make our Bridgestone tyres work better than this, because they are winning tyres and tonight they showed it once again. Throughout the winter, at all tracks, we were very fast and this is the only one where we were not. Now our task is to understand why this happened. We had a couple of ideas to try but in the end we decided to stick to what we know because we need some more time to understand how to improve and how to be faster. We know we can do better than this and so we just need to gather all the information and use it in the best way for the next race. Finally I want to say congratulations to Lorenzo for a great debut tonight; honestly I'm not surprised because I knew he was fast and talented, but he did very well tonight in a hard race so well done to him." Davide Brivio - Team Manager "We expected a difficult race here, but actually not as difficult as this! We haven't been fast here in Qatar since last week's night test but, despite this, I thought we might be able to fight for the podium. Tonight however it was really difficult and now we have to understand the reason for this result. After five or six laps I started doing 56.4 and 56.5 and from then on I couldn't improve on that pace until the end. I was very fast in braking, but not so fast in the corners. We know that we can make our Bridgestone tyres work better than this, because they are winning tyres and tonight they showed it once again. Throughout the winter, at all tracks, we were very fast and this is the only one where we were not. Now our task is to understand why this happened. We had a couple of ideas to try but in the end we decided to stick to what we know because we need some more time to understand how to improve and how to be faster. We know we can do better than this and so we just need to gather all the information and use it in the best way for the next race. Finally I want to say congratulations to Lorenzo for a great debut tonight; honestly I'm not surprised because I knew he was fast and talented, but he did very well tonight in a hard race so well done to him." Masahiko Nakajima - Team Director "This was our first experience of a night race and it's been clear that the low track temperatures make controlling the tyre situation quite difficult. Added to that the low air temperatures mean that fuel consumption is also a worry. We spent a lot of time working with Bridgestone to try to find a good package but unfortunately we couldn't do enough tonight. Now we need to investigate exactly what's happened and act on it before the next race." The MotoGP circus heads to Lorenzo's homeland next for the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on 30th April. Toseland Shines on MotoGP Debut as Tech 3 Yamaha Start with Double Top Ten James Toseland kicked off his MotoGP career in superb style tonight, the British rider claiming a well deserved top six finish in the historic first night race in Qatar. Brimming with confidence after he secured a maiden front row grid position yesterday, the 27-year-old showed no signs of any first race nerves with a flying start. Third at the end of a hectic lap one, he then climbed into second on lap two with a daring overtake on Jorge Lorenzo. Toseland briefly lost touch with the leading bunch, but showing great determination he clawed his way back into contention for the podium, setting the fifth fastest lap of the 22-lap race in the process. Riding at a fast and consistent pace throughout, Toseland kept the pressure on Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso right up until the last lap, and he only finished 0.7s behind Rossi at the finish. Edwards was seventh after he too was involved in the thick of the frantic early action. The American, who had started next to Toseland on the front row, lost touch with the leading group shortly after the halfway stage, but his solid performance ensured Tech 3 Yamaha claimed fourth place in the coveted Team World Championship standings. James Toseland - Position: 6th Time: +14.040 "To start off with this result is just great for me. I've realised now that with everybody's support, which I'm getting from the Tech 3 team, Yamaha and Michelin, it is possible to be competitive. To finish just behind Valentino in my very first MotoGP race is surreal. The first couple of laps were pretty hectic and I put a move on Jorge that was quite close. That's just a lack of experience racing against these guys. I've raced against the same boys for seven years and know exactly what they do and when they do it. Jorge put his bike over my nose just as I was committed for the pass. I've just got to get used to how these guys take the corners so I can pass them a bit safer. But he left the door open a bit and I went for it. There was no harm done and after that I was trying everything I had to pass Andrea and Valentino. I was catching up fractions of time all lap and I'd just get with them at the last corner and they'd stretch away from me on the straight. There is nobody bad on the brakes so you can't catch it up really. You can chip away and chip away but the times I got close they were side-byside and it was like a wall for me. And I wasn't prepared to take two of them out in my first MotoGP with sixth place in the bag I'm a bit emotionally drained to be fair but what you learn in 22 laps around these guys is priceless and I can't wait for Jerez." Colin Edwards - Position: 7th Time: +15.150 "I didn't leave anything out there tonight. If you paid me a million dollars I couldn't have gone any faster. I was riding my hardest but at the end of the day it just wasn't fast enough and to be honest I'm not sure why. We'll have to check the computer but I just didn't have the same feeling as I did yesterday. We had a great day yesterday and going into the race I was confident about getting on the podium. But from the second lap it became a race of adapting to cope with the different feeling I had from the tyres. I was at the back of the group and while they weren't really pulling away, I couldn't get any closer. I just didn't have the confidence to push and then I ran wide at the last corner while trying to keep close to the back of James. I lost a bit of time and I couldn't catch back up. Thanks to my guys for they're hard work and we'll try and move closer to the front in Jerez." Herve Poncharal - Team Manager "It was a great way to start the championship. The highlight of the weekend was our two riders on the front row which was a very emotional moment and something you dream of to start the championship. It didn't happen to us since 2002 with Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano at the Sachsenring. We had great expectations but we knew it would be difficult to get on the rostrum. James showed an incredible fighting spirit and he made a made really aggressive move on Jorge. The whole race he was losing a bit in some parts and catching back to Valentino and he ended up very, very close to beating him. Colin had a great and steady race also and I'd have settled for sixth and seventh before the first race. We know the new engine is coming in Estoril and it won't be such a handicap in Jerez on a track without a long straight. Michelin showed great potential and we look forward with a lot of confidence to Jerez." Losail: Lap Record C. Stoner (Ducati) 2007, 1'56.528 Losail: Best Lap V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2007, 1'55.002 Race 1 - 22 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Casey Stoner, Ducati, AUS, 42'36.587 2, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha, ESP, 0'5.323 3, Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP, 0'10.600 4, Andrea Dovizioso, Honda, ITA, 0'13.288 5, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, ITA, 0'13.305 6, James Toseland, Yamaha, GBR, 0'14.040 7, Colin Edwards, Yamaha, USA, 0'15.150 8, Loris Capirossi, Suzuki, ITA, 0'32.505 9, Randy De Puniet, Honda, FRA, 0'33.003 10, Nicky Hayden, Honda, USA, 0'38.354 11, Marco Melandri, Ducati, ITA, 0'44.284 12, John Hopkins, Kawasaki, USA, 0'49.857 13, Shinya Nakano, Honda, JPN, 0'49.871 14, Toni Elias, Ducati, ESP, 0'58.532 15, Sylvain Guintoli, Ducati, FRA, 0'58.930 16, Anthony West, Kawasaki, AUS, 1'5.643 17, Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki, AUS, -1 Laps Rider Standings 09/03/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Casey Stoner, Ducati, AUS, 25 2, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha, ESP, 20 3, Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP, 16 4, Andrea Dovizioso, Honda, ITA, 13 5, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, ITA, 11 6, James Toseland, Yamaha, GBR, 10 7, Colin Edwards, Yamaha, USA, 9 8, Loris Capirossi, Suzuki, ITA, 8 9, Randy De Puniet, Honda, FRA, 7 10, Nicky Hayden, Honda, USA, 6 11, Marco Melandri, Ducati, ITA, 5 12, John Hopkins, Kawasaki, USA, 4 13, Shinya Nakano, Honda, JPN, 3 14, Toni Elias, Ducati, ESP, 2 15, Sylvain Guintoli, Ducati, FRA, 1 Team Standings 09/03/2008 Pos., Team, Points 1, FIAT Yamaha Team, 93 2, Tech3 Yamaha, 84 3, Ducati Marlboro Team, 69 4, Repsol Honda Team, 49 5, JIR Scot Team, 31 6, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, 28 7, Honda LCR, 27 8, Honda Gresini, 22 9, Kawasaki Racing Team, 12 10, Team Alice, 5 Manufacturer Standings 09/03/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Ducati, 25 2, Yamaha, 20 3, Honda, 16 4, Suzuki, 8 5, Kawasaki, 4 Click here to view the news
  9. Double FIM Women’s World Cup winner Katherine Prumm took her new YZ250F to first position in the opening round of the Australian Women’s championship at Tivioli in Brisbane and the 19 year old’s success was just one of several eye-catching results for the ‘Blue Army’ last weekend as Antonio Cairoli earned his MX1 spurs in Italy, and Kenneth Gundersen enjoyed a maiden MX1 bow for his new team in Great Britain. Prumm comfortably owned the first Australian national on the hard and difficult circuit near the east coast. On her Subway YZ250F Prumm holeshotted and won both motos for an encouraging start to her career as a Yamaha rider. “It was a great weekend of racing,” she said. “I was really happy with how the bike was handling and got to grips with the surface a lot better as the day progressed. It wasn’t one of my favourite tracks and I was glad to get through the day safely, it is always good to learn something new on a tricky surface like that.” “I got the holeshot in race one and tried to get used to the terrain as the corners were really demanding with slippery rocks covering the top soil,” the New Zealander continued. “I experimented with some new lines and techniques and rode away from Kristy Gillespie. During the course of the day the track disintegrated, as large clods of dirt would break out of the ground forming big squared-edged holes and bumps. I got the holeshot again in the second moto. I made some mistakes on the first two laps but I changed my lines and rode smoothly away from the rest of the field to a good lead of almost fifty seconds.” The second round of three takes place at Newry in Victoria on May 25th. Yamaha Red Bull De Carli rider and current MX2-GP World Champion, Antonio Cairoli, dominated both MX1 motos on his YZ450F at a damp Ponte a Egola for the third round of the Italian Championship last weekend. The Sicilian claimed his first chequered flags in the national series – his maiden MX1 campaign – and now leads the competition. Cairoli mounted the podium ahead of MX1-GP rider Marc de Reuver after blitzing both motos from start to finish. "After Castiglione Del Lago we went to Belgium to train on the sand.We were working a lot, and my physical condition has improved; I am getting more confidence when I ride the 450,” he said. “I like this track and I marked the best time yesterday in practice.In the first moto I did not have any problems and won by a big advantage.In the first few turns I pushed hard to break away.The second race was special because there was a lot of mud and the track was difficult; to do exactly the same was good for my head.” Yamaha Motocross Team’s David Philippaerts raced the previous week in the UK and spent days testing in Belgium, electing to miss the trip to Ponte a Egola. Caroli heads the championship by 4 points from Alex Salvini with Philippaerts now 30 behind in third. The MX2 class saw Ricci Racing and 3C Racing’s Davide Guarneri and Manuel Monni climb the rostrum on their YZ250Fs. Monni now has a 3 point lead over his fellow Italian in the championship while teenager – and De Carli pilot - Alessandro Lupino lies third after finishes of sixth and ninth at Ponte a Egola. Unfortunately Matteo Bonini – who was third in the championship chase – dislocated his left shoulder during Saturday practice. In northern Europe the British Championship got underway at the venue of the 2008 Motocross of Nations, Donington Park, and Kenneth Gundersen made his MX1 debut for the UTag.com Yamaha squad. The Norwegian took a decent second place overall with race results of second and third in the two motos. In the MX2 division Martin Barr was fourth on the YZ250F with two fifth positions. Click here to view the news
  10. Reed seventh in Daytona quagmire The heavens opened and created a swamp at the Daytona Speedway for the tenth round of the 2008 AMA Supercross series, a FIM World Championship. Yamaha San Manuel's Chad Reed was three corners from his seventh victory of the season before being forced to retire. To make matters worse for the Australian he was later penalised for cutting the sodden track and dropped to seventh place for his lowest standing of the season so far. Despite the drama and eventual outcome, the 25 year old still leads the championship by 23 points with seven rounds remaining. The deluge of rain on Saturday ruined the outdoor course partly designed by AMA legend Ricky Carmichael. The races in both Supercross and Lites classes were only just able to start, with some American sources describing the conditions as the worst ever seen for a SX event. Reed - like most of the riders - was barely recognisable after the first few corners and fought in the early stages with Kevin Windham before being able to make a break, although the battle of attrition would be lost mere metres from the flag. "It just sucked water and mud through the air boot," said Larry Brooks, San Manuel Yamaha team manager. "There was standing water on the track, and the bike sucked water and dirt, and when he stopped to line up for a rut, it just had no compression, got stuck in some mud and stopped. He had a minute and 15 second lead with three corners to go and couldn't finish, so obviously he's upset, but stuff happens. We should be happy that he got those points and move on to the next one." Brand-mate Josh Hill has a similar problem after four laps. Reed was still the top ranked Yamaha finisher with seventh while Nathan Ramsey managed to take twelfth. There were no top ten entrants in the Lites division. Round eleven takes place next weekend at the HHH Metrodome in Minneapolis. Race 1 - 12 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 19'48.890 2, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 0'22.420 3, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, 0'111.833 4, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 0'137.726 5, Antonio Balbi, Honda, USA, 0'151.760 6, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 7, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, -1 Laps 8, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 9, Eric Sorby, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 10, Ryan Dungey, Suzuki, USA, -2 Laps 11, Bryan K Johnson, Honda, USA, -2 Laps 12, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, -2 Laps 13, Dusty Klatt, Kawasaki, USA, -3 Laps 14, Travis Preston, Kawasaki, USA, -3 Laps 15, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, -4 Laps 16, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, -4 Laps 17, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, -5 Laps 18, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, -5 Laps 19, Cole Siebler, Honda, USA, -7 Laps 20, Jeff Gibson, Kawasaki, USA, -11 Laps Rider Standings 07/03/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 223 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 200 3, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 154 4, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 149 5, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 137 6, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 123 7, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 110 8, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 102 9, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 89 10, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 86 11, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 72 12, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 69 13, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 67 14, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, 61 15, Ivan Tedesco, Honda, USA, 53 21, Grant Langston, Yamaha, RSA, 38 33, Broc Hepler, Yamaha, USA, 3 Manufacturer Standings 07/03/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Yamaha, 224 2, Honda, 215 3, Kawasaki, 183 4, Suzuki, 142 5, KTM, 89 Click here to view the news
  11. Fiat Yamaha Team rider Jorge Lorenzo began his first ever MotoGP race on home soil in perfect fashion today, finishing the first day of practice in Jerez in first position at the front of an all-Yamaha top three. The young rookie, who lies second in the championship after an impressive debut in Qatar, was under lap record pace in the afternoon session and looks on-course to give his passionate home fans an exciting weekend. Lorenzo was fifth fastest in the morning session but gradual work on his set-up, starting from a good base following the February test here, led to an improved pace in the warmer afternoon session and a best time of 1.40.321. It was a good day for Yamaha as Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi was just 0.043 seconds behind him, with Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards in third. Jorge Lorenzo - 1st - 1.40.321 "The first day has gone very well and I'm really happy to have had a day like this here at Jerez. My bike feels great and it's a huge emotion for me to be here riding 'at home' in front of all the Spanish fans. I feel like all of Spain is watching us this weekend and I hope that we're going to be able to give them a great show here over the weekend. We have a good base setting after the test here and the first race and, although of course we have more work to do, I think that we're on the right track. My team is working well, the bike and the Michelin tyres also are very good and I feel that there is great energy, excitement and motivation in our garage. After today I think we're in good shape for the weekend and my hope is that we will be able to fight at the front. The weather today was fantastic and I really hope this continues, for the fans and for us! Danielle Romagnoli - Team Manager It's been a very important and perfect first day in Spain for us. Jorge has done many laps at a very good pace throughout and we're very happy with our performance on this first day. We're still not at our full potential but we've got a good base setting from the test and so we will keep working like this and keep improving. The set-up is okay but we need to concentrate a little bit on the front feeling, so this will be one of the main targets tomorrow. Anyway, a great first day and let's hope we can continue with more of the same tomorrow." MotoGP's return to Europe began in promising fashion for the Fiat Yamaha Team and Valentino Rossi today, as the Italian finished the day second fastest with Yamaha riders filling the first three spots on the time sheets. Rossi, who won this race for Yamaha in 2005 and 2007, got straight down to business this morning, working on a variety of improvements to bike and tyres following his tricky season-opening race in Qatar and finishing the first session third. It was immediately clear that things were improving for him and this afternoon he continued in the same vein, lapping consistently fast and finishing the day with a best time of 1'40.364. Valentino Rossi - 2nd 1.40.364 "After Qatar, to be third this morning and second this afternoon on just the first day makes me quite happy! I feel comfortable on the bike and tyres, although we need to work a little bit harder to find the perfect race rhythm for Sunday. I had fun on the bike today and I am quite fast so I think we have a good base to build on. To have three Yamaha's at the top again is great and once again shows how good our bike is. With the Bridgestones it feels quite good and I think we're improving the package all the time but we can't afford to stop working so tomorrow we will do the maximum once again. It's great to be riding here in the sunshine and I think it's going to be a great show this weekend for everyone!" Davide Brivio - Team Manager "Today the team did a very good job. After the Qatar race our engineers have made a deep analysis of the issues we had there and they and have come here with some different ideas to try and they seem to be working well. It looks like we've found the right way to combine our bike and the tyres together and so we have a good base on which to build for the rest of the weekend. Now we have to concentrate on making the best tyre choice for the race, we already have a good pace but it's going to be very competitive on Sunday so we need to be in the best possible shape!" C olin Edwards right behind Fiat Yamaha duo An impressive performance from American Colin Edwards saw the Tech 3 rider help Yamaha make a dominant startto the Spanish GP in Jerez today. Edwards was a central figure throughout the opening day's free practice, claiming the third fastest overall time. Edwards, who was third in last year's Spanish GP, showed impressive form earlier when he posted the fastest time this morning as the European leg of the 2008 season got underway. Edwards bettered his morning time of 1.40.714 with a 1.40.584 this afternoon, and was only beaten by factory Yamaha duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on combined times. Team-mate James Toseland had a tough start to his first European MotoGP clash. Fresh from his stunning debut in Qatar when he claimed a front row start and top six finish, the British rider was badly hampered by a severe bout of bronchitis. But despite a small crash at the second corner this afternoon, Toseland showed his battling qualities again, finishing just 0.707s off the fastest time in eighth. He underwent lengthy treatment in the Clinica Mobile after this afternoon's session, and is confident he will be close to full fitness for Sunday's 27-lap race. Colin Edwards 3rd 1.40.584 "I'm really happy with today. I started well this morning with the fastest time, which was good as it showed the work the team did in testing during the winter has paid off. All we really did this morning was work on the electronics tying to make it as consistent as we can. As far as the chassis goes we really didn't do much, but we've got another setting option to try tomorrow just to confirm we are going in the right direction. But I'm happy because instantly I had a good feeling with the bike and was able to do some good lap times. Today just confirmed that this is a really strong track for Yamaha. Valentino and I were on the podium here last year and the bike has a good record in the past. We've got three Yamahas in the top three here today and it was the same in qualifying for Qatar, so Yamaha has really worked hard on improving the bike for this season. I've got one more rear tyre from Michelin to try tomorrow but I think I've already found something decent for the race. Hopefully the tyre for tomorrow will be another step. As far as the front goes I couldn't be happier with that. Michelin has really improved the front and I've got a lot of confidence." James Toseland 8th 1.41.028 "Unfortunately I have come down with bronchitis which is just what I need for my second race. I was really bad yesterday and honestly I don't think I'd have been able to ride. I woke up this morning a bit better but after riding twice I've hit a brick wall. I'm drained of energy and my temperature got up to 38.7 degrees, so they were a bit worried about that and put me on a drip in the Clinica Mobile. The problem is I can't take a full breath and just riding breathing at half the normal rate really tires you out quickly because of the lack of oxygen going to your brain. Considering how I feel, to be only 0.7s off is pretty good. I just need to find half-a-second and that can come from me just feeling better. We are in the ballpark and Colin has proved how competitive the package is at this track. The crash was a small mistake. I just pushed a bit too hard on the front in turn two and went down. The grip was better on the front tyre I was using and it just bottomed out on the forks under braking. I should have done a couple of laps and then changed the front suspension setting to cope with the better grip." Jerez lap Record - V. Rossi (Yamaha) 2005, 1'40.596 Jerez best Lap - L. Capirossi (Ducati) 2006, 1'39.064 Click here to view the news
  12. Home hero Jorge Lorenzo continued his impressive rookie assault on the MotoGP class with an outstanding pole position in Jerez today, smashing the existing pole record by almost a second aboard his Fiat Yamaha M1 in front of thousands of Spanish fans. The youngest rider on the grid produced a masterful qualifying display to take his second consecutive pole position and his 3rd at this circuit. After topping the time sheets yesterday, Lorenzo continued gradually refining his set-up throughout this morning's free practice and the early part of the afternoon session, before setting the fastest lap so far on the first of three Michelin qualifying tyres with 20 minutes remaining. He bettered himself once again soon after before an inch-perfect final lap on his third soft tyre saw him improve another half a second to consolidate pole position. Dani Pedrosa was over half a second slower in second place whilst third spot was filled by Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards for the second race running. Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi had looked on course to join him on the front row before an electronic problem caused him to abandon his final hot lap, and he will start from fifth for tomorrow's 27-lap race. Jorge Lorenzo 1st 1'38.189 "The pole position and the second place in Qatar were like a dream, so it's an amazing surprise for me to repeat that pole position here, and even better because it's in front of my home fans! I was really happy with the last qualifying lap, my earlier ones were already quite good but not perfect, so I was really excited to make such a great final lap. Our race pace is good as well and I am feeling very comfortable on the bike and with my Michelin tyres. My rivals are very strong and will be trying hard to beat me, but I will definitely be fighting for the podium! Thanks to my team for doing a great job; I am really excited about tomorrow and I hope we have more weather like this and a fantastic show." Daniele Romagnoli - Team manager "Today was a perfect day. We watched today's qualifying with great emotion as Jorge demonstrated an excellent race pace and then beat the pole record in fantastic style on his qualifying laps. We were amazed! Yamaha and Michelin were able to provide a perfect package for us today, enabling Jorge to do an excellent job and ride in an incredible way. After today's result it's clear that we have the possibility to be on the podium tomorrow, and we will try our best to be there." Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi will start the Spanish Grand Prix from fifth position tomorrow. The Italian's last flying lap was cut short by an electronic issue but he nevertheless has an excellent race pace and looks on course to be a protagonist in tomorrow's 27-lap race. Rossi spent the first half of this afternoon's session refining set-up and testing Bridgestone tyres ahead of the race tomorrow, before strong laps with his first two qualifying tyres saw him on the provisional front row. He was confident of dipping under the 1'38 mark with his final try, but the electronic problem saw the end of his challenge and he will start from the middle of the second row. His time of 1'39.064 was dead-on the existing pole record, which was meanwhile bettered by almost a second by his young team-mate Jorge Lorenzo. Valentino Rossi 5th 1'39.064 "Our target today was the front row and I think we could have done a 1'38 and maybe been second, but unfortunately I had an electronic problem on my last qualifying lap and I had to stop, which was unlucky. This is a pity and of course it would be better to be on the front, but anyway we're not far away, the second row is not so bad and I think we can be competitive tomorrow. Our race pace is okay, I think with some small adjustments we can improve a bit more but we're close. Congratulations to Lorenzo, I don't know if we can be quite as fast as him on race tyres and he will be hard to beat tomorrow, but let's see! We still haven't decided on our final race tyre, we have to wait and see how the temperature is tomorrow, but it's going to be a very exciting race and we're all looking forward to it!" Davide Brivio Team manager "It was a pity that Valentino couldn't finish his final qualifying lap today but unfortunately he had a small electronic issue, which we're now looking into to work out exactly what happened so that we can avoid it in future. The good news is that, apart from this lap, we were fast with the qualifying tyre as well as on race tyres and so this bodes well for the rest of the season's races. We still have to finalise our tyre choice for the race and make a few final adjustments, so we will be using the warm-up for this." Colin Edwards secures front row again Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards emerged from an eventful Spanish GP qualifying session this afternoon with the third fastest time to maintain his 100 per cent front row starting record in 2008. The American ran into the gravel trap and then produced an early contender for save of the season at turn one before logging a best lap of 1.38.954 to secure a second successive front row clean sweep for Michelin this season. A dramatic session for Edwards began when he ran off track at the Curva Dry Sack after six minutes. He then produced a memorable moment just 17 minutes later, somehow producing a miraculous save when he lost the front of his Yamaha YZR-M1 at the first corner. Digging his right knee and elbow into the tarmac, Edwards saved the big front tyre slide, much to the delight of fans packed in the trackside grandstand. Edwards has now finished in the top three in every session so far in Jerez this weekend, raising expectations that he can clinch a second successive Spanish GP podium in tomorrow's 27-lap race. Weakened by a severe bout of bronchitis, team-mate James Toseland produced a performance full of grit and determination, and he was only 0.3s off the front row. He clocked a best lap of 1.39.334 to finish just 0.048s behind reigning world champion Casey Stoner in eighth position. Far from being in peak condition, Toseland is still determined to become the first British rider since 1990 to claim successive top six finishes in MotoGP tomorrow afternoon. Colin Edwards 3rd 1.38.954 "It was very, very eventful to say the least. I was in the gravel once, somehow saved myself from crashing at the first corner and still managed to get on the front row. After all that I had to get on the front row for the team. My guys at Tech 3 and Yamaha have been awesome and they are doing a great job. I started the session with a rear tyre that had a few laps on it but with a new front. But a few laps in the bike didn't feel perfect. I came in and put a new rear in and I just got a little bit carried away. I started pushing and obviously got into turn one too hot. It went, came back, went away again and I thought I was down. I tried to dig my elbow in but it kept going so I kind of lifted my arm up and pulled it up on the handlebars. And it came back somehow. The crowd loved it anyway. I've done it a few times but this is the first time it has been caught on camera. I was a bit upset with the first incident. I was pushing and I saw Jorge Lorenzo in front of me and I thought he was on a new rear tyre. I'd done 15 laps on mine but I still wanted to keep him in sight. I came to the end of the back straight and I knew the second I hit the brakes I was running off. I just thought 'oh no, this is about ten metres too deep' and off I went into the gravel. After Qatar this is my second front row and I'm ready for the race. My pace for the race was a bit better this morning when it was a bit cooler, but we are still looking good." James Toseland 8th 1.39.334 "I'm disappointed with eighth after I got a front row in Qatar but I am rough. I don't like to make excuses but I am not feeling at my best at all. To be only three-tenths off the front row and eighth is a bit frustrating. I'm losing three-tenths just with the way I'm feeling. But when you feel this rough it just shows that if you are not fully on it you can be eighth pretty easy because it is so close. I feel a bit better than yesterday and hopefully my condition will have improved a bit more tomorrow for the race, but I've never taken so many drugs in my life. It will be a tough race in my condition but my guys are doing a great job and I'm sure the bike will be great. I feel for the team because I'm not feeling on top of the world. It is so close though. Jorge did an unbelievable lap but from second to thirteenth the gap is less than a second. I don't think I've ever seen anything that close in all the classes I've raced in. It is unbelievably competitive. We have a good direction for the race set-up tomorrow but the tyres will be critical. We are just trying to pick the best one for the endurance because the temperature is a lot higher than when we tested here. It is unusually high for this time of year and I think we could do with something a bit stronger. But everybody is in the same boat. Colin showed what this package is capable of but I paid the price for not feeling too great. But credit to Colin because he got the job done." Qualifying 1 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha, ESP, 1'38.189 2, Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP, 1'38.789 3, Colin Edwards, Yamaha, USA, 1'38.954 4, Nicky Hayden, Honda, USA, 1'39.061 5, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, ITA, 1'39.064 6, Randy De Puniet, Honda, FRA, 1'39.122 7, Casey Stoner, Ducati, AUS, 1'39.286 8, James Toseland, Yamaha, GBR, 1'39.334 9, John Hopkins, Kawasaki, USA, 1'39.439 10, Loris Capirossi, Suzuki, ITA, 1'39.484 11, Shinya Nakano, Honda, JPN, 1'39.559 12, Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki, AUS, 1'39.704 13, Andrea Dovizioso, Honda, ITA, 1'39.767 14, Alex De Angelis, Honda, SMR, 1'40.037 15, Anthony West, Kawasaki, AUS, 1'40.088 Click here to view the news
  13. Yamaha's Chad Reed got back to winning ways with his seventh victory of the 2008 AMA Monster Energy Supercross championship in Toronto last weekend. The Australian reengaged his title quest to claim the twelfth round of the campaign and lead the series by 20 points with just five events remaining. After missing the podium for the two last races Reed was faultless across an extremely difficult, muddy and rutted terrain that saw many of his peers taste Canadian mud at some stage. Yamaha's Josh Hill was running as high as second before a mistake caused him to lose positions and he eventually crossed the finish line in fifth. Reed though cautiously led from start-to-finish for his ninth set of silverware this year. After the 'Monsoon' conditions at Daytona this was the second time the riders had to traverse a tricky circuit after the frozen dirt that was imported into the stadium began to melt and fall apart. "The dirt was horrible! It was survival out there," laughed the recently-turned 26 year old former champion. "It was important to get that holeshot and try to get out front, and I just tried to control the race. I watched the pitboard and attempted to keep [the gap] at 10 seconds, and when it go to anything under that, I tried to pick it up a little bit. I think the key tonight was that slow was fast." "I'm happy. It's going great. I've had some ups and downs, but I've got seven wins now, and like I said, I want to get this thing over and done with," added Reed who used the first break in the Supercross calendar to fly home to Australia for a holiday last week. After beating main threat Kevin Windham, Reed was able to add a further three points to his advantage in the standings. The first of the five remaining races takes places next weekend at the Texas Stadium in Dallas. Race 1 - 20 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 20'53.073 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 0'4.168 3, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 0'6.400 4, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 0'40.972 5, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 0'49.413 6, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 0'51.814 7, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 0'80.748 8, Troy Adams, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 9, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, -1 Laps 10, Jason Thomas, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 11, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 12, Eric Sorby, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 13, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, -1 Laps 14, Travis Preston, Kawasaki, USA, -1 Laps 15, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 16, Jeff Gibson, Kawasaki, USA, -1 Laps 17, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 18, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, -2 Laps 19, Jiri Dostal, Kawasaki, USA, -2 Laps 20, Dusty Klatt, Kawasaki, USA, -3 Laps Rider Standings 29/03/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 262 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 242 3, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 190 4, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 184 5, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 151 6, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 151 7, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 137 8, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 123 9, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 110 10, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 106 11, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 93 12, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 80 13, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 69 14, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, 65 15, Eric Sorby, Honda, USA, 64 23, Grant Langston, Yamaha, RSA, 38 36, Broc Hepler, Yamaha, USA, 3 Manufacturer Standings 29/03/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Yamaha, 274 2, Honda, 257 3, Kawasaki, 213 4, Suzuki, 172 5, KTM, 110 Click here to view the news
  14. Joshua Coppins is recovering well from his left shoulder injury sustained at round 11 of the MX1 World Championship held at Loket (Czech Republic) on the 29th of July, but unfortunately his present condition does not permit him to enter the Grand Prix of Northern Ireland held coming weekend at the Moneyglass Demense circuit. Coppins missed the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago and now had to decide to cancel his participation in round 13 of the championship as well. Joshua does the very maximum to speed up his recovery, traveling between Belgium, Germany and the UK to seek specialist treatment. The extensive medical attention to the small crack in the neck of the glenoid of his left shoulder is having the desired healing effect, as confirmed by a CT scan made earlier this week which showed good progression of the bone coming back together. At his home base in Belgium, Dr. Claes has been consulted on the therapy which includes the use of a new magnetic 'ortho-pulse' device, massage and acupuncture given by a German naturopath improving blood flow and other advanced medical techniques. Josh has also started with an intense physiotherapy program including a lot of swimming to improve movement in his shoulder, recently he expanded his training with road cycling and mountain biking, but he won’t ride his YZ450FM just yet. Expectation is that after another positive CT scan scheduled for next week Tuesday, Joshua can start riding his bike again to prepare for the British Grand Prix held on the 26th of August. He hopes to enter that race still leading the world championship. Before his crash at Loket Coppins held a very comfortable advantage of 107 points, but prior to this weekends Grand Prix of Northern Ireland his buffer has diminished to 43 points on second placed Steve Ramon with Sebastian Pourcel also still in contention with 83 points behind Coppins. Most likely the MX1 World Championship will go down to the wire until the last race of the series held at Lierop (NL) on the 2nd of September. While Coppins is on his way to return to racing, Yamaha Team Ricci rider Kenneth Gundersen will enter the MX1 class at Moneyglass Demense. The 25 year old Norwegian is considering a move to this class for 2008 and considers his entry as a good test to see how competitive he can be. He hopes for good results that will contribute to Yamaha’s position in the manufacturers standing in MX1, which has shrunk to just one point over Suzuki. He will race on a YZ450F machine with YRRD kit (Yamaha Rinaldi R and D) prepared by his own team. Click here to view the news
  15. Yamaha's Josh Hill toasted a fine maiden AMA-SX triumph in front of almost 41,000 fans at the Metrodome in Minneapolis last Saturday for round eleven of seventeen in the 2008 championship. The 18 year old steered his YZ450F to the chequered flag ahead of Ryan Dungey and Kevin Windham. Series leader Chad Reed was a protagonist in the Main Event but a crash dropped him down the race order and he finished seventh for the second week in succession. Reed, who was struggling with sickness and sat out second practice, was hounding the back wheel of early leader Hill as the Yamahas formation-flew in the first half of the sprint. The Australian then made an uncharacteristic mistake at the end of the whoops section, and his slip caused him to plummet down the leader-board to ninth position. Hill was then free to continue his fine rhythm to the finish line. "I knew that I had to get going because somewhere in the mix, Chad would be there," said Hill, a first ever debut-winner in Minneapolis who is currently negotiating his first season in the SX class. "I was just in the right place at the right time. Chad made a mistake, and I just cruised along to victory, pretty much. After I broke away from Dungey, I kind of just was able to get into a smooth pace and keep it going." "Chad had problems," he continued. "I haven't beaten Chad straight-up. Has anybody? He's gnarly! It's not going to be easy at all to do this again, and with my rollercoaster-ride season... if I keep my track-record, I should be 17th next weekend! But I think my program has really improved to a point where I'm mentally in the game a lot more when I show up to the race. Before, I'd really work hard during the week, and I'd do my homework, but I'd show up at the race and either be drained or just mentally not focused and I think Ryan Hughes has really helped me out with that." As for Reed it was the first time he has missed the podium for two races this season. His error also sliced his advantage in the overall standings down to 17 points with six rounds left to run. AMA Motocross Champion Grant Langston is still unable to compete due to an eye problem. Another Yamaha-mounted teenager, Tyler Bowers, was sixth in the East Coast Lites division on the YZ250F. The AMA-SX (also an FIM World Championship) campaign now enjoys a break for the first time this year. The teams and riders will have two weeks to recollect over Easter weekend before the trip to the Rogers Centre in Toronto on March 29th. Race 1 - 20 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 16'7.800 2, Ryan Dungey, Suzuki, USA, 0'5.397 3, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 0'12.134 4, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 0'14.319 5, Thomas Hahn, Kawasaki, USA, 0'24.287 6, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 0'28.537 7, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 0'31.192 8, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 0'32.536 9, Travis Preston, Kawasaki, USA, 0'33.729 10, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, -1 Laps 11, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 12, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, -1 Laps 13, Eric Sorby, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 14, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 15, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, -1 Laps 16, Tyler Bright, Honda, USA, -1 Laps 17, Jeff Gibson, Kawasaki, USA, -2 Laps 18, Dusty Klatt, Kawasaki, USA, -2 Laps 19, Jason Thomas, Honda, USA, -5 Laps 20, Manuel Gomes Rivas, Kawasaki, ESP, -12 Laps Rider Standings 15/03/2008 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Chad Reed, Yamaha, AUS, 237 2, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 220 3, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 172 4, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 164 5, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 137 6, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 135 7, Nathan Ramsey, Yamaha, USA, 134 8, David Vuillemin, Suzuki, FRA, 115 9, Paul Carpenter, Honda, USA, 96 10, Nicholas Wey, KTM, USA, 95 11, Charles Summey, Yamaha, USA, 81 12, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 74 13, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 69 14, Jacob Marsack, Honda, USA, 61 15, Eric Sorby, Honda, USA, 55 23, Grant Langston, Yamaha, RSA, 38 36, Broc Hepler, Yamaha, USA, 3 Manufacturer Standings 15/03/2008 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Yamaha, 249 2, Honda, 235 3, Kawasaki, 199 4, Suzuki, 164 5, KTM, 95 Click here to view the news
  16. On Behalf of Yamaha Motor Corporation Co. LTD About the Passing Away of Norifumi (Norick) Abe It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Norifumi (Norick) Abe (32) on October 7, 2007, following a traffic accident. Norick Abe, as he is fondly known by motorcycle race fans around the world, was competing this season in the JSB1000 class of the All-Japan Championships from the “Y'S GEAR Racing” team. Norick was riding a motorcycle in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Pref. when he met with an accident at about 6:20 pm and he was pronounced dead at 8:50 pm at the hospital where he was taken for treatment. In 1993, Norifumi Abe became the youngest rider ever to win the pinnacle 500cc class of the All Japan Road Race Championships. The following year he was competing in the All Japan Superbike Championship when he joined the Yamaha camp and started competing in the World GP500cc class. From 1995 he began competing full-time in the World GP500cc class, where he eventually compiled a record of three wins, four 2nd places and 10 3rd places in his GP career. This year he returned to the All Japan Championships and also competed in the Suzuka 8 hours World Endurance Championship race in July. During his career Abe was widely known and loved by the fans as a leading figure in the domestic race scene as well as abroad. Comment from Takashi Kajikawa, President, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. “I am deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. Loved by fans in Japan, Europe and the Americas and throughout Asia, Norifumi Abe was an irreplaceable ambassador of motor sports worldwide. Here in Japan the fans were especially excited to see Abe return to the All Japan circuit after 14 years of international competition, and certainly their sense of loss at his passing is great. We pray that his soul rests in peace and we send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.” Norifumi Abe Profile Place of birth: Tokyo, Japan Born on Sept. 7, 1975 2007 team: Y'S GEAR Racing Career: 1993: Champion of All Japan GP500 class 1994: World Road Race Championships GP500 class debut 1995: 9th in World GP500 class 1996: 5th in World GP500 class (won Japan GP) 1997: 7th in World GP500 class 1998: 6th in World GP500 class 1999: 6th in World GP500 class (won Rio GP) 2000: 8th in World GP500 class (won Japan GP) 2001: 7th in World GP500 class 2002: 6th in MotoGP 2003: 16th in MotoGP (spot participation) 2004: 13th in MotoGP 2005: 13th in World Superbike Championship 2006: 13th in World Superbike Championship 2007: Ranking 3rd in All Japan JSB1000 class (at the end of round 6) Click here to view the news
  17. James Toseland produced arguably the most outstanding performance on the final day of testing in Phillip Island today as the Tech 3 Yamaha team successfully concluded the long haul phase of its pre-season testing campaign. Making only his fourth appearance for the Tech 3 Yamaha team, Toseland took full advantage of his vast Phillip Island track knowledge to finish with the third fastest time of 1.29.754. His best was set on a Michelin qualifying tyre, with only world champions Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden lapping faster on the final afternoon. Toseland was one of only five riders to break the 1.30 barrier over the three days. Toseland also gained more crucial experience by completing his first full race simulation on board the 2008 Yamaha YZR-M1. He lapped consistently in the 1.31 bracket during his 27-lap run, as he assessed new front and rear suspension settings and a revised electronics set-up in full race conditions. His best lap on race tyres today was a 1.31.012. American Edwards was fifth quickest today, also using a Michelin qualifying tyre to set his best time of 1.29.795 in sunny but windy conditions at the 4.445km circuit. Experimenting with chassis set-up to try and improve rear grip, Edwards was satisfied enough with progress to stop just before 2pm having completed a distance run of 20 laps. Just five days of testing remain for Toseland and Edwards in Jerez and Qatar, before the new season’s spectacular start under floodlights in Doha on March 9. James Toseland 3rd 1.29.754 – 89 laps “I’m really happy. I was always looking forward to coming here with my track knowledge and its nice to see the difference where I stand in the order with that experience. To be at the sharp end of the times and see my name up there has put a bigger smile on my face. Knowing the track I can be on the same line each lap and that’s helped me relay my feedback on the bike a lot more precisely to my team. On other tracks I’ve been finding my way round as well as trying to make a lap time. I was happy with my pace in the race simulation but those extra five or six laps over what I’ve been used to in superbike were a bit strange. My body just isn’t used to that distance but I felt good and wasn’t too tired at the end. It is all good experience and its all coming together nicely. I will sleep well tonight on the plane after this performance. Even one of my mechanics said that it is so good to see an English rider at that end of the timesheets rather than at the other end. And the best thing is I can only get faster and stronger. I’m still waiting for some new parts from Yamaha, so there is still plenty of room for improvement, also from Michelin. Everybody is working hard and I’m riding on a wave at the moment.” Colin Edwards 5th 1.29.795 – 56 laps “I did a long run to give Michelin some information to see what the tyres could handle. The 20 laps I did I was 20 seconds faster than in the race last year which is positive. This track is a little bit strange because you spend so much time on the side of the tyre trying to build up speed. And that’s where Michelin needs to concentrate their efforts so we can generate a little bit of speed. But I’m more motivated than ever because I can see my team and Yamaha working, but to see Michelin put in the same effort and work just as hard adds a lot of motivation. Everybody is working equally hard with me and for me. These guys are putting in the hard days at the moment and I’m really happy with my team. After these six days of testing in Sepang and Phillip Island I’m excited and I’m really looking forward to the first race in Qatar.” Click here to view the news
  18. New Fiat Yamaha Team signing Jorge Lorenzo finished what was just his fourth test on a MotoGP bike in fine form today, rounding off testing in Malaysia in third place overall. The Spanish rookie posted his best lap from 63 on a Michelin qualifying tyre but also put in a string of consistently fast laps on race tyres, despite a fall cutting short his long run. The youngster set out for his race simulation in sweltering conditions this morning and was posting some consistently fast times when he crashed on lap 17. He was unhurt however and was able to continue with Michelin tyre testing for the rest of the day, rounding off with an impressive time of 2’00.766 on a qualifying tyre, just 0.440 seconds off fastest man of the day Nicky Hayden and only 0.161 seconds off the existing Sepang pole record. Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 3rd Time: 2’00.766 Laps: 63 “Today was another positive day for me and it’s been an encouraging three days overall: I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved. I had a little problem this morning because I felt like I had a bit less grip than usual, so we had to work on this. Then I started my race simulation and unfortunately I crashed about three-quarters of the way through; I was a bit out of the line and when I accelerated I lost control of the bike. Before that my pace was not so bad and we had time to gather a lot of information before it happened, so it wasn’t the end of the world. I wasn’t hurt and so after that we started again with Michelin tyre testing and at the end I tried a qualifying tyre which was very good; I improved my time quite a lot. I’m really happy with the team’s work and now we’re waiting for the next test so we can continue improving.” Daniele Romagnoli – Team Manager “Despite the crash in his long run we got some good information and his pace up to that time was good. Overall it’s been a very good test and we’ve had some good improvement from the engine side. We’ve continued to progress with regards to the bike set-up and also with tyres, where we’ve found some good new material. Thanks to the rider and the team for their hard work and of course we’re looking forward to coming back again in ten days to continue our preparation for the season ahead.” Rossi content with progress at close of first Sepang test Valentino Rossi rounded off the third day of testing in Malaysia with another day’s solid progress in Sepang today, the Fiat Yamaha Team rider finishing the test sixth overall out of 22 riders testing. Rossi had time to complete a full race simulation of 21 laps and recorded a general improvement compared to last year’s race, despite slowing down for a lap in the middle in order to give himself a breather as temperatures topped 34 degrees. Rossi’s best time after 48 laps, a lap of 2’01.425, was posted on a Bridgestone qualifier but the Italian admits there is more work to do in order to maximise bike set-up when using the softer qualifying tyres. Overall it was an extremely positive test for Rossi and his crew, who managed to complete everything on the schedule thanks to good weather throughout. The Fiat Yamaha Team will now head to their respective homes for a week before returning to Sepang for another three-day test on 5th, 6th and 7th February. Valentino Rossi - Position: 6th Time: 2’01.425 Laps: 48 “The overall balance of the three day test has been very positive and we’ve worked in many different areas. We’ve tested the pneumatic-valve engine and I have a good feeling from it, plus we’ve improved our top speed compared to the race here. I’m happy about the engine so far, although we want to make as much mileage as possible with it in order to check its reliability and performance. We’ve continued to work with the new electronics in braking and acceleration and the new system is helping us to have more control and make less mistakes. Of course we’ve also done a lot of work with Bridgestone on tyres, and we have found some positive things here. We need to improve our performance with the qualifying tyre; we need more time to better understand how to set-up our bike with the soft tyres and so we will continue to work on this next time. We’ve given a lot of information to Bridgestone this week and we look forward to more work together next time. Finally I was able to complete a good race simulation and overall my pace was better than in the race last year, even though I had to slow down for a bit in the middle because it was so hot! Anyway I really wanted to finish so I kept going and in the end I was very happy with my performance. It’s been a good test for us and now we’re looking forward to next time.” Davide Brivio – Team Manager “This has been a very positive test and it’s clear that Yamaha have worked very hard during the winter, so I would like to say a big thank you to all the engineers. To everyone involved now it looks like we’re on our way to fixing some of the issues and weak points which we had last year and we hope that at every test we will be able to make the same amount of progress. Valentino’s level is already high but it’s only the first test after the long winter break and so I am sure he will continue to improve as well. Now we look forward to coming back in ten days time to continue our programme.” Edwards concludes Sepang stay with fourth fastest time The opening chapter in the 2008 MotoGP campaign for the Yamaha Tech3 team was brought to a close with the third and final day of testing at a sweltering Sepang circuit in Malaysia this afternoon. After clocking the second best effort yesterday there was further good news for Colin Edwards and the French crew as the American rested fourth in the Day 3 standings with a circulation just eight tenths of a second off the top slot. New team-mate James Toseland was eighth and upbeat after just his third run with the YZR-M1. Colin Edwards racked up 34 laps in pursuit of his quickest time of the three day session, which he managed on his 12th attempt and snipped two tenths of a second away from Wednesday’s impressive feat. The 33 year old was buoyed after the technical crew solved a small matter of chatter with the front end of the motorcycle and he maintained a steady presence in the 2:01 bracket with Michelin race tyres; underneath the fastest lap setting of the 2007 Grand Prix at Sepang. Herve Poncharal had reason to feel content with the results and progress of his rider line-up as well as the overall usefulness of the test. Colin Edwards – Position: 4th: 2:01.179, 34 laps “We got a little bit of a late start today; man I was sore! I am getting old! After six weeks off the bike your hands and butt gets soft and it takes time to build up the calluses. After three days of riding I just have blisters at the moment. We made some improvements again today with the M1. My crew chief and suspension technician had an idea for the front end because we were having some chatter. It was something I had never tried before, but they fixed the problem. It was such a simple thing but they did really well, so a big thanks! We did not do anything new today but played around with tyres. Michelin came up with the goods. I did my best times on the new race tyre and it was phenomenal. Onto Phillip Island now and more of the same I hope.” After speeding up through both previous days of action James Toseland hit his stride throughout a stuffy afternoon run. The 27 year old concentrated on familiarising himself with new electronic and traction control systems but still managed a batch of laps in the ’01 and low ‘02s. Toseland is Britain’s sole representative in the ’08 MotoGP championship and comes into the Tech3 set-up hot from winning eight from twenty-six races and grabbing thirteen podiums on the way to a second World Superbike title. James Toseland – Position: 8th: 2:01.745, 45 laps “In November I managed a 2:03.5 lap; just one. So to do a 2:02 on a race tyre and then an ’01 with a qualifier let me finish eighth overall today, which I quite pleased with. We have had quite bad chatter that we have struggled to get rid of, although I am told that this place is one of the worst circuits for this and maybe in Australia I might not have it. I am really happy with how the team is working. I finally got the traction control and the engine system, and this gave an improvement but it is really something that you need to get used to and be confident with to improve your times. It is something I can build-on for the next test. I know Phillip Island very well and it is a much cooler place so I am looking forward to starting again next week.” Herve Poncharal, Team Principal, Tech3 Yamaha: “I am very pleased with how things have gone for the first 2008 test. It was important that both riders were quicker every day and the new bike and the tyres from Michelin have let us make a big step. Colin has impressed me with how he was instantly in the good lap-times; I think he has been the fastest on race tyres which is a positive sign. We have been testing a lot of things and for sure the new Yamaha is an improvement over last year. I would also like to thank Michelin for their application and the products that they have brought. Colin feels that there is a huge difference and James is continuing to learn, improve and surprise us; I think you have to go step-by-step in MotoGP otherwise we know how things can end up. We leave Sepang after many laps and with a lot of data for Michelin and Yamaha. We are eager to get to Phillip Island now because we will find some new conditions. Overall it is great to show we are competitive and thanks to the team for their good work.” With their 2008 schedule now active, a busy sequence of work for the Tech3 team lays ahead. Logistical staff were busy Thursday afternoon loading the motorcycles and equipment into crates in preparation for the trip to the Phillip Island circuit in Australia next week and the second stint of testing for both riders. Further outings at the two IRTA dates in February (Jerez and Qatar) are then pencilled in. A little over six weeks remain before the first Grand Prix of eighteen takes place at the Losail circuit in Qatar; the first ever world championship night event. Results 1. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Hrc 2:00.326 2. Casey Stoner - Ducati Marlboro 2:00.660 3. Jorge Lorenzo - Fiat Yamaha Team 2:00.766 4. Colin Edwards - Yamaha Tech3 2:01.179 5. John Hopkins - Kawasaki Racing2:01.198 6. Valentino Rossi - Fiat Yamaha Team 2:01.425 7. Andrea Dovizioso - Jir Team Scot2:01.447 8. James Toseland - Yamaha Tech32:01.745 9. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki 2:01.748 10. Loris Capirossi - Rizla Suzuki 2:01.778 11. Randy De Puniet - Honda Lcr 2:01.873 12. Shinya Nakano - Honda Gresini2:02.032 13. Alex De Angelis - Honda Gresini 2:02.198 14. Marco Melandri - Ducati Marlboro 2:02.725 15. Anthony West - Kawasaki Racing 2:02.978 16. Toni Elias - Alice Team 2:02.995 17 Olivier Jacque - Kawasaki Racing2:03.030 18 Sylvain Guintoli - Alice Team2:03.628 19 Niccolò Canepa - Ducati Test2:03.703 20 Tamaki Serizawa - Kawasaki Racing2:04.354 Sepang Lap Record Casey Stoner (Ducati) 2007 - 2'02.108 Sepang Best Lap Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2006 - 2'00.605 Click here to view the news
  19. Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) completed a tough but successful three day test at Phillip Island in conditions which varied from relatively cool to exceptionally hot, finding real improvements while using Yamaha’s YCC-I variable intake system in full race trim. Noriyuki Haga (Position: 6th – Best time: 1’32.4) “It’s gone very well. We spent the days testing new parts, the results are good so now I am just waiting for the race. I’ve tried new suspension, new swing arm linkages and many tyres and the variable inlet trumpets. Before coming to Phillip Island I tested the variable inlet trumpets for two days in Japan and the feeling is very good. We can see from the power curve that it is better and as a rider it gives me a better feeling. It gives us increased adjustment and for sure we will use this from now on.” Haga’s personal best time of 1’32.4 was only 0.3 seconds from the best over the three days of testing, while Corser set a 1’32.7, both concentrating their efforts on finding good race settings and tyre options in the constantly changing track conditions. Corser in particular found the surface uncharacteristically bumpy in places, and the final day of testing, run in ambient temperatures of 38°C at times, was hard work for all. As well as successful trials of the YCC-I system, the team evaluated swingarm and linkage developments, with Corser also trying out new braking components. The very high temperatures of the final day are not expected to be experienced at the Phillip Island race itself, on 2 March. Troy Corser (Position: 7th – Best time: 1’32.7) “We’ve had a lot to test but we’ve seen a direction - some were good and some not so good. I’ve been working to improve the stability on the bike and we’ve also been trying some new discs to give us better braking. We’ve had a whole range of front forks, rear shocks and a different swing arm link and tyres to test. The actual one lap fast times on the final day didn’t really come but we gained a lot of data, a lot of feedback and have a good race speed. I only spent the final afternoon using the variable inlet but I’ve been able to feel a bit different power. I think we’ve still got a bit of work to do to find the best bike balance here but it’s definitely been a positive test.” Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) "We have to be happy with this test because we are better than last year and the year before and in particular over a race distance our speed is good. Still this circuit remains difficult for us because it offers not the grip level that makes are bike work perfect. It is difficult to say the difference between us and the competition, because we did our long run at around 12 noon, most others did theirs at a different time. We were happy with ours, especially the one from Noriyuki, so we are leaving Phillip Island feeling optimistic. Both riders used the variable intake system properly for the first time and both of them were very happy with it. It is a positive step and for sure we will use it at the first race in Qatar.” Circuit Length: 4.445km, Temp: First day 20°C, rising to last day 38°C Weather: Dry, sunny Parkes hot at home as Foret continues progress Broc Parkes left his home circuit of Phillip Island with the best lap time of the three day test in the Supersport category, while his new team-mate, Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport Team) also made great progress with the new Yamaha YZF-R6. Parkes set a blistering 1’34.6, some 0.4 seconds faster than his closest rivals, and easily inside the previous lap records. Foret found the set-up changes he needed to set his best of 1’35.2 on the very last day. It had been a tough test because of the every increasing temperature, and the fact that since the last test there, the track has become bumpy in places. A lot of effort was focused on finding suspension setting that worked effectively, as the previous test of the brand new machine was conducted on the smooth and flat circuit at Qatar, in late November. Broc Parkes (Position: 1st – Best time: 1’34.6) "It’s been a good test and we’ve been working really well. The engine, chassis and suspension is all working together, we’ve tried a lot of things and it seems that every direction we went in was a good one and we kept improving. The new bike is a big improvement especially the engine, it’s got more torque which makes it more user friendly and it’s also giving us better tyre life. All in all I’m really happy, at the Qatar test I was quickest and I’ve been fastest all three days here in Phillip Island so hopefully we can keep the momentum going until the first race.” Fabien Foret (Position: 4th – Best time: 1’35.2) "My test was much better on the final day and I did a few fast laps at the end, so I am a bit happier than I was on day one or two. I am still working on the feel and feedback from the front and because of the very hot conditions everyone seemed to be looking for grip. Turn one was very bumpy, but the grip was the biggest thing for me in the heat.” Wilco Zeelenberg (Team Coordinator - Yamaha World Supersport Team) "The test went OK even if the conditions changed each day and the track was quite bumpy in places compared to the experience we had at the Qatar tests. It was very smooth and flat there. It was 20°C on the first day, 30°C on the second and then 38°C today, so we have tested the new bike in every condition except rain. We had to work hard for three days to find the best suspension settings and we still have work to do to be exactly where we want to, but we still have the time and space to do that. We have been fast, so that is not an issue. We also did some successful long runs to choose tyres.” Circuit Length: 4.445km Temp: First day 20°C, rising to last day 38°C Weather: Dry, sunny Superbike times combined 1. Yukio Kagayama (JPN-Suzuki) 1’32.1 2. Troy Bayliss (AUS-Ducati) 1’32.2 3. Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati) 1’32.3 4. Ruben Xaus (ESP-Ducati) 1’32.3 5. Fonsi Nieto (ESP-Suzuki) 1’32.3 6. Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Yamaha) 1’32.4 7. Troy Corser (AUS-Yamaha) 1’32.7 8. Max Biaggi (ITA-Ducati) 1’32.8 9. Regis Laconi (FRA-Kawasaki) 1’33.0 10. Makoto Tamada (JPN-Kawasaki) 1’33.4 11. Max Neukirchner (GER-Suzuki) 1’35.5 Supersport times combined 1. Broc Parkes (AUS-Yamaha) 1’34.6 2. Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda) 1’35.0 3. Andrew Pitt (AUS-Honda) 1’35.0 4. Fabien Foret (FRA-Yamaha) 1’35.2 5. Katsuaki Fujiwara (JPN-Kawasaki) 1’35.6 6. Chris Walker (GBR-Kawasaki) 1’35.7 7. Josh Brookes (AUS-Honda) 1’35.7 8. Garry McCoy (AUS-Triumph) 1’35.9 9. Robbin Harms (DEN-Honda) 1’36.4 Click here to view the news
  20. Valentino Rossi's hopes of securing the runner-up spot in the championship ended in the unluckiest of fashions today, when a technical issue brought the injured Italian's race to a premature end in Valencia. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards also had a disappointing race and finished 13th in his final race for the Factory Team, after starting from 15th. Having broken three bones in his hand after crashing in qualifying yesterday, Rossi bravely decided to race, his 192nd consecutive start since his 125cc debut in 2006. Forced to start from 17th after completing only five laps in qualifying, he needed to finish 15th or higher in order to secure second place in the championship from Pedrosa, who started on pole. By mid-race distance he had gone one better, having passed Anthony West, Shinya Nakano and Makoto Tamada to take 14th.However on lap 18 Rossi ran into unexpected problems with his bike and he was forced to retire, only able look on as Pedrosa went on to win the race and take the championship runner-up spot by just one point. Edwards meanwhile had made up three places from his starting position to 12th, but was limited by a lack of grip and unable to make any headway to the next group of riders. A late battle with Carlos Checa however, who was riding in his last MotoGP race, went the way of the Spaniard and Edwards was forced to settle for 13th across the line and ninth place in the championship on his Fiat Yamaha farewell. Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, commented after the race, "This final race has been a very disappointing end to a long and hard season. I feel very sorry that our machine failed Valentino today and denied him the second place in the championship that he surely deserved. His ride today with a broken hand showed his fighting spirit and his passion for racing. Colin's last race for the Yamaha Factory Team was also a disappointing end to his season. I would like to anyway thank Colin for his commitment to Yamaha and for his great teamwork during the last three years. We also look forward to having him in the Yamaha family as our next-door neighbour in 2008. Last but not least I would like to thank all members of the Factory Team and the Yamaha MotoGP staff for their tireless dedication and commitment all year long. We will now put our full focus on next year. We have a lot of work ahead of us in order to come back stronger and faster and to return to winning ways for the 2008 MotoGP World Championship." Colin Edwards - Position: 13th Time: +46.572 "There's really nothing to say about today so I'll just leave that be! It was my last race with the Factory Team and everyone knows I wanted a better goodbye than this, but there was little I could do today. I'm very thankful to everyone in this team for the last three years, which have without doubt been some of the most memorable of my racing career. A huge thanks to Yamaha, to Michelin and to everyone in the team; it's been great fun. I'm very glad I'm staying with Yamaha and now I'm just looking forward to getting started with the new bike!" Valentino Rossi - Position: DNF Time: 11 Laps "I have no words. For sure, after today, I can say that it's not just a matter of misfortune. I did everything I could in order to be on the grid today, because I wanted to try and confirm my second place in the championship, which I think I deserved. I was riding very fast, even though my bike was not perfect. When I got into 14th place, I told myself that my task was done, but I was feeling quite good and I wanted to try to pass some more riders. Unfortunately however I felt that I had a problem with my bike and I was forced to come in. Now we are checking the data to understand what happened, because at the moment it's not so clear. I will need 20 days to fix my hand and then I will be back in Jerez to start my winter testing programme. I'd like to thank Claudio Costa and Marco Montanari, as well as everyone at the Clinica Mobile, because they made a great effort with my hand to enable me to race today." Davide Brivio - Team Director "We hoped for a much better end to the season and we would like to say sorry to Valentino because he made a great effort to race with his broken hand. Unfortunately a technical problem stopped him from getting the second place and we're very sad about this. Our engineers are doing everything they can now to understand what happened today, because Valentino felt that he had a problem and that the engine was not working properly. From our first analysis we are not yet sure what the problem was, so we have decided to send the engine back to Japan for further investigation. Colin was only able to finish 13th and it's a shame also that he couldn't finish the season and his Factory Team career on a better note. We're glad however that he's staying in the Yamaha family and we wish him all the best. It seems that Valencia hasn't been a very lucky track for us over the last couple of years, but what happened today will just give us a stronger motivation for next season. We start testing again this month and we will do everything we can to be at the top of the championship again next year. Thanks to the team and everyone involved; there have been some very difficult moments this year but we will try again in 2008." Season ends on a high note for Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team The Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team finished 2007 at the Valencia Grand Prix with its most impressive performance of the year. Both riders secured Dunlop's best qualifying result in the premier class since 2002 as Sylvain Guintoli and Makoto Tamada started from the second row of the grid in fifth and six positions, respectively. In the race, Sylvain created another personal best being the first Yamaha across the finish line with both riders scoring championship points as victory went to local hero Dani Pedrosa with Sylvain claiming the "Rookie of the Year" award. Guintoli, after being as high as eighth place during the 30-lap race had to settle for 11th place after a race long duel with the factory bikes of Carlos Checa, Tony Elias and Randy De Puniet while Makoto, who celebrated his 31st birthday on the day, was also embroiled in the same battle and finished 15th. Sylvain Guintoli - Position: 11th Time: +38.763 The start of the race wasn't that great but then I got into a good rhythm to have a good battle with Randy and Barros and Elias. It was good fun race and considering my start I am happy to finish where I did and to be the first Yamaha homes as a great bonus. It is pretty emotional for me at the moment. We had such a great season. It was the best season ever for me and I feel a bit sad. I think the team all agree that we did better than we expected. The aim at the start was to progress, learn the category and a MotoGP bike and try to beat my teammate whenever possible. From the start I think we showed that we had the pace and the motivation whilst Dunlop put in an enormous amount of hard work and were equally motivated. The season was definitely very positive for the entire team and I wish them all the best for next year. Makoto Tamada - Position: 15thTime: +56.879 During the race I had a very good pace but after about half way the performance of the tyre dropped down a little bit and I also felt some vibration from the rear so I lost a bit of confidence in pushing hard and lost contact with the riders I was fighting with. I'm not too happy with the race but I would like to thank the team and Dunlop for the opportunity to race in this team. I didn't get the results that I was really looking for but the team and the guys from Dunlop never stopped working to try and improve things. They couldn't have done anything more to help me this year and I wish everyone much success in the future. Herve Poncharal - Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team Manager Definitely a very good weekend for us. Our best qualifying result by far with our two riders on the second row and I was very proud to end up our relationship with Dunlop on a high note in qualifying and a solid result in the race. The race was tough but we managed to keep a good rhythm although the start was not excellent as usual, unfortunately. Sylvain pushed hard through the entire race and there is nothing to be ashamed of. The tyres were consistent all race long, we were the first Yamaha across the line something so that is something I'm really proud of and both riders were in the points again but this is the end of the adventure of Yamaha Tech 3 and Dunlop. I would like to thank all the Dunlop technicians, fitters and engineers that have been involved in the project because they have been behind us 100%, always motivated and always working very hard. I would also like to thank both my riders as we have had a really incredible ambience in the garage all year. There was never any problem between the riders and team and certainly for me on the human side 2007 is the best year I have ever had with two riders. I'm sad to see them leave but happy to see Sylvain go to a good team and I wish all the best to Makoto in his endeavours for next year. I also wish all the best for Dunlop and hope they can return to MotoGP as soon as possible. Meanwhile I'd like to congratulate Dunlop on their 15th consecutive 250cc and 10th consecutive 125cc World Championships. Race 1 - 30 Laps Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time 1, Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP, 46'43.533 2, Casey Stoner, Ducati, AUS, 0'5.447 3, John Hopkins, Suzuki, USA, 0'20.404 4, Marco Melandri, Honda, ITA, 0'24.827 5, Loris Capirossi, Ducati, ITA, 0'25.804 6, Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki, AUS, 0'25.804 7, Alex Barros, Ducati, BRA, 0'29.470 8, Nicky Hayden, Honda, USA, 0'30.333 9, Randy De Puniet, Kawasaki, FRA, 0'30.895 10, Toni Elias, Honda, ESP, 0'31.030 11, Sylvain Guintoli, Yamaha, FRA, 0'38.763 12, Carlos Checa, Honda, ESP, 0'42.506 13, Colin Edwards, Yamaha, USA, 0'46.572 14, Shinya Nakano, Honda, JPN, 0'50.220 15, Makoto Tamada, Yamaha, JPN, 0'56.879 16, Anthony West, Kawasaki, AUS, 1'15.369 Best Lap Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP, 1'32.748 Rider Standings 04/11/2007 Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points 1, Casey Stoner, Ducati, AUS, 367 2, Daniel Pedrosa, Honda, ESP, 242 3, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, ITA, 241 4, John Hopkins, Suzuki, USA, 189 5, Marco Melandri, Honda, ITA, 187 6, Chris Vermeulen, Suzuki, AUS, 179 7, Loris Capirossi, Ducati, ITA, 166 8, Nicky Hayden, Honda, USA, 127 9, Colin Edwards, Yamaha, USA, 124 10, Alex Barros, Ducati, BRA, 115 11, Randy De Puniet, Kawasaki, FRA, 108 12, Toni Elias, Honda, ESP, 104 13, Alex Hofmann, Ducati, GER, 65 14, Carlos Checa, Honda, ESP, 65 15, Anthony West, Kawasaki, AUS, 59 16, Sylvain Guintoli, Yamaha, FRA, 50 18, Makoto Tamada, Yamaha, JPN, 38 Team Standings 04/11/2007 Pos., Team, Points 1, Ducati Marlboro Team, 533 2, Rizla Suzuki, 371 3, Repsol Honda Team, 369 4, FIAT Yamaha Team, 365 5, Honda Gresini, 297 6, Pramac D'Antin, 181 7, Kawasaki Racing Team, 176 8, Tech3 Yamaha, 88 9, Honda LCR, 65 10, Konica Minolta Honda, 47 11, Team Roberts, 14 Manufacturer Standings 04/11/2007 Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Ducati, 394 2, Honda, 313 3, Yamaha, 283 4, Suzuki, 241 5, Kawasaki, 144 6, KR212V, 14 Click here to view the news
  21. Last Sunday the 28th October the International Oceania MX race took place in Australia. The event is a kind of a mini MX des Nations just for the two states down under; Australia and New Zealand. The best professional, junior and women riders of both countries competed at the Barrabool circuit west of Melbourne to determine who could call themselves the best Motocross nation in Oceania. Yamaha Motocross Teamrider Joshua Coppins won all his races, but that was not enough to get New Zealand the title. "I really enjoyed myself this weekend" smiled Coppins."I set the fastest time in practice and qualifying on Saturday and stayed out of trouble on Sunday and managed to win all my races.The track was fast and technical which I liked and we had good weather with some wind in the morning making it a bit dusty." Despite Coppins' wins, Team New Zealand was unable to pry the trophy from a hungry Aussie team."NZ did well in the professional and women's classes, with a great ride from our Katherine Prumm, but we really struggled in the junior class which I guess is where we lost out to Australia". With Josh's third place in his first ever Supermotard race a fortnight ago in Mettet, Belgium and a second place at the Weston Beach race in the UK a little over a week ago it is clear the "Lizard" has made a full recovery from his shoulder injury that cost him the 2007 MX1 World Championship title. Any doubts about Coppins' fitness vanished as he negotiated the deep sandy dunes of Weston beach on a production 2008 YZ450F. "I didn't know what to expect from this race." admitted Coppins. "I have heard a lot about the Weston Beach race and now that I have one under my belt I'm going to be back for more. I rode a complete standard YZ450F 2008 model and was amazed how well the bike pulled and held up in the deep sand. We ran stock suspension and a standard fuel tank so I just had to stop more often to re-fuel which is obviously where I lost some time "I took it easy on the first lap and was around 20th position after the start. Mike Brown and Steve Ramon were long gone, but then 'Brownie' cooked his clutch and after the first hour I was two minutes behind Steve. I got a rhythm going and closed down the gap to 50 seconds by the time the organisers red flagged the race so I was pumped with my riding and fitness." "I loved doing these events and am going to stay on a little longer in Australia for a bit of a holiday before heading back home to Motueka." added the Yamaha Motocross Team star. Click here to view the news
  22. Following yesterday’s heavy rain, thick fog delayed the start of the second day of testing in Jerez this morning before giving way to sunshine and a dry track, providing the Yamaha Factory Team with the chance to get some important work under their belts. Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards both focused on general set-up work today and were pleased to see good improvements to the performance of their 800cc Yamahas since their last test here in November. Rossi and Edwards were consistently fast throughout the day, with Rossi topping the time sheets until the last stages of the session before being overtaken by Marco Melandri (Honda), who set the day’s best lap in a time of 1’40.383. Rossi finished just behind him in a time of 1’40.408, under the existing 990cc lap record, which he himself set in 2005. Edwards, having been in the top three for most of the day, also slipped down the order at the end as several riders opted to try qualifying tyres ahead of tomorrow’s 40 minute timed ‘qualifying’ shoot-out, which begins at 1405 CET. Valentino Rossi (2nd, 1’40.408, 65 Laps) “Today was a very good day for us and we’ve done some great work. After today we’re happy because we can understand that we did a great job when we were here in November. We started with the same setting and the bike was fast straight away, then afterwards we tried a new setting from January and February, with the suspension and other things, and it felt even better. I had a great feeling with the front and also with the rear, and I had a lot of confidence with my bike. The balance was good under acceleration and I was able to go fast and in a good rhythm. Tomorrow we’ve got some more things to try and also some more tyres from Michelin, so we hope to make even more improvements. We’ll also get the chance to try a qualifying tyre and to see how we go against our rivals in the ‘qualifying’ session, which will be interesting. So anyway, we’ve got another day and some more work to do, but the situation is already good and I am feeling happy.” Colin Edwards (9th, 1’41.204, 69 Laps) “Today we started where we left off yesterday, trying to work out how to adapt the good setting from Qatar to this track. We figured a few things out in the morning and kept on making progress and actually what we’ve found is quite a long way from the Qatar setting and also from the old setting we used here, but anyway it works great! It felt good all day and I was doing consistently quick times, before we put in our ‘first-choice’ tyre from Qatar near the end and then it felt really fantastic. It really is a great tyre, so hopefully Michelin will have lots of those for me this season! I was right up there on the time sheets until the end when a few people put qualifiers in, but that wasn’t on our agenda today and we’ll have a go at that tomorrow. Of course there’s the competition tomorrow and it’s definitely the day to make a statement, so we’ll see how it goes! Davide Brivio – Team Director “Today we did a great job with Valentino, we found a very good balance and a good setting and he was able to be fast from his first lap and always at the top, until the very end. It was also a good day for Colin and he was also fast throughout. Tomorrow is our last day of testing before the championship starts so it’s very important, then we also have the competition in the afternoon. We’re in good shape with both riders so it should be an interesting day.” Lap Times: 1. Marco Melandri (ITA) Honda 1’40.383 2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1’40.408 3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1’40.581 4. Alex Hofmann (GER) Ducati 1’40.748 5. Toni Elias (SPA) Honda 1’40.952 6. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati 1’41.071 7. Carlos Checa (SPA) Honda 1’41.096 8. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki 1’41.151 9. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha 1’41.204 10. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Yamaha 1’41.234 11. Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda 1’41.259 12. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Honda 1’41.269 13. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Suzuki 1’41.363 14. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati 1’41.590 15. Olivier Jacque (FRA) Kawasaki 1’41.777 16. Kenny Roberts (USA) Team KR 1’41.783 17. Alex Barros (BRA) Ducati 1’41.845 18. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Yamaha 1’42.364 19. Shinichi Ito (JPN) Ducati 1’43.209 20. Kousuke Akiyoshi (JPN) Suzuki 1’43.610 21. Vittoriano Guareschi (ITA) Ducati 1’44.143 22. Jeremy McWilliams (IRE) Ilmor 1’44.458 23. Andrew Pitt (AUS) Ilmor 1’44.589 Jerez Lap Record (990cc): Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2005 – 1’40.596 Jerez Best Lap (990cc): Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2006 – 1’39.064 Click here to view the news
  23. Yamaha's new-for-2007 YZF-R1 demonstrated that it is a weapon to be reckoned with in world superbike competition, with Noriyuki Haga scoring provisional pole on the bike's world championship debut in Qatar today. The Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team rider topped the timesheets for much of the session onboard the MotoGP-inspired R1, with the Japanese rider particularly happy with his performance because he was concentrating on finding a good set-up to last Saturday's 18-lap race rather than going for an ultimate pole position time. Haga's 1:59.019 provisional pole time was set on race rubber and is the fastest ever superbike lap of the Losail circuit, being over half-a-second faster than Troy Bayliss' qualifying lap last year, and a full second quicker than his own race record. There was double delight for the Yamaha Motor Italia squad as team-mate Troy Corser also ended the day on the provisional front row. The Australian was also under Bayliss' previous best, posting a 1:59.440 to end the day fourth on the timesheets in his debut with the Italian squad. Having tested at the circuit just a few weeks earlier, the team arrived in Qatar with a good base setting for their R1s. Despite this, the squad still had a great deal of work to get through in order to get the best out of their machines for Saturday's races. With track temperatures approaching 45 °C on the tarmac, tyre selection could prove critical this weekend. Corser and Haga have access to newer-specification Pirelli tyres this weekend than they had during testing, giving them a heavy programme of tyre testing in the practice sessions. Shinichi Nakatomi ended the day 15th on the Team YZF Yamaha entry. The new squad, born out of the Yamaha Motor France-entered team of 2005 and 2006, is chiefly responsible for development of Yamaha's YEC range of customer race parts and using the world series to test and improve the range. The Japanese rider, entering his second year in the series, posted a time of 2:01.964 to gain a provisional place in tomorrow afternoon's grid deciding superpole session. In today's tight qualifying session it was British rider James Toseland (Honda) who pushed Haga closest, recording a time of 1:59.056 to take second in the overnight standings. Joining them and Corser on the provisional front row is former 250cc world champion and Yamaha MotoGP rider Max Biaggi (Suzuki), who was third fastest on his superbike debut. Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) "I am surprised to be fastest because when we tested here I did not have a really good feeling with the bike. This morning I tried the set-up we left the test with but the feeling was still the same. For the afternoon we changed a few things and made a big step and I am now happy with the way the bike turns. We worked hard to find a good setting for the race and I still want to get better tyre life. For six or seven laps the tyre is very good but then we find that the rear falls away a lot on the right side. The new bike is working well. We only had our shakedown tests a few weeks ago but luckily we are able to carry forward many of the parts and knowledge from the previous R1 so we already have a very good base to work from." Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) "I'm fairly happy with that. The track feels different from when we tested here and that's had an effect on how the bike is performing. We need to improve the front end tyre feel and there are quite a few little things for us to try out tomorrow. For sure it would have been nice to have had a few more tests before the first race but we've got a good base to work from and fourth is a pretty decent start." Shinichi Nakatomi (Team YZF Yamaha) "No so bad! We made an improvement of two-and-a-half seconds between the morning and afternoon and I hope we can make some more improvement as we learn more about the set-up of the new machine." Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italy WSB Team) "We tested here a few weeks ago because we understood the importance of being competitive from the very first race. We found a good base setting at the test and, but for a few small changes, only the tyre options are different. We're happy with how it's gone today but it is hard to really judge how competitive we can be on race day at this moment. Both riders have been able to complete around 11 to 12 laps on the tyres but we still have to do some more endurance testing tomorrow." Circuit Length: 5380 Temp: 25 Weather: Dry 2007 WSB Qatar 22/02/2007 Qualifying 1 Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time 1 Noriyuki Haga Yamaha JPN 1'59.019 2 James Toseland Honda GBR 1'59.056 3 Max Biaggi Suzuki ITA 1'59.369 4 Troy Corser Yamaha AUS 1'59.440 5 Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati ITA 1'59.459 6 Troy Bayliss Ducati AUS 1'59.507 7 Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 1'59.805 8 Ruben Xaus Ducati ESP 2'0.244 9 Roberto Rolfo Honda ITA 2'0.258 10 Fonsi Nieto Kawasaki ESP 2'0.309 11 Michel Fabrizio Honda ITA 2'0.467 12 Max Neukirchner Suzuki GER 2'0.626 13 Regis Laconi Kawasaki FRA 2'0.733 14 Joshua Brookes Honda AUS 2'0.936 15 Shinichi Nakatomi Yamaha JPN 2'1.948 QUALIFYING 1 REPORT 22/02/2007 R6 men show Middle Eastern promise Kevin Curtain The Yamaha World Supersport team made a promising start to Saturday's opening round of the 2007 Supersport World Championship at a hot and sunny Losail circuit in Qatar today, ending first qualifying with both riders on the provisional second row. Last year's championship runner-up Kevin Curtain was the fastest of the YZF-R6 runners, setting a best lap of 2:03.941 around the long and fast desert circuit. Team-mate Broc Parkes was just five hundreds of a second behind his fellow Australian to take eighth place in a tight session that saw the top eight all in the 2:03 bracket. Encouragingly both of the Yamaha Motor Europe entered machines were able to run consistently at race pace, putting in consistent 2:04 lap times during their runs. The season certainly got off to a spectacular start when Curtain's R6 was destroyed in a pile-up just minutes into the morning practice session. The accident claimed four Yamaha riders with Yamaha GMT94's David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert, as well as Italian privateer Gianluca Vizziello, all going down on oil deposited by another rider's machine. Thankfully all riders escaped without injury and were able to return to the circuit when the session was restarted, allowing the protagonists to work on finding a good set-up for Saturday's 18 lap race. Yamaha Motor Italy Lorenzini by Leoni rider Massimo Roccoli ended the day 11th on his YZF-R6, with supersport newcomer Gimbert and team-mate Checa ending the day 17th and 21st places respectively. Fastest man on show was Japanese rider Katsuaki Fujiwara (Honda) who recorded a 2:03.258 lap in the last minute of the session. Italian Gianluca Nannelli (Ducati) and Honda team-mates Kenan Sofuoglu and Sebastien Charpentier complete the provisional front row. Kevin Curtain "Not a bad day but the crash this morning was a real downer. Someone blew up right on the racing line and four of us went down, with Broc and a few others doing real well to stay up. The bike was totally destroyed in the crash and that set me back as the spare bike wasn't set up quite the same. That's a shame but we know we are competitive and can make some improvements for tomorrow." Broc Parkes Broc Parkes "It's been a decent enough start today. I almost crashed on the oil in the morning session and the two big delays were a little strange. The times are all very close and we're on the pace. I think that we are already in decent shape but hopefully we can get further up the grid tomorrow." Circuit Length: 5380 Temp: 25 Weather: Dry 2007 WSS Qatar 22/02/2007 Qualifying 1 Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time 1 Katsuaki Fujiwara Honda JPN 2'3.258 2 Gianluca Nannelli Ducati ITA 2'3.477 3 Kenan Sofuoglu Honda TUR 2'3.608 4 Sebastien Charpentier Honda FRA 2'3.744 5 Fabien Foret Kawasaki FRA 2'3.862 6 Kevin Curtain Yamaha AUS 2'3.941 7 Pere Riba Kawasaki ESP 2'3.949 8 Broc Parkes Yamaha AUS 2'3.991 9 Robbin Harms Honda DNK 2'4.308 10 Barry Veneman Suzuki NED 2'4.484 11 Massimo Roccoli Yamaha ITA 2'4.953 12 Davide Giugliano Kawasaki ITA 2'5.054 13 Yoann Tiberio Honda FRA 2'5.399 14 Vesa Kallio Suzuki FIN 2'5.450 15 Javier Fores Honda ESP 2'5.456 Click here to view the news
  24. The new-look Rinaldi Yamaha Team completed their first competitive outing at the Mantova Starcross International yesterday as Josh Coppins scored second position overall and Marc de Reuver placed seventh in the final MX1 classification. The Mantova sand was divided by a stellar entry list as the cream of the Grand Prix motocross paddock cranked into life after the winter slumber.The race was the first proper introduction into a ‘new era’ with Coppins and De Reuver for the defending MX1 World Champion Team. Coppins was reasonably pleased with his maiden appearance in blue colours with third, seventh and fifth positions in the three motos. The New Zealander pushed his way back into the top ten in the second race despite running into a fallen Steve Ramon deep into the first corner. ‘Second position overall and I’m pretty happy with that,’ the 29 year old commented. ‘The team and I worked a lot and we made a lot of changes. We talked with our suspension supplier Kayaba and each time we made an adjustment there was an improvement so it was encouraging. My starts were good in all three motos, but Steve Ramon crashed in front of me in the second heat and I had to re-start from last but came through to seventh. For my first race with the Yamaha it was not too bad; there is still a long way to go until Valkenswaard.’ The circuit, north of Bologna, will also host the Italian Grand Prix, the fourth round of the World Championship in May. The next five weeks will involve further testing for team as well as more racing in France and Great Britain before the opening meeting of the FIM series in Holland. Dutchman Marc de Reuver collected finishes of 20th, fourth and seventh in his return to representing the manufacturer he last rode for in 2002. The soon-to-be 24 year old made his MX1 debut in Italy and although he suffered with arm-pump in the initial foray he felt positive about the experience. ‘I had a lot of problems with arm-pump in the first heat and I just had to feel my way around,’ he said. ‘Things were better in the next race. I started OK and then followed Pichon for a while before passing him around two laps from the end. It wasn’t a bad heat at all, but most of the top guys had crashed so the classification was pretty different. Everyone stayed up for the third heat however and I felt strong riding with Philippaerts and Strijbos. It was a close one as we finished within two seconds of each other. It was the first race so there is only so much you can read from it, but my speed was good and everything is coming along OK.’ ‘I am quite happy and I never expect anything special from the opening race because it is always strange and there is pressure on the riders,’ said Racing Manager Carlo Rinaldi. ‘The track condition was difficult in Mantova as it was soft in the sand and then hard in other parts. Our riders struggled on Saturday but we talked and worked and Sunday was much better. It was about breaking the ice in terms of the racing and both riders proved to be OK. To be honest I would prefer that they are not 100% fit at this early stage in the season because there is a long year ahead. We will keep working now and I’m positive about the direction in which we are going.’ De Carli Yamaha rider and one of the factory’s main hopes for the 2007 MX2 World Championship on the YZ 250F, Antonio Cairoli, took a decent second position behind countryman David Philippaerts in the opening race and then was third in the second moto. Just when the 2005 World Champ – who only recently recovered from an injured shoulder - was looking at a possible overall success he went down in the first corner of moto three and finished outside of the top ten. A further four points meant third spot in the MX2 class. ‘Obviously I am a bit disappointed for my bad luck in the final moto,’ he said. ‘I could have obtained a big result and the large crowd, that cheered me on so much, would have deserved it. However I am satisfied because this was the first real comparison with our World Championship rivals and although we had a delay in our preparation because of my shoulder things went well. I want to thank the team because the bike is working well’ The next major meeting for Rinaldi Yamaha will be the International at the Valance circuit in France on February 25th. The Italian squad have won twice in the last four years at the venue close to Lyon. MX1 overall result 1 NAGL Maximilian GER, KTM 2 COPPINS Joshua NZL,Yamaha 3 BARRAGAN Jonathan SPA, KTM 4 PHILIPPAERTS David ITA, KTM 5 STRIJBOS Kevin BEL, Suzuki 6 PICHON Mickael FRA, KTM 7 DE REUVER Marc NED, Yamaha 8 BILL Julien SWI, Kawasaki 9 LEOK Tanel EST, Kawasaki 10 RAMON Steve BEL, Suzuki MX2 overall result 1 RATTRAY Tyla RSA, KTM 2 SEARLE Tommy GBR, KTM 3 CAIROLI Antonio ITA, Yamaha 4 MONNI Manuel ITA, Yamaha 5 TARROUX Jeremy FRA, Kawasaki 6 SWANEPOEL Gareth RSA, Kawasaki 7 MARTINI Gianluca ITA, KTM 8 PELLEGRINI Angelo ITA, KTM 9 DE BORTOLI Michele ITA, KTM 10 SIMPSON Shaun IRL, Kawasaki 16 GUNDERSEN Kenneth NOR, Yamaha Click here to view the news
  25. Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards continued their relentless march towards the first race of the season with another promising day’s work in Sepang today. Having concentrated on trying new parts for Yamaha yesterday, it was Michelin’s turn today and the Yamaha Factory Racing riders spent most of the day testing new tyres, with the Malaysian temperatures providing the ideal proving ground for the latest generation of Michelin rubber. The Yamaha pair consolidated yesterday’s good work with another day of fast times, both dipping under the 990cc lap record pace on race tyres. Tomorrow both riders will complete a long-run, before the team packs up and heads west to Qatar for the next round of pre-season testing. Valentino Rossi Position: 1st Time: 2'02.099 Laps: 53 “Today we tested some new tyres for Michelin, both front and rear. We haven’t found any special improvements to the front since the last test, but for the rear we tried something interesting to improve the edge grip. I’m very happy because I think we’re working in the right direction and we have definitely made improvements in this area. We have also continued to work on the stability in braking, changing the set-up in order to improve this even more. Finally today we worked on the engine mapping, as this year fuel consumption is going to be a very important factor. I am gaining more understanding of this new bike every day and I have a really good feeling with it. Tomorrow we will make a long run in order to compare with our data from the last test, and it will be interesting to see how all the improvements we’ve made this week make a difference to the performance of the bike over a race-distance.” Colin Edwards Position: 2nd Time: 2'02.118 Laps: 44 “It was pretty warm today and I had to go out in the hottest part of the day to test tyres, so that was quite hard work! Anyway we got through a whole lot more stuff today and things are getting better and better. We tested a couple more new things for Yamaha and then did a lot of tyre work with Michelin. Looking back at the last test, just a couple of weeks ago, everything has evolved so much since then it’s amazing! We’ve moved forward an incredible amount over just five days of testing so far this year, so that bodes well. Last time here I was doing low 2’03s comfortably, but this time I’m doing low 2’02s lap after lap and they’re coming so easily, without me really having to push too hard at all. We’ve got a long run to do tomorrow and a few more loose ends to tie up, but we’re in good shape!” Davide Brivio - Team Director Today both riders focused on tyres and we had some new material from Michelin. It was a very interesting day all round. Generally speaking, in these two days we have made small but important improvements compared to the previous test here. Tomorrow both riders will make a long-run and we will see if these improvements will be crucial towards race-performance.” Unofficial Lap Times 1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 2'02.099 2. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha 2'02.118 3. Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki 2'02.554 4. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Yamaha 2'02.745 5. Olivier Jacque (FRA) Kawasaki 2'03.761 6. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Yamaha 2'05.002 7. Andrew Pitt (AUS) Ilmor 2'07.923 Sepang Lap Record (990cc) Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2006 - 2'02.127 Sepang Best Lap (990cc) Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2006 - 2'00.605 Click here to view the news
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