What The Teams Say

Paul Carruthers | July 19, 2008

The following is from Ducati…

Another day of unstable weather conditions made for two interesting races today at the Nuerburgring. Race 1 was restarted due to rain, but then subsequently declared a dry race, and saw Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) caught up in a fantastic battle for victory against Yamaha rider Noriyuki Haga. Haga eventually took the win with Bayliss coming home in second and Neukirchner in third. Team-mate Michel Fabrizio also got a great start in Race 1 and battled for third place during the first half of the race before gradually slipping back slightly to conclude the race in eventual seventh position. In Race 2, Bayliss again made a strong start and fought this time against not just one, but both factory Yamaha riders, Haga and Corser. The race was brought to its conclusion five laps ahead of schedule due to rain, which meant that Bayliss and Fabrizio concluded proceedings in fourth and sixth positions respectively.

Troy Bayliss has today further increased his championship lead, now holding 227 points, ahead of Carlos Checa who remains in second with 188 points, while Michel Fabrizio remains in eighth place with 108 points.

Ducati continues to lead the manufacturers championship with 282 points ahead of Yamaha (251 points).

Troy Bayliss (Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 4th)

“I’ve had a difficult day and have had to ride very hard, too hard in Race 2. After seeing Nori’s consistency in this morning’s warm-up I thought he was going to be the man to beat today and that proved to be the case. After about two-thirds of Race 1 I was doing everything I could to stay with him and although at one point I thought I might be able to take the win, in the end Nori won fair and square. My congratulations go to him, he rode a great race, bearing in mind he broke his collarbone just two weeks ago!

We made a small change to the bike set-up for Race 2 but this didn’t help and riding over the limit meant I made a couple of small mistakes. I’m lucky to come away with more of a points lead over Carlos but at the same time I’ve given away points to Nori and Max (Neukirchner)… We will test this week in Mugello and so we plan to work more on the settings in order to be able to finish off the corners better because that’s where I’m struggling a bit at the moment.”

Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – 6th)

“All things considered we are happy with today’s results. In Race 1 I lost the front a couple of times which meant I also lost my concentration a little during the final laps. I finished in fourth, but the guys ahead of me all rode a great race and so I am satisfied with the position I took. In Race 2 I had a bit of a run-in with Xaus who touched me as he passed. The way the race ended was a bit unusual but anyway, at the end of the day I have earned another 19 points which is of course the most important thing and although I stay in eighth place in the classification I’ve significantly increased my points total. Now we move on to Misano where I hope for a great result in front of the Italian fans!”

The following is from Honda…

After a double race win in America last time out Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) posted two fifth place finishes in the Nürburgring races this weekend, and he remains second in the championship fight. Noriyuki Haga won both the German races, from Troy Bayliss in race one and Troy Corser in a second race. Leg two was shortened by a sudden fall of light rain that saw the result called after 14 laps only.

A delay in the first race start, as rain suddenly appeared as the warm-up lap was about to be concluded, put the event back until 12.20, but it took place over a full 20 lap distance when it did commence.

First Honda rider home in race one was Checa, who had started from the front row but dropped back in the startline drag race and had to push hard throughout to get back into the top five, fighting a lack of traction all the way.

Karl Muggeridge (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) was a strong top ten runner, battling the official Kawasaki of Makoto Tamada in race one and finishing tenth, then he took 12th place in the second race.

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) went 12th in the opener, and Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Althea Honda CBR1000RR) 16th. In race two Kiyonari was 11th, Rolfo 17th.

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR Jr) had qualified 20th and finished race one in the pits after retiring, posting 21st in the second race.

Gregorio Lavilla (Ventaxia VK Honda CBR1000RR) was taken out in race one before a lap had been completed, but recovered from a poor first corner exit in race two to finish 14th and score two points.

Neither Alto Evolution Honda rider finished the first race as Jason Pridmore crashed out and Shuhei Aoyama had to retire in the pits due to an electrical problem. In race two Pridmore went 23rd, Aoyama fell and had to enter the pits for repairs, being classified one lap behind the leaders at the early conclusion of the race.

Russell Holland (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) was 19th in each race.

In the overall championship, Bayliss leads with 227 points, Checa has 188, and Neukirchner 176. Kiyonari is tenth on 89, Lavilla 12th on 65.

Checa said: “We didn’t find the right grip here this weekend. We have been working on the setup of the bike to improve this, especially in the rear, but didn’t manage it. We were on a good pace with the qualifier, but on the race tyre we used here this weekend we couldn’t find enough. We made some rather big changes to the set-up for the second race. I started well and chased the front group, but wasn’t able to keep up with their speed. I had to get off the gas a couple of times to prevent the bike from high-siding. We have done our best. We just didn’t find the same level of grip as our competitors.”

Kiyonari said: “My feeling with the bike was a lot better in the second race, but I am disappointed with the results. We used the base setting for both races. Yesterday we worked on the balance of the bike, but we made the wrong choice and didn’t improve. I wasn’t able to any faster. It was just a mistake that we changed the setup, but we have learned a lot. I would like to forget this weekend.”

Rolfo said: ”I’m satisfied with the second race because my bike performed much better compared to the first race. We modified some things on the bike during the morning warm up and this improved the suspension and the engine performance. Consequently, I had more grip on the rear tyre. I’m only a little disappointed about race two because the race was red flagged while I was overtaking!”

Lavilla said: “I was knocked off by another rider in the first race and some riders obviously think that the race is finished after two corners. In race two I got stuck inside in the first corner and I could not pass any riders there, only as the race went on. We are getting some positives because the bike was good in warm-up and I felt I was riding better than I have been in the recent past. I just think things are going to take longer than we thought to get to where we all want them to be.”

Muggeridge said: “Race one was OK but we made some changes to the bike to improve things and we went too far. That made problems for us in the opposite direction for race two. But we’re getting there and it was good to have real race with some factory bikes today.”

Aoyama said: “I had some problem in race one, I think something with the electronics, and we had to pull in. In race two I had a bad start and had to come through from the very back. I pushed hard and passed some people but then I made a mistake under braking, ran wide and crashed.”

The World Superbike series now heads to Misano, Italy, for round eight, on June 29.

The following is from Suzuki…

Team Alstare Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner raced to a double podium in the seventh round of the Superbike World Championship at the Nurburgring today.

Conditions were difficult with the first race, delayed because of rain and hailstones, but fortunately the track dried out and the 20-lapper got under way without further interruptions.

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha) won the race with Troy Bayliss (Ducati) second and Neukirchner third. Fonsi Nieto struggled throughout the race but hung on determinedly to finish eighth.

The second race started in the dry but, when the rain began to fall seriously on the 14th lap, the organisers decided to red flag it. Although Troy Corser (Yamaha) was in the lead on the track, the victory was given to Haga who had been in the lead when he had crossed the line on the lap the race was stopped.

Yukio Kagayama suffered concussion and broken fourth metacarpal bone in his left hand in yesterday afternoon’s crash in free practice. He was taken to hospital in Adenau and kept in overnight for further tests. This morning he was re-scanned and X-rayed again, where it was discovered that he had sustained a fracture in his left hand. Normal recovery time is three to four weeks, but he intends racing in the next round in Misano in two week’s time.

Max Neukirchner – Race 1: 3rd, Race 2: 3rd:

“I am really happy to get two podiums in front of my fans here in Germany. It’s been great to see all the German flags and here the noise of the crowd and it is a very special feeling. Of course, I would have liked to have won a race here today, but Nori, Troy Corser and Troy Bayliss were very strong today. In race one, my bike was not so bad, but we were losing time in the first sector and the handling wasn’t so good. We changed the bike’s front fork set-up for the second race to try and improve the first sector but I found that I could not brake so late. I tried my very best today, but just couldn’t get the win I wanted.”

Fonsi Nieto – Race 1: 8th, Race 2: 9th:

“The first race was not so good because of our tyre choice and I couldn’t brake well into the turns and the rear was also spinning and sliding. For me, the bike balance was not right. We changed the set-up and balance for race two, and also used a harder front tyre and the bike felt much better. I didn’t make such a good start and it took some time to catch the race pace, but the last five or six laps were very good and I was catching Xaus and Biaggi quite easily. If the race had not been red-flagged, I’m sure I could have passed both of them. Today’s results were not good for me, but the second race was a positive improvement and the bike was much more rideable, so now I can look forward to Misano.”

The following is from Yamaha…

Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) stormed to a superb double win at the Nürburgring in Germany today, winning back-to-back 20-lap races to re-ignite his championship challenge. He also takes away the new lap record, thanks to a blistering 1’56.892, set on lap 11 of race two.

His team-mate Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) was unlucky not to score a podium in race one but was battling for the outright win with Haga in an unbelievable race two, before the threatening rain fell and the race was stopped for reasons of safety. Many fans held their breath for most of race as Hager and Corser swapped places repeatedly with inches to spare between their bikes. By midway they were riding their own race, locked into a Yamaha duel for the chequered flag.

The first race was delayed for 20 minutes because of a late fall of rain but it was declared dry and indeed the sun came out in force as the race started.

In the first race Haga took the win after an intense battle at the front throughout, finally overcoming Troy Bayliss after pressurising the Australian rider into a mistake on lap 19 Of 20. Corser was a close fourth making it a successful first outing for the official Yamaha team.

Race two was halted early by a light fall of rain on lap 15, and with 14 tours completed the race result was called from that lap, giving the win to Haga even though Corser was in the lead when the race was stopped.

Each Yamaha Motor Italia rider delivered awesome entertainment to the 41,000 weekend crowd, particularly in a tough and fully competitive race two, and each was rewarded with strong points scores as a result. Haga is now fourth overall, on 172 points, with Corser only just behind, on 154 at the midpoint of the 14-round season.

Noriyuki Haga (1st and 1st – Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)

“During the race the collarbone was no problem, just some muscle pain. I had a great fight with my team-mate Troy in the second race, it was very exciting, fun and fair, I really enjoyed it. I want to thank Dr Ting for the operation on my collarbone, a big thank you to all the fans and congratulations to Troy for a great race. I’m so happy for the win, and it’s fantastic to go forward to Misano having closed the championship gap a bit. Time to celebrate!”

Troy Corser (4th and 2nd- Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)

“With the weather conditions the way they were it was completely dry at the top, and it was raining down at the bottom for the last two laps before I put my hand up, it was getting wetter and wetter. Although I wanted to win the race I just wanted to stay on the bike as well. Thanks to the boys on the team, and thanks to Nori there as well, I had an amazing race with him, fantastic riding. We’re getting the bike better and better, hopefully we can get some more great results before the end of the year.”

Massimo Meregalli (Team Manager, Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team)

“It’s almost impossible to do better. We saw that even on Friday we could get good results from both riders and after yesterday I was sure the podium was possible for both riders. We got a double win from Nori and first and second in race two; a fantastic achievement for the whole team. I am lost for words about Nori, he is even better than before and Troy is really back to his very best. Thanks to all the team because they did a really good job here.”

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America’s Daily Motorcycle News Source.