Superbike Men Speak Out

Press Release | April 26, 2009

The following is from Yamaha…The Yamaha World Superbike Team ended the first day of on good form with both riders taking top five positions in the first of the Valencia qualifying sessions. As relative newcomers to the circuit having never raced here it was an impressive start for both Spies and Sykes who were quicker than a number of World Superbike regulars in the Spanish sunshine.Spies finished the session in 2nd position 0.13 seconds behind fastest rider Max Biaggi (Aprilia) whilst team-mate Sykes wrapped up the session in fifth place a mere 0.5 seconds off the leader. Sykes took a small spill at the end of the session whilst experimenting with different corner gears but was unhurt.Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (2nd, 1’34.907)

“It was a good day for us, in the first session we ran into some problems and we were unable to finish the session but in the second session we were really good. I think we’ve found our race set-up and race tyres already so we’re now just going to continue to make the bike better. I think it’s going to be a really good track for the bike, everybody’s definitely a little bit closer here, our goal for sure is just to stay with all the other bikes and see how we get on. The Ducati’s have always statistically been the better bikes round here, so our goal is to stay with them and look for our opportunity, if we can be strong at this track we can be strong anywhere. Right now our bike is working really well, but we can still make improvements and make it better for the race.”Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (5th 1’35.270)

“Over all for me it was a good day. We started off a little bit slower in the first session but again thanks to the team we’ve come back this afternoon and tried a couple of things with the suspension and straight away I felt a lot more at home, especially with the heavy braking areas . At the end of the session we tried some new tyres and straight away I was doing low 35’s, and I feel confident we could have got into the 34’s. I had a small crash at the end, totally my mistake. I was going into turn two and I tried using a different gear. On the exit it was working really well but unfortunately I had less engine braking on the way in so I just overloaded the front a little and at this pace that little bit is enough go down. On a positive note it was something that we can identify, it was my fault and not the bike, we’ve got a really good base setting and can go into tomorrow looking to make even more improvements.”Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

“we are very satisfied, considering it’s the first proper day in Valencia for our bikes and for our riders we’ve performed pretty well. We are already looking to tomorrow to make some small adjustments to the set-up which we will do and that’s it. We may work a little bit more on the tyre endurance to try to find the best one to use for the race but overall we have a good set-up and looking forward to racing on Sunday.”The following is from BMW…Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus finished the first day of qualifying at Valencia in 13th

and 23rd places respectively. Less than a second separates the top seventeen riders, so Troy is up with the fastest riders,

even though he only set the 13th quickest time. After two fast, flowing circuits, Ruben found it a little difficult getting his S

1000 RR to work well round the twisty 4.005 kilometre track, but is confident of improvement tomorrow.Max Biaggi (Aprilia) ended the day with the fastest time, followed by Ben Spies (Yamaha), with Ducati team mates Noriyuki

Haga and Michel Fabrizio in third and fourth.Troy – 13th, 1:35.516

After the long flyaway, I watched the videotapes of Phillip Island and Qatar and tried to understand what was happening on

the bike in the races and see if I could come up with some ideas to make improvements. So instead of starting with the

set-up from either of the first two races, we began the first practice with a completely new set-up. And guess what? It

worked! We changed the geometry of the bike a bit and used some different offsets and the bike felt better almost

straightaway. For me, the bike is now turning a bit better and it didn’t take me long to go half a second faster than when we

tested here at the end of January. Now we’ll keep on making small adjustments and see how much we can improve but, for

the first day, I’m pretty happy.Ruben – 23rd, 1:36.404

I found today hard because Valencia is a completely different type of race track to Phillip Island and Qatar. Both those

tracks flow well, but Valencia is much more of a ‘stop and go’ track and my bike is not working the way I want it just yet. I

just need time to work with the bike and my mechanics to get the bike more comfortable for me to ride. At the moment, it is

just a question of time, that’s all.

Berti Hauser (Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

It’s good to be back in Europe and be in touching distance of our workshops again. We learnt a lot in Australia and Qatar

and have been working very hard back at our base to get ready for Valencia. This track is completely different in character

to the first two rounds and Ruben has to find out how to make the bike work with him and then an improvement will follow

for sure. Troy may only have finished 13th today, but the top seventeen lap times are very close and show just how

competitive this championship is.The following is from Suzuki…Team Suzuki Alstare Brux riders Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama finished the first day of practice and qualifying with the seventh and eighth fastest times respectively. Less than a second separated the top seventeen fastest riders at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia today and tomorrow’s qualifying is sure to be just as hectic. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) ended the day with the fastest time, followed by Ben Spies (Yamaha), with Ducati team mates Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio in third and fourth.Max – 7th, 1:35.285

I think today wasn’t so bad and to see seventeen or so riders with only a second between them is pretty amazing. We started off with one bike set up from Qatar and the other with the set-up from Phillip Island, but the Australian one seemed to work better. There was not much grip in the first session, and the track felt a bit dirty, but the grip level was much better in the afternoon. We did some good consistent lap times this afternoon and the tyres were working OK even at the end, so that was encouraging. Hopefully we will improve the bike further tomorrow afternoon and get further up the grid in Superpole.Yukio – 8th, 1:35.316

I began today with the same set-up as in Qatar and Australia and the feeling was not so bad. My bike had some rear end chattering, so we will make some adjustments tomorrow to see if we can cure the problem. Unfortunately I had a big crash this afternoon at turn eight. It was a big highside and everything would’ve been OK, but the bike ran me over and hurt my back, one thigh and a finger. I went out again, on the spare bike, and managed to put in some good lap times, but when I had been off the bike for an hour or so, I was sore! Hopefully, I will be OK tomorrow because I want to do well in Superpole.The following is from Ducati…A positive start for the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, with the riders concluding the first of the two qualifying sessions in third and fourth place, reserving provisional places on the front row of Sunday’s grid.The Superbike teams followed a new-look track schedule for the first time today with no track action taking place until the first Superbike free practice session in the early afternoon. A dirty and partly damp track did not stop Noriyuki from getting straight to work, exiting on a tyre with which he immediately found feeling and completing close to race distance with very consistent lap times. Michel too soon got up to speed and the two Ducati Xerox riders concluded the session in fifth (Michel) and ninth (Nori) place.In the afternoon qualifying session the lap times of most of the riders picked up due to better track conditions and both Noriyuki and Michel were satisfied with the consistently fast times that they registered.Noriyuki Haga 1m34.9s

“Today has gone well. I did two good long-runs on different tyres and am satisfied with the results, we can choose which tyre we want to use for the race. Tomorrow we’ll try a different setting to try to improve through the corners and make things smoother, also saving the tyres somewhat. My lap times have been very consistent all day and we’ve had no real problems.”Michel Fabrizio 1m35.2s

“I would say that for the moment things are under control. We’ve got the race pace and although I was lacking a certain level of grip at the front, I’m quite happy with my times and with the feeling I have on the bike. Towards the end of the last session we found a rear solution that I liked but I hope to make further improvement tomorrow.”

By Press Release