Day two of Yamaha Motor Italia's world superbike testing at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia ended today with both riders making progress in the development of their YZF-R1 machines.
Andrew Pitt improved his time from yesterday, setting a best of 1'35.3 on a race tyre, as he and his team made improvements to the fueling system of the YZF-R1. Pitt reported that the bike was much easier to ride than in previous outings, with a more manageable power delivery on the exit of corners.
After easing himself into riding the R1 yesterday, new signing Noriyuki Haga made the biggest strides with his new machine. The Japanese rider clocked up 85 laps on his R1 and was able to run close to the fastest times in last year's race, posting a best lap time of 1'35.7.
Joining Haga and Pitt on the circuit were Yamaha Motor Germany's world supersport riders Kevin Curtain and Broc Parkes. Today's testing proved to be one of varying fortunes for the two Australians; Parkes' confidence in his YZF-R6 improved thanks to improvements in the rear suspension, although high winds meant he was unable to improve significantly on his times from yesterday. However, team-mate Kevin Curtain's day was cut short after an early-morning crash. The 38-year-old injured his left shoulder and right foot after highsiding his R6 on the exit of the penultimate corner. A precautionary visit to hospital for X-rays revealed a crack in his collarbone, although the popular Australian is hopeful of resuming testing on the team's spare R6 at tomorrow's final day in Phillip Island.
Andrew Pitt (Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team YZF-R1) "We made some big improvements today. We concentrated on the 2005 bike today and the work on the mapping has definitely improved the pick-up out of the corners. We tried a lot of changes to the suspension: some worked and some didn't. There are still improvements to be made, especially at the front, but generally we're doing ok."
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team YZF-R1) "I am still a little bit behind where I would like to be. We still have some work to do with the suspension and ride height but we know the changes we have to make."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia World Superbike Team) "There were no problems today. Yesterday we had some small things that cost us time, but today everything went smoothly. We did a lot of work with Pirelli today and Andrew has found a tyre we think will work well here in the race. Nori is still working to become comfortable and totally confident on the R1, but he is getting there and we expect to see more improvements tomorrow."
Broc Parkes (Yamaha Motor Germany World Supersport Team YZF-R6) "It was really windy again today and that made it difficult to take the same line twice through many of the corners. We made some changes to the rear ride height and that has made some big improvements to the bike, but the wind was so strong we couldn't really set quick lap times. Hopefully tomorrow will be less windy. Also I hope that Kevin will be fit to ride tomorrow, as his information will be a big help to me as well."
Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany World Supersport Team YZF-R6) "In all my years here I've never come off at that corner before today! The X-rays have shown a light crack in a bone in my shoulder but we are not sure if that is a result of today's crash or a previous injury. I will see how I feel in the morning, but I am hopeful that I will be able to ride again tomorrow."
Tomorrow sees the Yamaha teams' final day at the Australian circuit.