The all-new YZF-R1 was put through its final pre-season testing paces on 11 and 12 February by Yamaha Motor Italia riders Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga. The test at the Losail circuit in Qatar, venue of the first World Superbike race of the 2007 season on 24 February, was a useful exercise for both riders, as they worked through various machine set-up options and the latest suspension developments.
Corser was the fastest rider on show (1'59.1) in a test where the Yamaha Motor Italia team shared track time with the official Suzuki team. Haga fell on the first day of the tests, but recovered to go third fastest, with a 1'59.9 best lap. The Japanese star set a total of 61 laps, with Corser completing 49 laps.
With a limited tyre supply on hand, long runs to test tyre duration were not a priority at this test. Corser in particular worked through a list of optional settings and components to ensure ultimate competitiveness come race weekend.
"We did enough laps to let us try everything we needed to try and we got all the parts we asked for after the last test. It was a definite improvement. We were not so concerned with doing long runs as the tyres Pirelli sent here are not the tyres we will use for the race anyway. So there was not a lot of point doing very long runs on tyres. I was more interested in getting a feel for what we have been changing on the bikes. We just tried different things and weren't worried about lap times. I'd say the bike feels even better than it did in our last test in Doha. The track surface can change here day to day but the track wasn't too bad; we just needed a few more bikes going round to put more rubber down."
"We have already found a lot of improvements here from the last test and the new suspension is working very well. It was difficult in some ways because the tyre possibilities were limited, so we need to wait for the tyres we will get for the race weekend. But so far, so good. We are pleased to have done this test."
Massimo Meregalli (Team Coordinator - Yamaha Motor Italia);
"We started this test with four completely new bikes and we had to spend some time to adjust everything on them. Noriyuki had a small crash yesterday morning so he lost a small amount of time. It went well from then on and today everything went pretty good. We didn't do so many long runs, but Noriyuki did 12 laps on one set of tyres at the end. All in all a good test."
- 1. Corser Yamaha Motor Italia - 1'59.1
- 2. Biaggi Suzuki Alstare - 1'59.3
- 3. Haga Yamaha Motor Italia - 1'59.9
- 4. Kagayama Suzuki Alstare - 2'00.3