Following an afternoon of mixed weather, the Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team has finished day one of qualifying with Haga and Corser in provisional third and fifth positions respectively.
Both riders started the day in the top six during this morning's free practice but it was the weather that changed everyone's plans when the qualifying session was declared wet after a sudden rain shower at the start. Everyone went out initially but came in after only one out lap as the back of the circuit was wet. With Sunday's dry forecast making wet laps pointless, there was then no further on-track activity until 30 minutes into the session when the sun had dried the tarmac sufficiently.Both Corser and Haga went out with about 20 minutes left and Haga went into provisional pole, where he stayed until being knocked off it in the last minute by Lanzi and Bayliss. Corser qualified in a comfortable fifth position, only 0.002 seconds behind Nieto in fourth and 0.463 seconds behind pole.
Team Yamaha YZF rider Shinichi Nakatomi had a good start to today going seventh fastest in this morning's session, but the rain prevented him from making an initial qualifying position higher than 18th. Following Nakatomi's two ninth places last weekend, which was a personal best for the Japanese rider, FGSport have asked the team to consider fielding a two-man team in 2008.
It was on this day in 1997 that Haga made his first front row start at Sugo, Japan; his count of front row starts now stands at 38. He went on to score his first race win in race one that same weekend and take the 25th fastest lap in Yamahas history.
Noriyuki Haga, from Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team, 'I couldn't get some of my settings sorted today because of the rain, which forced us to sit in the pit box for almost 40 minutes. I'm feeling good anyway. We made some good progress this morning and I've got a good feeling for the bike. We just need to make some engine adjustments and I will decide on my tyre tomorrow; we tried two tyres today and tomorrow I'll confirm which is the best. Other than that it's business as usual. All the times are close so I need to focus on finding the best set-up possible in order to make a 1'40 lap time and be up the top.'