Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team) are no strangers to the podium in the World Superbike Championship, Corser having taken 122 career top three finishes and Haga 82. As their winning records show, each of Yamaha's lead 2008 season riders has a special affinity with Brands Hatch, having scored seven race wins between them at the sinuous and flowing English circuit.
Corser is sitting in overall third in the points' standings after a Brno race weekend that placed him second and then fourth. Corser's pre-Brands confidence is boosted by the fact that he is currently only 12 points behind the second place rider, Max Neukirchner.
Haga is only eight points behind Corser despite a tough weekend at Brno last time out. With four race wins to his credit this season already, and four previous WSB victories at Brands Hatch, he is one of the favourites for more podium glory at one of his favourite racing venues.Brands Hatch, despite its small paddock and pitgarages, is not just a popular location with Corser and Haga and the rest of the World Superbike riders, it's a real festival of motorcycling for the fans. More than just a race weekend, it's become an annual 'must do' for racing fans from all over Britain and beyond.
The 3.703km circuit is undulating and generally fast, with what feels like many more than its six right and three left hand corners, plus a main straight, which is anything but straight. Almost every corner entry or apex is taken blind and the approach and eventual drop down Paddock Hill is one of the classic corners in all of motorcycle racing.
Haga is looking for two strong results at Brands to get his overall championship campaign back on track again, "Brands Hatch is one of my favourite circuits and last year, in the second race, I was doing well, and I enjoyed fighting with James Toseland. Second position was kind of OK. This year I'm trying for a double win there. I like the atmosphere very much at Brands Hatch; it's a great England track. I always do well in England and I will be thinking positive again."
On top of Corser's enviable racing history at Brands, he also has family links to the UK. "It's kind of like a second home race for me with my wife Sam's family there. The track's good, I like the layout, although the fences are a bit close on some places at the back of the circuit. But all in all, a good place. Atmosphere wise it's the only place like it, the spectators are so close, you can see and hear them a lot more easily than at most circuits. It's always a good track to go to with the atmosphere and the crowd. I always get plenty of support there so it's one of the best ones."
Shinichi Nakatomi (Yamaha Team YZF) enters Brands in overall 19th place while David Checa (Yamaha GMT94) remains tied on seven championship points with his team-mate Sebastien Gimbert (Yamaha GMT94). They share 23rd place overall.