Yamaha Keeps Championship Hopes Alive


In a day of dramatic racing, Yamaha came away with both their rider and manufacturer championship still hopes alive. Haga came third and fourth in today's races with Corser finishing in fifth in the second race after a DNF in race one.

Race one had a spectacular start as Corser lost the front and crashed out on the first lap while Haga almost crashed but managed to move into third in front of Toseland. He then proceeded to take the fastest lap three times to catch Bayliss and Biaggi who were battling for first. Having caught Bayliss, Haga tousled and swapped places with him many times before Bayliss made it stick on lap 17. The battle up front had given Toseland the chance to catch up and challenge Haga for third position; a challenge which he eventually won.

Race two was equally exciting with the usual suspects of Bayliss, Biaggi, Haga, Toseland and Corser up front and challenging for position. Bayliss took an early lead but Haga was quick to chase, along with Biaggi.Corser, in fifth, fought to get past Toseland until Toseland crashed allowing Corser to get on with catching the front runners up. The fight for first place turned into a three-way battle between Bayliss, Haga and Biaggi until Biaggi squeezed past the Yamaha rider for second place on lap 13. From there on the positions remained the same until the chequered flag.

Shinichi Nakatomi had one of the best rides of his WSB career today, taking a pair of ninth place finishes. He made a good start in race one to move up to ninth, where he finished. Race two's start wasn't as good as he went down to 15th but he focused on the job in hand and managed to claim ninth by the end of the race.

The outcome of today's races is that Haga now lies third in the championship, 4 points behind Biaggi and 33 points behind Toseland. With 50 points still up for grabs at the final round next weekend all three riders will be looking for the all-important win. Yamaha lies second in the manufacturer championship but only 3 points adrift of Honda. Both championships will be decided next weekend at Magny-Cours.

Noriyuki Haga from Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team, "Today was a bit disappointing for me with regards to the tyres. I used the same tyre in warm up as in the first race but in the race it didn't work as well as I'd hoped. I ended up focusing on my finishing position rather than the race win because the grip had gone. I chose to use my second bike for second race because the two bikes feel quite different. I found it to be better feeling with better engine delivery. In the middle of the race I tried to catch Bayliss but I was unable to and so had to settle for third and 16 valuable points.

Next weekend at Magny-Cours is going to be crazy with everyone going for the win but I'm still confident and determined. I've reduced the gap between Toseland and me and I'm not giving up yet!"

Troy Corser from Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Team, "Race one was my fault. I turned off some of the electronic systems for the start and didn't turn them back on. It's as simple as that really. In race two I didn't get off the line so well and I even hit Xaus twice. But once I got going it was fine. I got held up behind Toseland, who looked like he was having problems of some kind. I couldn't get past him but then he went down and my times starting improving. From then on it was just a case of staying on until the end.'
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