News 10 Jul 2010

WSBK: Haga back in form, Corser crashes at Brno on Friday

Haga is back in form at Brno after Friday's qualifying.

Haga is back in form at Brno after Friday's qualifying.

After a period in the relative doldrums by his own incredibly high standards, Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) burst back onto top form in the first period of qualifying, setting the best time of the opening day with a 1:59.277, less than a second from the track best.

“Feeling with my bike improved this afternoon, as we took another step with regard to the suspension and that helped, as did changing the tyre pressure,” the Japanese favourite said. “We still need to improve braking in certain sections of the track.

“I’m not sure about tyres yet, because although the new one seems fairly consistent, I still want to try our ‘usual’ tyre tomorrow and see how it works in these conditions. We’ve made a good start and will try to improve further in tomorrow’s sessions.”

Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) was also into the 1:59s, second overall, with leader from the free session this morning Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) in third. The Friday ‘front row’ was completed by privateer Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati).

For series leader Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) Brno is his favourite circuit, one he was fifth at today, ahead of another rider who was resurgent in qualifying, BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Ruben Xaus. Having crashed and broken his right leg here last year, this was Xaus’ near perfect comeback ride at the 5.403km circuit.

“Compared to last year the bike is more edgy, it has quicker reactions, so on a track which is ridden like this one is, we’ll have some trouble coming out of the turns strong,” Biaggi reflected.

“We need to perfect the set-up we’ve been using for a lot of recent races, working above all on the balancing of the RSV4 in order to better manage the grip and long distance. The tyres aren’t a problem, I’ve tried different ones in order to judge the bike’s reactions well.

“I like to race at Brno, we have identified the points we need to work on, so tomorrow we’ll see if our intuitions are correct.”

Local hero Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Aprilia) found himself on a new machine this weekend and made good use of the Aprilia RSV4, seventh fastest in the first qualifying session, one place above the determined Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).

A former winner at this race, James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) was ninth, privateer Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) a fine tenth.

Alstare Suzuki’s talented duo of Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam had a tough first day, with Guintoli 15th and Haslam 17th.

Top Kawasaki rider was Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in 18th, while Queenslander Chris Vermeulen slotted his ZX-10R in 19th. Countryman Broc Parkes was one position behind in 20th for the ECHO CRS Honda team.

Wollongong’s Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) qualified 12th but fell near the end of the session and suffered a bruised chest and suspected concussion, and his condition will be reviewed for tomorrow’s race.

Corser was helicoptered out of the circuit as a precautionary, expected to remain in hospital overnight.

Illness had forced six-time Supersport World Championship race winner Katsuaki Fujiwara to miss the previous round at Misano, but his comeback started perfectly, posting the fastest day one time in qualifying.

Second was Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) while Fujiwara’s teammate Joan Lascorz was third fastest. The top four was completed by Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Michele Pirro.

A good day for Kawasaki riders put Fabien Foret (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) fifth, the top Triumph rider was David Salom (ParkinGO BE1 Triumph) one place back. Kenan Sofuolgu was seventh.

Click here for detailed results