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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Superbike World Championship – ROUND 1 – 8/9/10 March 2002

Spain - Valencia circuit, 4,005 m - 1st day of qualifying sessions

Noriyuki Haga: straight out ahead at Valencia

Valencia (Spain), Friday 8 March 2002 - The Superbike World
Championship roars into action and the Playstation2-FGF team race
ahead. During the first day of qualifying sessions for the Spanish
round in Valencia, Noriyuki Haga made third quickest time after long
keeping the lead. In the final session, the Japanese ace went below
1' 36" no fewer than eight times, thus beating the official track
record set here last year, again on an Aprilia RSV Mille. Xaus and
Bayliss overtook Haga only in the closing minutes of the race, taking
advantage of the Aprilia rider's pit stop. On that lap, Nori-Chan was
below the pole time at the second intermediate!

TOP SPEED - Aprilia has picked up three victories in the four races
it has entered on this track and everything would suggest it has a
good chance of a fourth. The RSV 1000 was again the fastest bike on
the track today: during the free practice in the morning, it hit 287
kph at the end of the starting straight.

THE CHALLENGE IS ON - the 2002 Superbike World Championship is at
fever pitch: at the end of today's test sessions, eleven riders all
came within less than one second! In Haga's view, the grip on the
asphalt was worse than in the pre-Championship tests a couple of
weeks ago. Even so, the RSV Mille achieved very similar times - which
just shows that work on the set-up is going in the right direction.

Giacomo Guidotti (Technical Manager of Playstation2-FGF Aprilia)
said: "We did well today, even though third place doesn't really do
us justice. On his first attempt, when he made the best performance
of the day, Haga had to overtake two riders, losing at least 2 or 3
tenths. But that's no problem: we've got a full day ahead of us to
try and improve our starting position. And we're working hard to make
sure we get up on top in the race."

"The track wasn't perfect and there wasn't much grip", said Noriyuki
Haga. "We made just a few tweaks to the set-up we tried out in
Valencia in the pre-Championship tests. We're aiming to make the bike
even easier to handle. In today's test sessions, we've already got
some good ideas about the best race tyres to use. I was hoping to
improve my lap time but the track wasn't perfect. We'll think about
the lap time tomorrow. From now on there's just one motto: keep that
gas wide open!"

TIMES (first official session) 1. Xaus (Spa-Ducati) 1'34"927 average
151,885 kph 2. Bayliss (Aus-Ducati.) 1'34"999; 3. Haga
(Gia-Playstation2 – FGF Aprilia) 1'35"030; 4. Edwards (USA-Honda)
1'35"312; 5. Bostrom (USA-Ducati) 1'35"374; 6. Izutsu (Gia-Kawasaki)
1'35"385; 7. Toseland (GB-Ducati) 1'35"393; 8. Hodgson (GB-Ducati)
1'35"429; 9. Chili (Ita-Ducati) 1'35"708; 10. Pedercini (id.)

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· Registered
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Xaus the quickets



(Valencia 2002, March 8)

NCR Ducati people was satisfied at the end of the opening practice day in Valencia for the first round of 2002 WSBK, fifthteenth of the Superbike history. Chili rode his NCR Axo Ducati 998R in the third position in the morning free practice session, behind Haga and Bostrom, in the first qualifying session held in the afternoon Frankie has been for long time in the leaders group as long as the bikes rode in race set-up. Then when he decided to use the soft tyres and started for a fast lap he found a group of slower riders who did slacken his performance and when he has been able to overtook them the tyres was by now get no more able for a complete fast lap: "Yes, it's true, with soft tyres I was running for a fast lap when I've got a group of slower rider before me; they have been correct and did not interfere too much with my racing line, but the opportunity of a good time was vanished and it has been useless to risk in the following lap when I had the track free, my tyres were no more able for a good grip and after a couple of risks I did prefer to renounce. But despite I had slipped down the timesheets to ninth position I am satisfied with this result; it was clear that in the afternoon everybody should be fastest, but in the afternoon I have been able to run for several laps in 1'35.7 with race tyres, which look to perform very well, and with the race set-up I believe to be able to stay with the leaders. Twentythree laps will be very hard for me, I'm confident to be able to keep the rhythm all the race long."

Piergiorgio Bontempi was satisfied after the good practece session in the morning, when I achieved the 6th position on his NCR Nortel Networks 748 Ducati with race set-up, but later in the afternoon an electric trouble did force him to stop for long time in the garage, so he has been not able to repeat his performance.

"This morning the bike was running very well; we did look for the better set-up for the afternoon qualifying session" - did comment a disappointed Bontempi at the end - "then in the afternoon I must stop to look at this problem and the time available did end very quickly. Only in the last moments I have been able to run without troubles, but it was too late to reach something good. I'm confident that tomorrow I'll achieve some position, we merit of course a better start position as the fourth row."

Broc Parkes has suffered for missing training, but the Superpole session, his main goal in the first stage af the championship, is not far: "My NCR Parmalat 998R Ducati runs well, both the engine as well the handling set-up and the tyres, but I am not able to get a faster lap time and I don't understand why; probably it's because I am late with the training and I am not jet confident with the new bike. I hope that tomorrow I will be faster."

Qualifying - First session:

Superbike: 1.XAUS Ruben (Ducati) 1'34.927; 2.BAYLISS Troy (Ducati) 1'34.999; 3.HAGA Noriyuki (Aprilia) 1'35.030; 4.EDWARDS Colin (Honda) 1'35.312; 5.BOSTROM Ben (Ducati) 1'35.374; 6.IZUTSU Hiroyuki (Kawasaki) 1'35.385; 7.TOSELAND James (Ducati) 1'35.393; 8.HODGSON Neil (Ducati) 1'35.429; 9.CHILI Pierfrancesco (Ducati NCR Axo) 1'35.708; 10.PEDERCINI Lucio (Ducati) 1'35.873; …18.PARKES Broc (Ducati NCR Parmalat) 1'37.467

Supersport: 1.FORET Fabien (Honda) 1'38.156; 2.CORRADI Alessio (Yamaha) 1'38.730; 3.CHAMBON Stephane (Suzuki) 1'38.920; 4.CRUCIANI Stefano (Yamaha) 1'39.148; 5.KELLNER Christian (Yamaha) 1'39.245; 6.TEUCHERT Juergen (Yamaha) 1'39.275; 7.VERMEULEN Chris (Honda) 1'39.284; 8.CASOLI Paolo ( Yamaha ) 1'39.446; 9.DAEMEN Werner (Honda) 1'39.585; 10.WHITHAM James (Yamaha) 1'39.608; …16.BONTEMPI Piergiorgio (Ducati NCR Nortel Networks) 1'40.366

<font color=red>Live it</font color=red> <font color=blue>></font color=blue> <font color=red>Ride it</font color=red> <font color=blue>></font color=blue> <font color=red>Race it</font color=red>
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