Yamaha Preview Winton ASC
20th March 2007.
With a 100% podium success rate in 2007 to their credit and showing no signs of slowing down, the Yamaha Racing Team is gearing up for another successful outing at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend.
Sporting a new lineup at the season opener, the team redefined the term ‘dominance’, taking both available pole positions, winning every race and occupying every possible podium position in both the Superbike and Supersport classes.Shortly after it clean-swept the field at the Phillip Island supports, the team headed inland and spent a solid day’s shakedown at the rural Victorian circuit.
Yamaha Racing Team Principal John Redding said that the test was successful and put the team in good stead for the upcoming round. “We made some good progress with the new suspension components supplied by Ohlins and all the team’s riders got down to some very respectable times quite early in the day,” said Redding. “We’re expecting the double header format to make for a very busy 4 days of racing, and extra staff have been brought into assist.”
This double-header format of this weekend’s event sees rounds 2 and 3 of the Australian Superbike Championship combined, a new and exciting direction for the series.Riders will take to the track for two practice sessions on Thursday, followed by two qualifying sessions on Friday, the results of which will be combined to determine grid placings for each round. Round 1 will kick off on Saturday, featuring races for each class, with round 2 run in identical format on Sunday, effectively providing twice as much racing action for spectators.
Yamaha Racing Team Superbike
Reigning Superbike champ Jamie Stauffer will start as clear favourite to wrap up proceedings this weekend at Winton Motor Raceway, carrying steady momentum from the season opener and the team’s recent test session. Sitting on 51 championship points, he is aiming to maintain the table-topping performance and take his YZF-R1 to the top step of the podium once again.
"We had a great round here last year and made good progress in testing after World Supers, things will be a bit different with the combined qualifying session but as always the goal is pole position," said Stauffer.
Jamie’s closest competition is expected to come from his brother Dan, who claimed two close second place finishes at Eastern Creek to firm himself in championship contention.He has vivid memories of a turbulent round at Winton last year in which he crashed out heavily early on, and wants to bounce back and lay down some quick laps early on to ensure himself a good grid spot and the best possible chance in the races. "It's obviously not the happiest of hunting grounds for me considering the big crash from last year, but I'm fully recovered and really looking forward to scoring some points."
"I've started the season on a high note and the R1 is working just perfectly."
Both riders were quick to acknowledge the crew’s tireless efforts to prepare the race-track ruling YZF-R1 machines which have certainly been the bikes to beat since the beginning of last year.
Yamaha Racing Team Supersport
The Supersport squad’s spectacular trifecta at Eastern Creek is a popular topic up and down pit lane and amongst racing enthusiasts – can the YZF-R6 be beaten? Jamie Stauffer, Jason O’Halloran and Jeremy Crowe will look to answer this question with a definitive ‘no’ this weekend when they compete at Winton in rounds 2 and 3 of the Australian Supersport Championship.
The trio looks set to once again engage in a classic duel for the class victory, with each rider aiming to take maximum points away from the meeting. Jason O’Halloran has stepped up his performances a notch and is now consistently challenging Stauffer at the front of the pack. He will aim to keep the reigning champ honest and make the move into P1 should the opportunity arise.
"I'm happy with my progress in the leadup to next weekend, it's a very big point scoring opportunity and I really think I've got the chance to take some race wins," said O'Halloran. "The World Supers was a breakthrough round and it'd be great to repeat these results – the test session proved once again that the bikes are very fast, and were very responsive to the small changes we made."
Crowe’s performance in 2007 has also been impressive, and he has taken little time to join onto the back of the YZF-R6 freight train. He will also be out to claim a big haul of points with a quick consistent series of races across the dual-round format. "I'm really pleased with my start to the season and really fitting in well with the team," said Crowe. "The factory R6 is a very quick bike and we did some really low times at the test."
"I can't wait to get out there and chase some more podium finishes, it will be a busy but enjoyable weekend."