Reigning Champions launch 2007 title campaign
Reigning Australian Superbike and Supersport Champions, Yamaha Racing Team have kicked off their 2007 campaign with a successful two-day test at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway.
It was the first test of the year for the Factory outfit and the first day at the office for new recruit Jeremy Crowe who had his first ride onboard the Yamaha YZF-R6 Supersport bike he will contest this year.
Dual 2006 Champion Jamie Stauffer who dominated both the Superbike and Supersport categories was delighted with his team’s progress over the two days.
“We had two very good days of testing and did some of our best times around Eastern Creek which is really encouraging for the start of the season,” Stauffer said.
“The Team has worked extremely hard to keep the momentum going which enabled us to start the test from where we finished last year and make more progressions.
“While we made a lot of improvements to the YZF-R6 the YZF-R1 SP felt good straight away and we were able to work on different setups throughout the day.
Sibling Dan Stauffer who will join Jamie in the Superbike category had his first ride since an accident at Winton three months ago left him with substantial injuries to his collarbone and groin.
“My pelvis was quite sore and weak after the first day, but considering I haven’t been on a bike in three months and I haven’t been to Eastern Creek Raceway since Round 1 last year, I was very happy with the results from this test.
“We managed to achieve low 1:32’s by the end of the first day, and concentrated on different setups for the remainder of the time to improve our consistency on the new and improved Dunlop tyres.
“Even though we won’t have the 2007 bike ready for a few months I don’t think we will be disadvantaged, as the Yamaha Racing Team has developed the R1 SP to be competitive at any venue.
The three-man Yamaha Supersport squad has one goal in sight to repeat their championship trifecta. Jamie Stauffer will again spearhead campaign alongside Jason O’Halloran and Jeremy Crowe.
Keen to improve on his third placing in the championship Jason O’Halloran has been working hard on his fitness throughout the off season.
“I have been training extra hard for this season and I am feeling a lot fitter,” O’Halloran commented.
“It was my first time back on the race bike since the final round last year so I spent part of the first day getting back in the swing of things and finding a good direction to work on for day two.
“The second day of the test was really positive we did a practice race run and worked on stringing together consistently fast lap times. We found a good set up for the YZF-R6 and have good direction for Round 1,” he added.
Crowe, the 2006 Privateer Champion was excited following the two test and acknowledged the hard working Factory outfit had left no stone unturned in preparing for the 2007 season.
“We got a lot of work done over the two days, it was just fantastic,” Crowe stated.
“The Team worked hard to get the bike set up and I feel we are in a really good position to start the season off in a strong way.”
Yamaha Racing Team Manager John Redding was pleased with the Teams accomplishments at the opening test.
“Make no mistake defending such an unbelievable year as we had in 2006 is going to be a tough task,” Redding said. “I believe our teams are up to it and will try their very best for a repeat performance,” Redding said.
“Jamie had such a good year all he has to do is continue the momentum – although we will start the year on our 06 equipment we know this is very competitive and the 07 equipment will come on line once we have it developed to a comparable stage.”
“Dan’s 2006 campaign was up and down but he showed that when all is right for him he is still one of the fastest Superbike riders in the country and he showed promising form throughout our two day test despite it being his first time on the bike in three months.”
“Jason showed his speed in 2006 and after a full year on the YZF-R6 will surely be one of the front runners in the class.”
Redding added that newcomer Crowe who finished fourth in 2006 behind the three Factory Yamaha riders was a deserving addition to the team.
“Jeremy improved from round to round last year and deserves his berth on the Factory team, we look forward to another YZF-R6 show in this year’s Supersport category but with three ‘J’s out there our pit board guys will need to work out a new method of identification,” he said.
The Yamaha Racing Team are gearing up for first round of the 2007 Australian Superbike Championship to be held at Eastern Creek on the 16th–18th February 2007.