Curtain equal fastest and at record pace
Yamaha World Supersport Team riders K.Curtain and B.Parkes completed their latest schedule of long haul testing in an ultimately successful fashion, with Curtain setting the joint fastest lap of the test and Parkes carrying out a satisfactory long run to simulate a real race.
Curtain tied for the new circuit Supersport best ever lap with Honda rider K.Sofuoglu, each setting a remarkable 1'33.9 - more in 2006 Superbike territory than Supersport. The new selection of rear tyres the team tested proved able in terms of permitting a few fast lap times, but the rears operated best in the lower track temperatures of the morning sessions. The main competitors had quite some difficulties countering the lap times of Curtain, resulting in many crashes.
Parkes suffered a crash on the second day and a trivial problem with his repaired bike on the morning of the final day stopped him improving his still impressive best of 1'34.8 even more. Nonetheless, the team tested all their new equipment and the new tyre solutions, in readiness for the start of the season on February 24th, at Losail, in Qatar. This test was the first outing under direct ownership of Yamaha Motor Europe. Although the team still operates from their Yamaha Motor Germany workshop, the overall management and ownership of the team is transferred to the European headquarter of Yamaha in the Netherlands. This enables the team to benefit from Yamaha Motor Europe's experience and resources.
K.Curtain (Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"I did a 1'33.9, and I was really impressed! Pretty good for a 600. Today was obviously good in terms of the outright lap times but we have quite a big rear endurance problem on the tyres that give the best lap time, and I think most people have the same. We always have a known quantity tyre that we can fall back on for the race and in general my test has been really good right from the start. The front has been good here, and we know what works and doesn't work. We basically used the setting from the recent Qatar tests as a base point."
B.Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"A pretty good test but yesterday I crashed one of my bikes and we didn't use it again that day, and then we put a new gearbox in the other bike. Due to my crash, I suffered a problem with chattering and that cost us a lot of time in the morning, when the conditions where best, so I couldn't improve my time. In the afternoon we did a race simulation and that was really good. We used a tyre from last year on the back for that and of course the individual times were not as good. Track temperature has been a big question here."
T.Thien (Team Manager - Yamaha World Supersport Team)
"We could only set our very best times when the track temperature is around 20 degrees, and above 30 everything goes slower. So for long runs in these conditions we have to use an older spec tyre, without the same outright grip, but with the endurance. For our work, everything was on schedule, if not a little ahead. That allowed us to work on some electronics, and if we use all the electronics we have, it saves the rear tyre a lot. This may be the way for the future."
Unofficial Lap Times:
Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4.445km
Race Lap Record: 1'36.399 (B.Parkes, 2006)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 33.9 (K.Curtain and K.Sofuoglu, 2007, at this test)