Yamaha's Eugene Laverty
With all winter testing now completed the Yamaha World Superbike Team is all set to challenge for the opening round of the 2011 season at Phillip Island this weekend. The historic circuit has been a feature of the World Superbike Championship since 1990, featuring on the calendar more than any other track.
Word Superbike rookie riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty have now had time to adapt their 2011 R1 Yamaha race bikes to their riding styles and have successfully completed several tests at Phillip Island, Portimao, Valencia and Magny Cours. The Portimao test in particular proved challenging for the team as bad weather hampered any attempts to simulate full race distance runs. Their testing has been under the guidance of new team manager Andrea Dosoli, now fully bedded in and working effectively with his new team.
The updated R1 includes many developments implemented over the winter including a revised weight distribution for better handling, as well as increased engine performance, new electronic maps and uprated cooling systems. The bike has also been updated to include changes to the 2011 regulation changes, now having standard fuel injectors and a standard fuel pressure regulator
24yr old Laverty from Northern Ireland made a big impression when he climbed on board the R1 for the first time at the Magny Cours test at the end of the 2010 WSB season. Taking his first ever ride on a World Superbike, the two year World Supersport runner up was incredibly quick to get up to speed, wrapping up the test as the fastest rider against far more experienced competition. His progress over the subsequent tests has been extremely consistent, improving every time and continuing to impress his team and Crew Chief Frankie Carchedi with concise feedback and development.
Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I am very excited about starting this season. I’m enjoying being in the World Superbike paddock and I really have the feeling that I now have a competitive machine and the right conditions to challenge for race wins. My shoulder has taken some time to recover from my operation which has meant I have not been able to give 100% at times in testing, but progress continues to be very good to full fitness. This weekend’s two races are still quite soon for it, we will have to see how strong it is over race distance.”
Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I’m happy to be familiar with the circuits we are going to race on having ridden them in World Supersport, however having two races on a Sunday will be a new challenge for me. Having said that I’ve been training very hard and my fitness level is high so I’m confident I’ll be good for the distance! Testing has been really positive and the bike feels incredibly powerful after my Supersport machine, I’m ready to start!”
Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – Andrea Dosoli
“I’m very pleased with our completed testing schedule and feel we have achieved everything we set out to do to prepare for this weekend. Last year I understand the team had some issues here at Phillip Island but worked hard over the following races to improve, the results could be seen with Crutchlow’s double win at Silverstone. As a result of this we are confident that those issues won’t play a major role here this season and we believe we are ready with a package that is capable of winning races. There is still a question mark over Marco’s full fitness for race distance however he has been resting for the last couple of days so we will see what happens on Sunday.”
The Yamaha World Superbike team has found a new partner in RIZOMA, a company producing and marketing a variety of bike accessories and components. RIZOMA products are well known for their innovative design and developed with functionality and increasing safety in mind. RIZOMA Products are available through a global network of offices in Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and in Scandinavian countries.