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Sterilgarda Yamaha: WSBK Kyalami Preview


With just two days rest from the Monza motorcycle racing round of the World Superbike Championship, the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team have shipped out to South Africa for the next race of the season, round six at the Kyalami circuit.

The Honda World SBK team is looking to make up for the bad luck that struck in race two last weekend at Monza where both riders were unable to finish the race, having performed strongly all weekend and both being on the podium in race one.

Toseland escaped unhurt from a big crash at the start of the race, a trip to hospital and two scans revealing no damage following his fall although still a bit bruised.

Teammate Crutchlow was also blighted by bad luck, having a stone flicked up from the bike in front strike his oil cooler and force his retirement from the race.

Cal Crutchlow says: "I just want to get back on the bike as soon as possible and race again," said Cal Crutchlow. "I couldn’t believe how unlucky we were at Monza to get a stone in the oil cooler when we were running so well. I enjoyed racing at Kyalami last year in Supersport, I fought hard for a good second place on the podium, so this year I want to win in Superbike!"

James Toseland says: "I think we’ve definitely had our share of bad luck for the season now!" said James Toseland. "Last weekend was very frustrating for me, the team have worked so hard and we now have an extremely competitive bike to take the fight to the front with, so to crash out on the opening lap was disappointing. It’s made it tougher to bridge the gap to the lead of the championship, but there are still sixteen races to go so I’m going to keep my head down looking for podiums."

Kyalami technically speaking according to Frankie Carchedi, James Toseland’s Crew Chief

Frankie Carchedi says: "Kyalami is a high altitude circuit so all bikes are down on power. It’s quite a tight and twisty track so no six gear long straights as in Monza so we’ll modify the gearbox again for this."

"It’s a very bumpy track so the front forks and rear shock have to be able to follow the bumps to get good traction which makes it smoother for the rider. We need a good qualifying result as it is a difficult place to pass."

"We tried some different settings at the Misano test purposely for this circuit, we weren’t so fast in Misano with them but we’re confident they will be perfect for here in absorbing bumps and giving good traction. The main changes are a different link and different fork and shock settings."

Kyalami technically speaking according to Marcus Eschenbacher, Cal Crutchlow’s Crew Chief

Marcus Eschenbacher says: "After the Monza race we saw that we had reached a good level of performance with Cal to bring here. We know the circuit is difficult because of the grip levels, the altitude and the bumpy track conditions."

"We will try to make the bike suit this by working on changing the suspension set up to be more comfortable over the bumps, we also need to find a better grip level, maybe we will have to compromise a bit of steering sharpness to get the best out of the bike for this conditions."

"We’ll probably go for a softer chassis set up and softer damping than normal to start with and see how we get on in the first session on Friday."

Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager) says: "This circuit was one of the more difficult ones for our bike last year. I’m confident that in one year we have made enough improvements and developments to be even better this time. We intend to start the weekend as we finished the first race in Monza."

"I’m really happy that James will be ready for Friday, we are lucky that he received no serious injuries last weekend. We proved in Monza with both riders that we were one of the strongest teams in the paddock, we are confident that the development undertaken over the year means we are capable of fighting at the front for race wins, every race."

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