Yahama’s Russell Wood and Greg Dreyer will switch to the new YZF R6 models for the next two rounds of the SA Superbike championship at Killarney on Saturday.

Yahama’s Russell Wood and Greg Dreyer will switch to the new YZF R6 models for the next two rounds of the SA Superbike championship at Killarney on Saturday.

Wood won the year’s two opening races at Kyalami on the older Yamaha R6 model last month. “At that stage I knew that we would have to switch to the 2003 model as soon as possible, but we were not prepared to do that unless we knew that the new model would be quicker than the old one,” Wood said.

“Following two days of back-to-back testing, we were satisfied that both Greg and I can win races on the new Yamaha YZF R6.”

Last Thursday, while experimenting with the new YZF R6’s fuel injection system, Wood went out on old tyres. “We knew at that stage that the new Yamaha was reaching 245 km/h down the back straight, as opposed to the 252 km/h of last year’s machine.

“However, we were setting better lap times, which means that the new bike is an overall better package in the areas of braking, turn-in, acceleration and rideability, off-setting a seven km/h top speed loss.

“So, I ventured out and braked a bit later than usual at the end of the back straight - to crash exactly where I did during last year’s first Killarney Championship race,” Wood said.

“What caught me out was the new bike’s throttle response, which works on a quarter of a turn - in other words, if you turn it two centimetres, you have full throttle. We figured that the same problem led to my crash at Kyalami. We will be aware of the characteristic and ride accordingly from here on,” said Dreyer, who will race with a broken right foot.

On Saturday, there will be an eight-lap sprint race in the morning, followed by a 15-lap feature race in the afternoon. Riders have to complete both races and their morning’s official qualifying session on the same set of tyres. “It is not easy, but if it were easy, girl guides would be doing it - we are looking forward to the weekend,” Wood said.

Original article from Car