As a former factory Ducati and Yamaha World Superbike rider, Troy Corser is perfectly placed to comment on the 2009 title fight between Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga.
Corser won the 1996 WSBK title for Ducati and joined forces with Haga at Yamaha in 2007-2008. At the end of last season, Corser signed up for the brand-new BMW project while Haga replaced Troy Bayliss at Ducati Xerox.
Haga's R1 seat was in turn taken by reigning triple AMA Superbike champion Spies, who is now just 14 points behind the Japanese after nine of 14 rounds.
Corser believes the two main ingredients in Yamaha's 2009 success has been a new, 'big-bang' inspired, engine design - combined with the talent and experience of Spies.
“I've worked with both Yamaha and Ducati, they are probably the most experienced teams in the paddock and that's why they are consistently up front,” the double WSBK champion told Crash.net Radio
“Ducati has won the championship with a few different riders, while Yamaha hasn't won a World Superbike Championship yet, so they are still hungry and chasing.
“Yamaha are working really hard, especially this year with the new engine configuration and having Ben. You don't become three-time American Superbike champion without being able to ride a bike. He's definitely got a lot of racing experience and obviously a lot of natural talent,” Corser continued.
“The [R1] doesn't really need too much developing. It's just a matter of getting used to a new type of engine. The basis of the bike is pretty much the same as what me and Nori developed for Yamaha in the past couple of years; the chassis was very good, it was just a matter of the engine power delivery.
“It's for Yamaha to take the championship to Ducati now.”