More Assen WSBK And WSS Previews: Althea Ducati And Various Honda World Supersport Teams

A few more previews from the teams. This time, press releases from Althea Ducati, the Parkalgar Honda squad, PTR Romania and Bogdanka PTR, plus the Ten Kate Supersport team:


Lowes and Praia rate Assen

PARKALGAR HONDA'S Miguel Praia is looking to turn Assen into one of his favourite tracks when he visits it for the third round of the World Supersport Championship this weekend.

The Portuguese Parkalgar Honda racer is coming from a confidence inspiring 11th place at the previous round and is looking to improve at Assen with a season best result.

Parkalgar Honda's Sam Lowes is upbeat and buoyant about his chances at Assen, a firm favourite circuit. There is practice and qualifying sessions at the circuit on Friday and Saturday before the race takes place at 1330 CET on Sunday, April 17th.

Miguel: "I have been discussing with my Parkalgar Honda team why I am missing a bit of speed going through fast corners compared to last year - and we think we have an answer we can test at Assen. I want a good Assen - in the past it has not been the kindest track to me but I like it and I want to put it on the map as good place for me."

Sam: "I literally can't wait; I've been to Assen in 2008 and I really liked it. The fast flowing corners really suit my riding style. I can't wait to get there and we've been fast everywhere we have been so my speed is good. Only one corner has changed since I was there and it is not as tight so that is better for me."

Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager: "We have got one of the fastest riders in the Championship with Sam Lowes and we are looking for an over-due victory in 2011. It is a case of when we win, not if we win.

"Miguel has had a difficult start to the season but 11th at Donington Park from a 20th place start has lifted his confidence and we want to build on that. He is capable of getting inside the top 10 and that is what we are aiming for at Assen."


Top 10 target for Muresan

PTR ROMANIA HONDA'S Roby Muresan is targeting a top 10 result in what will be his first race of the 2011 season at Assen in Holland this weekend.

Roby impressed on his debut on the PTR, Romanian Tourist Board, Asirom and Ursus backed race bike at Donington Park but a high-speed crash in the morning warm-up meant he failed to start the race due to his bike being un-repairable in time for the start.

There are practice and qualifying sessions at the circuit on Friday and Saturday before the race takes place at 1330 CET on Sunday, April 17th.

Roby: "I hope to finish the race in the top 10. I think this is possible judging by the last event at Donington Park where I was able to run close to the top 10 despite a lack of track time and still learning about the bike in practice and qualification.

"I am going to work myself up to the race this weekend, I was too aggressive at Donington during warm up and it cost me dearly as the race would have been a great learning experience. I will push everything steadily but with big steps. My season starts this weekend."

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Romania Honda Team Manager: "Roby showed great potential at Donington and it is a shame he crashed in warm up and destroyed his bike. He is a good young prospect and we are proud to be working with him and flying the flag for Romania in World Championship bike racing."


Season starts at Assen for Foret

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's Fabien Foret heads to Assen this weekend (15-17 April) for round three of the 2011 World Supersport championship hoping for an injury-free weekend and finally to get his season started.

The French rider crashed out of morning warm-up in the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia, badly damaging his right hand before tyre woes eventually ruled him out of contention in the race.

In round two at Donington Park in the UK just over two weeks ago, the 38-year-old Frenchman crashed during practice sustaining further damage to his right hand which forced him to miss the race.

Foret's compatriot and Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Florian Marino, has enjoyed a sold start to his debut World Supersport season. The 18-year-old has enjoyed two top-ten finishes in the opening two rounds and is looking forward to the team's home race at the 4.542km Assen circuit.

Both riders enjoyed their first Ten Kate Pit Stop Day last weekend, when the Ten Kate Motoren dealership and race workshop throws open their doors to the general public, traditionally a week before the team's home race just 50km up the road at Assen.

Some 7500 fans visited Ten Kate's Nieuwleusen HQ on Saturday to meet Foret and Marino, who were joined by Castrol Honda World Superbike riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus.

Fabien Foret

It's been a very tough start to the season with the injuries at Phillip Island and then Donington. The lower part of my back is still quite painful and I still have the pins in the end of my finger, so we will see how everything feels when I get on the bike on Friday. Of course, it's the home race for the team, so we all want to do well, but also I like Assen very much, so I want to feel as fit as possible to ride the circuit well. I also need to get some points to finally get the season st arted. I may not be 100% yet – probably not until Monza – but at least I will be better than even before the crash at Donington, so I look forward to seeing what we can do this weekend.

Florian Marino

The Pit Stop Day last Saturday was amazing and it was good to meet so many people! I have been training hard during the time since Donington, especially in these last days with Fabien and Jonathan Rea. I really want to do well at Assen, which is one of my favourite tracks and, of course, it is the home race for my team. I have really enjoyed racing at Assen before so I cannot wait for Friday to get out again on the Supersport CBR. I don't want to make any predictions for the weekend but a top five finish, or even a podium would be fantastic. I will try my hardest for sure.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

The race at Assen is always quite special for us and only half an hour's drive from the workshop, so a lot of friends and family have the opportunity to see what we do when we are at work – it's always a great atmosphere. I'm quite happy that Fabien is feeling much better and is on his way to recovery, so let's hope he can find his Phillip Island form again this weekend. For young Florian, Assen is one of his favourite circuits so we hope to see both riders battling at the front. We have some new chassis parts and electronics to test over the weekend which should give us a step forward.


Ellison and Szkopek hoping for Dutch delight

THE Bogdanka PTR Honda Team heads to the "Cathedral" of motorcycle racing at Assen in the Netherlands looking for a strong result in the third round of the World Supersport Championship this weekend.

James Ellison expects to be running at the front again after showing podium potential at the last race at Donington Park, while his Polish teammate, Pawel Szkopek, hopes to be fighting for a point scoring finish.

The duo will be joined by a Polish youngster, 20-year-old Marcin Walkowiak, who will start his second season in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup at Assen, riding the Bogdanka PTR Honda CBR1000RR.

James Ellison: "Assen is fantastic. It's one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. It's a fast and flowing circuit and even after the changes, it still stands out above everything else. After the injury at Phillip Island we've made a good step at Donington Park and shown podium potential so we need to do it again this weekend and be at the sharp end."

Pawel Szkopek: "I haven't ridden at Assen since 2005 but it's a fast and flowing circuit which I've always really enjoyed. After the crash at Donington Park my hand is a lot better and not really a problem anymore. We know where we can improve and I'm really looking forward to finishing the race, hopefully in the points."

Marcin Walkowiak: "I can't wait to get my second season in the Cup started. Assen is not my favourite track but it's fast and technical and I like that about it. I'm starting the season a lot better prepared than last year, knowing the tracks, having more experience and a great team behind me, so I'm really excited."

Simon Buckmaster: "James is getting faster and faster with every outing and we fully expect him to be competing at the front of the race at Assen - he is fully motivated and knows what needs to be done.

"Pawel crashed out at the end of the previous round and he will want to make amends in Holland. He has shown points scoring potential and now we are looking for him to deliver.

"A big welcome to Marcin to the team and we have high hopes for him in the Superstock 1000 class - he has talent and now a fantastic bike that we have prepared for him. We are looking forward to competing with him and start out with the aim to score points at Assen and build from there."


NEXT STOP ASSEN FOR CARLOS CHECA AND THE ALTHEA RACING TEAM

Assen (The Netherlands), Wednesday 12th April 2011: after successful opening rounds at Phillip Island and Donington, the Althea Racing Team now moves on to The Netherlands and the historic TT Circuit Assen.

Having clocked up three victories and a third place finish in the first four races of the 2011 season, rider Carlos Checa heads to Assen holding a 19 point lead in the championship.

His best year at the TT Circuit results-wise came in 2008 when he scored a double podium finish, crossing the line in second and third place. Carlos would like to do at least that well this coming weekend so as to consolidate his lead in the overall rider standings.

This coming weekend also signifies the start of the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup. Althea Racing will field two entries in this category, namely Davide Giugliano and Lorenzo Baroni.

Carlos Checa

"I like the track and it is a very significant place as far as the history of motorcycling is concerned. I think it could be a good track for us and that we will be able to adapt well to it. Of course our objective is to maintain the level of performance that we've shown during the first races, we want to make the most of this opportunity. I just hope that the weather stays dry, at least for race day!"

Checa's Superbike form at Assen:

2010: Race 1- 4th, Race 2 – 6th
2009: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 7th
2008: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 3rd

2011

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