Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as from the series organizers, ahead of this weekend's WSBK round at the Nurburgring:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Nürburgring - Preview
Munich/Stephanskirchen, 3rd September 2012. Perfectly positioned going into the home race in the Eifel Mountains: BMW Motorrad heads to the Nürburgring (GER) for the twelfth round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship leading the standings in both the Rider and Manufacturer standings. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has already claimed six wins this season with factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA). The last race weekend, at the new “Moscow Raceway” (RUS), saw Marco move to the top of the Riders’ Championship, while BMW has led the Manufacturers’ standings since the ninth round of the season in Brno (CZE). Marco and his team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) have claimed 15 podium finishes so far this year.
Marco secured one win and one second place as the Superbike World Championship made its debut in Russia. In doing so, he leapfrogged Max Biaggi (ITA) at the top of the Rider’s standings. Marco now has 308.5 points to his name and an 18.5-point lead over Biaggi in second place. Leon was on course to podium in both races, but was once again extremely unlucky. In race one he managed to finish sixth and rescued ten points following a collision. Race two ended in the Clinica Mobile after his BMW S 1000 RR was hit from behind at high speed, causing him to crash out. Fortunately he escaped any serious injuries. Leon is sixth in the Riders’ Championship on 180 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW now has 361 points and a lead of 26.5 points over Aprilia.
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport is making sure it is ready for all conditions as it prepares for its home race. The Nürburgring is known for its unpredictable weather. This was in full evidence at last year’s Superbike World Championship event in the Eifel Mountains: the sun shone for the first race, but the heavens suddenly opened shortly before race two. The start was delayed and the race was then abandoned after 13 laps as there was so much water on the track that many of the riders were crashing.
Nürburgring from the rider’s point of view:
“It is great to come to the BMW home round at the Nürburgring leading the championship. However, this may also mean even more pressure, because everybody will expect a good result. I am sure the races will be difficult, because Aprilia will work hard and try to regain the lead. We will see though. Last year was my first time at the Nürburgring and I really like the track. Race one was good for me, I finished second. In race two it was very wet, so it was quite difficult. The track is good fun. It is very technical. The first section is pretty tight, but after that the layout is quite fast and smooth and I think it will suit my riding style. Last year I had a lot of fun and I am sure that this can be the case this year too.
I think that our RR will run well there. If all goes according to plan, I am sure we can be competitive in the races. We have to improve our pace in qualifying, because we still struggle with the soft tyre. But I am happy, I feel good and I am ready to fight again.
We still have six races to go, which is a lot. It is never easy because there are many fast riders and there is always the possibility of mistakes. The last few races have seen a lot of major changes in the championship. You can score many points, but you can also drop points. We need to focus on each individual race and to do our best to pick up some more wins and stay in front.”
“From the result side, I was obviously disappointed at Russia. They were another two races that could easily have been two podiums, but again ended in very bad luck and crashes. From the physical side, I damaged my left shoulder and my left leg and I felt a bit stiff overall. However, I have been recovering at home and also doing some physio, so I should be fully ok for Germany. The Nürburgring has always been a good circuit for me. I had a good result there in 2010 when I finished on the podium. Last year it would have been one of the strongest weekends for us at BMW. We had the pace for victory in both races. In race one, we had an issue with the bike but still a very good pace that would have taken us onto the podium, while race two was the horrible rain-dominated race, in which I crashed.
We did not achieve the results last year, but the bike and I definitely have great potential at the Nürburgring. I am looking forward to returning there this year. Our goal is always to win and we will try to shake off the bad luck we have had this year and get the win that we deserve.”
Nürburgring from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
“After the Moscow races we are all looking forward to BMW’s home round. We will arrive there as the leader in both championships, but this will not change our usual approach. We will work race by race, improving the bike and trying to achieve the best possible result. We are all motivated and focused. The circuit has a combination of tight and fast corners, which force the riders and the team to find the right compromise in terms of set-up. This can sometimes be a difficult challenge. Overall, it is a technical track. We must also be ready for any conditions, as the weather could be an issue at the Nürburgring, as we experienced last year.
Leon was unlucky at the last event, but he once again showed his speed and talent. Last year he rode an amazing race at the Nürburgring, so we are confident that he will fight for the top position. Marco and his crew have a clear target and they are very focused on it. Last year, Marco produced a great race considering it was his first time on the German racetrack. He likes it and, in the seat of our powerful RR, he will have more fantastic races. We will all work very hard in order to put in a good performance for ourselves, but mainly for all the BMW people and fans who will be following us at the racetrack.”
Nürburgring from Pirelli’s point of view:
There will be six slick solutions available for the Superbike class that Pirelli will bring to the Nürburgring for the third last round of the season in Germany. Specifically there will be three for the front and as many for the rear also. For the former there will be two SC1 solutions available, the P1280 and the N1159 as the standard SC1 for the 2012 season, and the SC2 P773 which has already been used on various occasions this year. On the other hand, for the rear the riders will be able to choose between a solution in the SC0 range (the P774) and two SC1 solutions, the P1060 as the standard SC1 for 2012 and the R302, an alternative to the SC1 which was already used successfully in many races this year, the most recent being Moscow, and which Pirelli will continue to bring in order to have as many elements as possible from direct comparison with this year’s standard SC1, which will most likely be replaced by the R302 in 2013.
As for the track, there is smooth asphalt and a highly varied climate which is even more accentuated by the forest in which it is nestled. The significant temperature difference between morning and afternoon can even lead to problems with cold tearing that the R302 rear solution is certainly capable of handling.
The Nürburgring is one of the most iconic racetracks in the world. Its legendary status is the result of a long history and the infamous Nordschleife, which at over 20 kilometres in length has been known for decades as the “Green Hell”. The circuit in the Eifel region is the oldest permanent racetrack in Germany. It was opened in 1927, since when it has regularly provided the backdrop to motorsport history. Races were held on the Nordschleife until the 1970s. Nowadays it still hosts long-distance car races, including the famous 24-hour race.
As the Nordschleife had become too dangerous for most series, the Nürburgring’s Grand Prix Circuit was opened in 1984. After several modifications it is now 5.137 kilometres long. The FIM Superbike World Championship made its debut at the circuit in the Eifel Mountains in 1998 and returns this season for the seventh time. The track is nestled in the hilly Eifel landscape, making it a real rollercoaster of a circuit. It boasts fascinating combinations of corners, a wide range of different types of turns, fast sections and zones that demand heavy braking. As such, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport must find just the right compromise in the set-up of the BMW S 1000 RRs.
Another of the infamous perils of the Nürburgring is the unpredictable weather. In early September the Superbike World Championship may be welcomed by late-summer heat – but could just as easily experience cold and rain. The weather is also capable of changing in the blink of an eye, as demonstrated last year: at first it was sunny, until the weather unleashed heavy downpours just minutes before the start of race two, making it impossible to complete the race under regular conditions.
The Nürburgring is located about 80 kilometres south of Cologne in the municipality of Adenau. The region is one of Germany’s motorsport centres: many racing teams and suppliers have set up their headquarters here. A BMW Test Centre is also located at the Nürburgring. As the Nordschleife and the surrounding countryside provide ideal conditions, the region has been an important test location for BMW since the 1960s. In the meantime, almost all the other well-known manufacturers have followed this example. One of the stand-out features is Nürburg Castle, which looks down upon the circuit.
Biaggi and Sykes take on Melandri at the Ring
Rome (Italy), 3 September 2012 – The decisive run-in for the 2012 eni FIM Superbike World Championship gets underway this weekend at the prestigious Nurburgring circuit, with Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) chasing after the new points leader Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport). With three rounds remaining (six races, 150 points at stake), the 30-year-old from Ravenna heads the table with an 18.5 point lead over Biaggi and 41 over the British rider. Still in with a mathematical chance of winning the title are Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Team Ducati), 75 points from the top slot, and Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team), a further 21 adrift. The Manufacturers’ battle also sees five different constructors in search of glory: BMW, Aprilia, Kawasaki, Ducati and Honda in that order. After the German Round this weekend, the championship will then move on to Portimao (Portugal) on 23 September and Magny-Cours (France) for the grand finale on 7 October.
Superbike’s debut in Russia a fortnight ago was a massive success with two exciting races that overturned the situation at the top of the table. Marco Melandri arrived at the Moscow Raceway with 10.5 points to make up on Biaggi and he left there with a lead of 18.5. The Tissot-Superpole ‘King’, Tom Sykes (seven wins in 11 rounds), also made up ground and can now also be considered as a clear threat over the entire race distance.
In the last seven rounds Melandri has taken four wins (out of six in 2012), while in the same period Biaggi has only stepped once onto the podium with a third place in race 1 at Moscow. In this decisive part of the season the BMW man has made up 78.5 points on Biaggi, and now the battle for the world title, which after Misano in mid-June seemed to be in the hands of the five-times world champion, has been thrown totally wide-open.
Melandri has reached a total of ten Superbike wins (including four in 2011 with Yamaha) and 25 podiums in just 47 races. Biaggi is stuck on four wins this year (out of 20 overall) and hasn’t won since race 1 at Aragon (Spain) on 1 July. BMW, who had not won a race in the previous three years, now also find themselves in the lead of the Manufacturers’ title chase.
The Nurburgring, where World Superbike has raced every year since 2008, is the venue for the twelfth round of the season but neither Melandri nor Biaggi have ever won there: the former only raced last year, finishing second and sixth, while Biaggi has never even finished on the podium, with a fourth and a fifth his best results in his title-winning 2010 season. Last year Biaggi did not take the start due to an unfortunate incident in qualifying that cost him a bone fracture in his left foot. Sykes on the other hand won at the Ring twelve months ago in a race that only went half-distance due to torrential rain. And on the subject, the weekend weather forecast is slightly cloudy, with no rain and temperatures of 21° max/11° min expected. So after finally reaching a constant level of race performance, Sykes could certainly be a tricky customer for the two Italians.
The German Round is a decisive one for Checa and Rea who really have to score wins in both races, with DNFs amongst the top 3, to confirm their championship challenges. Here in 2011 the Spaniard scored one of his 15 SBK wins, but this year has not gone according to plan with too many errors and DNFs, and in the history of SBK no rider has ever won the title with six zeros to his name. Even more difficult is the task facing Jonathan Rea who after two troubled races in Moscow was selected by Honda HRC as a replacement for the injured Casey Stoner in MotoGP. In the next six weeks the Northern Irishman will embark upon a real tour de force, taking part in three Superbike rounds and the same number of MotoGP races.
The Ring could highlight the abilities of Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Racing Team Ducati), who finished second last year in the wet, Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati), the 22-year-old Italian who is making his name in the top class after winning the FIM Superstock 1000 title, as well as Frenchman Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team). Guintoli has already won twice this year, while Giugliano has two podiums to his name, and Baz picked up the winners’ trophy at Silverstone in difficult conditions.
A fifth place by Leon Camier in race 2 at Moscow Raceway was some reward for the efforts being made this year by a rapidly improving FIXI Crescent Suzuki team. Team-mate John Hopkins has also resolved his injury problems of the early rounds and a podium is surely now not that far off.
Points (after 11 of 14 rounds): 1. Melandri 308.5; 2. Biaggi 290; 3. Sykes 267.5; 4. Checa 233.5; 5. Rea 212.5; 6. Haslam 180; 7. Laverty 173.5; 8. Guintoli 127.5; 9. Fabrizio 119.5; 10. Giugliano 116; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 361; 2. Aprilia 334.5; 3. Ducati 322; 4. Kawasaki 298.5; 5. Honda 221.5; 6. Suzuki 93.5.
While everything is still to play for in Superbike, in World Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu has made a major step forward towards his third title. By winning at Moscow Raceway (his third victory of the season) Kawasaki Lorenzini’s 27 year-old Turkish rider has further increased his lead over his rivals. With three rounds still remaining (75 points), Sofuoglu has more than one round’s advantage and can also count on a steady run of form: he has only one DNF in his points score (Imola), against two for Cluzel and Lowes.
In the other nine races Sofuoglu has always scored top 5 finishes. Sofuoglu has already won the world title in 2007 and 2010, both times on a Honda. This season he is the top man for Kawasaki who are just five points behind Honda in the Manufacturers’ chase. The two PTR men, Jules Cluzel and Sam Lowes are the only other two real challengers this year, with fourth-placed man Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) just out of contention.
Points (after 10 of 13 rounds): 1. Sofuoglu 173; 2. Cluzel 140; 3. Lowes 138; 4. Foret 128; 5. Parkes 109; 6. Morais 84; 7. Quarmby 70; 8. Baldolini 67; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 217; 2. Kawasaki 212; 3. Triumph 96; 4. Yamaha 89; 5. Suzuki 6.
In Germany the weekend programme returns to its normal scheduling with the two Superstock categories that did not make the visit to Russia. In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) capitalized on the first win in his career at Silverstone to break away from his rivals. Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) dropped to minus 31 points, more than one round’s disadvantage over La Marra, with three rounds and 75 points remaining. Barrier is rapidly being caught by the Kawasaki pairing of Australian Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini) and Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS). La Marra has so far been quick and constant, with his worst result a fourth place in seven races.
The Manufacturers’ battle is also up for grabs, with Ducati and its 1199 Panigale, this year’s newcomer, just two points ahead of Kawasaki and BMW in third, 16 points behind. Meanwhile eighth-placed Lorenzo Baroni (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) is still recovering after his Silverstone crash and will not be present in Germany.
Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. La Marra 119; 2. Barrier 88; 3. Staring 86; 4. Guarnoni 82; 5. Savadori 67; 6. Reiterberger 62; 7. Bergman 59; 8. Baroni 56; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 132; 2. Kawasaki 130; 3. BMW 116; 4. Honda 52; 5. Aprilia 17.
The duel between Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha) and Dutchman Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda) in the category reserved for under-22 year-olds is still raging hard and fast. The 18-year-old Italian soared to the top of the table once again following his win at Silverstone, but his rival is just two points behind, a slim lead considering that there are still three rounds and 75 points remaining.
Van der Mark will not be not entirely 100% fit in Germany because of a crash while practicing for the Supersport race at Moscow which was to have marked the talented Dutchman’s debut in the mid-range category. Van der Mark broke his right collarbone and a metal plate has been put on the fracture to speed up his recovery. He should be able to start but will not be entirely fit for this crucial battle against Russo.
Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Russo 147; 2. Vd Mark 144; 3. Duwelz 78; 4. Calero Perez 53; 5. Vitali 53; 6. Gamarino 49; 7. Schacht 48; 8. Nestorovic 47; etc.
KTM European Junior Cup
Riders in the KTM European Junior Cup, the one-make series organized for under-19 year-olds by Racedays with the collaboration of the Austrian manufacturer, will resume their title battle in Germany on identical Duke 690 machines. After the sixth round, the points leader, Austrian Lukas Wimmer, and second-placed Spaniard Javier Orellana are still on 70 and 62 points respectively. Their double DNF has bunched up the standings and opened the title battle up to another five riders with 17 points between them and just 50 points remaining.
The man of the moment is Northern Ireland’s Jamie Patterson who won at Silverstone to move into fifth place. The 19-year-old has racing blood in his family as his father Alan was a valid 250 GP rider, but to push to the top he will have to get the better of Spain’s Gaston Garcia and Christian Vidal. With one round remaining after Nurburgring the Cup has fulfilled its main aim of providing exciting racing for up-and-coming talents and giving them a chance to appear on the world stage.
Points (after 6 of 8 rounds): 1. Wimmer 70; 2. Orellana 62; 3. Garcia 58; 4. Vidal 54; 5. Patterson 53; 6. Demoulin 48; 7. Pasek 46; 8. Wielebski 43; etc.
Jules looking to continue good form
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel is hoping to keep his recent run of good form going when he takes to the track at the Nurburgring in Germany this weekend for the 11th round of the World Supersport Championship.
Ronan Quarmby likes the Nurburgring but has no expectations on results - he just wants to enjoy riding his PTR Honda and is sure success will follow. Martin Jessopp on the Riders PTR Honda made a positive step forward at the last round and is looking to keep the momentum going when the racing starts at 1330CET on Sunday, September 9th.
Jules: "I have never been to Nurburgring; although I know the track from video games and it looks nice. Like the last races, I want to try to do my best, to be at the front, beat Kenan and continue my good form. Everything now is clear, I know better the PTR team and my Crew Chief - we have more experience together to improve the bike and work for the weekend. Also I know my PTR race bike better - when I started the first race it was all last minute but now I am much more comfortable."
Ronan: "I really enjoy Germany as it has fast and flowing corners. I am excited and want to get back riding. I am not putting my expectations too high but I want to enjoy my riding and the success will follow."
Martin: "Nurburgring is a new track for me and I've been looking forward to going to it. It is up and down and there is massive history, which I like. I definitely was riding the bike a lot different to normal at the last round and want to pick up from where we left off. Sam (Lowes) is coming over with me this round and I hope he can show me the way round the circuit the day before and I can start in a better position straight away."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules goes into the last three rounds second in the Championship and it will be a tall order to catch Kenan but we will see if we can win the last three races - he is enjoying a fantastic debut in World Supersport this season. Overall Russia was a disappointing performance for Ronan but he likes the last three tracks and I expect him to bounce back at the Nurburgring and get inside the top six. Martin closed the lap time gap to the leading group in Moscow and we will be working hard with him to get a points scoring finish in Germany."
THE ALTHEA RACING RIDERS CHECA AND GIUGLIANO PREPARE FOR THE CHALLENGE OF THE RING
Nürburg (Germany), Tuesday 4th September 2012: this weekend the Althea Racing team will be in Germany, at the historic Nürburgring, all set to participate in the twelfth round of the 2012 Superbike World Championship. Current champion Carlos Checa hopes for two great races with which to reduce the gap between himself and the leaders while his team-mate Davide Giualiano, currently tenth, wants a strong performance at what is his favourite track.
Two weeks ago the Superbike riders races at the brand new Moscow Raceway. Despite fantastic results during the practice and qualifying sessions, both the Althea riders had difficulty come race day; both crashed out of the first race while in the second Davide battled against tyre wear and Carlos had to fight hard to avoid being caught up in accidents. They eventually closed the race in fourth (Checa) and sixth (Giugliano) position.
After the first eleven events Carlos is still fourth in the standings with 233.5 points while championship leader Melandri holds 308.5. Davide is in tenth position with 116 points while Ducati is third in the manufacturer’s championship with 322 points.
Last year at the German track Carlos dominated race one, winning it with an advantage of almost two seconds over second-placed Melandri. The second race on the other hand was conditioned by heavy rain which meant that the Spaniard’s main aim was to finish and cross the line without crashing; he closed in eighth place. Besides last year’s win, Carlos has stepped up to the podium on three other occasions in previous years, thanks to one second place and two third place finishes. Davide was the absolute protagonist in his category last year too; in the Stock 1000 race he crossed the line in first place, over four seconds ahead of Barrier, second. Both Carlos and Davide hope for similarly positive results this coming weekend.
“Unfortunately Moscow didn’t exactly go to plan and now we need to make up for that at the Nürburgring. I feel prepared and ready for the challenge and hope that data from last year’s race will be able to he help us do equally well this year. We’ve seen a lot of wet weather this season and will probably have rain in Germany too - the important thing is to adapt to the weather and track conditions, and do our job at the highest possible level.”
Checa’s Superbike form at the Nürburgring:
2011: Race 1 – winner, Race – 8th
2010: Race 1- 2nd, Race 2 - DNF
2009: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd
2008: Race 1 – 5th, Race 2 – 5th
“I’ve always liked the German track and have some good memories, particularly of last year when I won the Stock 1000 race. During recent rounds we’ve worked really well during the practice sessions but then in the races I haven’t been able to put it all together and score the kind of results that I know I am capable of. So I hope that I can use everything I’ve learned until now to get back on the right path and take some solid results in this final phase of the championship, starting this Sunday.”
Nurburgring beckons Honda riders
Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama will take different approaches to this weekend’s (7-9 September) 12th round of the 2012 World Superbike championship at the Nurburgring in Germany.
For Rea, the 5.137km circuit nestling in the Eifel mountains has been a happy hunting ground since his SBK debut in 2009 and the 25-year-old took three podiums, including two wins, in his first four races there. Last year marked Rea’s return to racing following a three-month injury layoff, but he still took a fourth place in atrocious conditions in race two.
This weekend’s World Superbike event follows a two-day test with the Repsol Honda MotoGP team as Rea embarks on a hectic five-week programme in which he will replace the injured Casey Stoner. Two MotoGP races at Misano and Aragon will be dovetailed with the final three rounds of the SBK season.
For Rea’s Honda World Superbike team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, the Nurburgring will be a new circuit. However, the 30-year-old Japanese rider was on the pace from day one at the last SBK round in Moscow – a brand-new circuit on the calendar.
Aoyama will therefore be looking to carry forward the speed he showed in Russia, together with a better feeling with his bike, on to a circuit where Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade has performed well in the past.
I’ve certainly got a tough few weeks coming up, competing in two world championships, but I’ve enjoyed everything so far – it’s going to be an incredible experience. I’m really looking forward to this Nurburgring weekend – I like the circuit and I’ve had some success there in the past. We struggled a little at Brno and Silverstone, but managed to sort a few things for the last round in Russia. Although the results didn’t show it, I was much happier with the feel of the bike and we were able to cure a problem with engine braking which had almost crept up on us unnoticed. I’m excited to see how the CBR performs at the Nurburgring and to see if we can maintain the pace that we ended up showing in Moscow. We’re going into the last three rounds of the season now and the team is working just as hard as they were at the beginning of the year, coming up with new things to try. Hopefully, that will al low us to consolidate and even improve our championship position in the last few races.
I was happy after the race in Moscow that we had found a much better feeling on the bike. I enjoyed taking part in my first Superpole and, even though the results in the two races were very disappointing – especially when another rider crashed into me on the first lap in race two – I enjoyed the weekend in Russia. Of course, the Nurburgring is another new circuit for me but I know that Jonathan has had some good results there before. I look forward to riding at the circuit and I hope we can have another good weekend and this time get some better results.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
It was certainly a hectic event in Russia, both on the track and off it – in fact, getting the trucks in and out was an event in itself. But we still managed to get a few days to work on the bikes when we returned to prepare for Nurburgring. It’s a great circuit to race at so we’re looking forward to the weekend. Of course, the big news since Moscow is that Jonathan has tested with the MotoGP team at Brno and, this week, in Aragon, so this should be an exciting motivation for him. We hope he can gel again quickly with his CBR but, looking at his calendar for the coming weeks, he can probably rent out his new house for a while! When the request came through, we had a sit-down to discuss it all with Jonathan, but we didn’t want to prevent him enjoying this opportunity so we were happy to release him during this period. These are exciting times for all of us but, of course, we’re looking forward to a solid weekend at Nurburg ring. It’s a new track and a new challenge for Hiroshi but he made a good step forward at Moscow. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to turn his practice and qualifying performance into good race results but we hope that he can bring that form from Russia with him to Germany.
Lowes targets strong end to the season
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes is looking to end the World Supersport season on a high and aiming for a strong finish in round 11 from 13 at the legendary Nurburgring in Germany this weekend.
His rookie teammate, Mathew Scholtz, knows part of the track having raced there in the German Championship in 2010, and fresh from his season's best result in Moscow last time out, is looking for another top ten finish. The world famous and picture-square Nurburgring circuit holds special memories for the Bogdanka PTR Honda squad with the team's first World Supersport podium finish last year.
The Bogdanka Honda PTR squad will be joined by the Portuguese rider Miguel Praia, who'll be looking for a strong result on his World Supersport return when the lights will go off at 13:30 CET on Sunday.
Sam Lowes: "I'm really looking forward to the last three races. The pressure is on Kenan, it's not on me, so I can just focus on going out there and fighting to win the last three races and then we'll see what happens. The last three tracks I like and I'm good at so I'm in good spirits. Nurburgring is a mega circuit and reminds me of some of the big, fast British tracks, so I feel really good at it and enjoy riding it. The forecast for the weekend is good and I'm looking forward to this race more than any other this year, so I can't wait to get there and go out on track."
Mathew Scholtz: "I'm really looking forward to Germany after two of my best races of the year and my best result last time out in Russia. I hope to keep improving, especially as this is one of a few tracks that I've been to before, having raced there in the German 125 Championship in 2010. I only know half of the track but really enjoy it. I'm sure the Bogdanka PTR Honda will be a lot of fun to ride there so I can't wait to learn the other half and hope I can improve from the tenth position in Moscow."
Miguel Praia: "I'm very happy to be a part of the Bogdanka Honda PTR team. I'm really looking forward to the weekend and aiming for a good result. I want to come back to the World Supersport Championship full time and Bogdanka have given me a great opportunity to put in a strong result. Of course, I know how fast my rivals are, so I'm working really hard and I'm really motivated. I like the Nurburgring circuit. It's an old style track which is a lot of fun to ride, but it's not easy. I've been a bit unlucky there in the past but it should suit both myself and the Honda bike, so I'm looking forward to the weekend."
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sam made a big mistake jumping the start in Moscow and despite fighting back to 12th after his ride through he has left himself a huge task to catch Kenan with only three rounds to go. As always we work as a team and will be giving Sam all our support in the last three races, so let's see what happens. It was a season best for Mathew in Moscow and he's broke into the top 10. He's had the potential all season and we are confident he will have another strong finish in Nurburgring."
WSBK - Team Italia gears up for final rush in Nürburgring
With three races to go, La Marra and Russo are leading in the World and European championships.
In the FIM Cup Superstock1000, Barni Racing Team Italia riders will race with different mindsets but the same goal. The first victory of the season, captured in Silverstone, rewards La Marra's consistency. The italian, always in the Top 4, pulled away from Barrier in the general standings and has a 31-point lead, which allows him to control the opponents while still trying to seize as many points as possible.
His teammate Savadori collected two DNFs in a row, which compromised his title chances. In Brno he raced with a fever and in Silverstone he was forced to retire after the first lap due to technical problems, sliding to 5th position in the rankings. Savadori, who seized the first historic win for the 1199 Panigale in Monza, can now go all-in during the remaining races.
Stock1000 Championship Standigs
The UEM European Championship Superstock600 offers a close battle. After winning in Silverstone (his fourth success this season), Russo claimed the lead in the standing by 3 points over VD Mark. The Dutchman, who has three victories to his tally, will put up a tough fight against the Italian in Germany.
Vitali, who always collected points except for the season opener, has the fourth place in the rankings in his sight. Calero Perez is just one point ahead, but Gamarino is only 4 points behind, making it a tricky task to defend a Top 5 spot.
Stock600 Championship Standings
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We head to Germany with high spirits and in great shape. The riders took some rest and can't wait to get back on track. We aim at keeping the leadership in both championships and hopefully build a bigger gap. We're ready for the season finale, and I expect a good race from everyone."
FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI SET FOR ‘THE RING’
Team Suzuki Press Office - September 5.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki has made a cross-European road-trip to the famous Nürburgring in Germany for the 12th round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship this coming weekend.
Leon Camier and John Hopkins will both be heading to the German circuit aiming to build on the promising performances last time out in Russia. Camier is still suffering the after-effects of a huge crash from the last event, but is determined to not let this hamper him at the 5,137m track, whilst Hopkins is planning on improving on his recent best results, by going for top-fives in Germany on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000.
The Nürburgring is located about 70kms south of Cologne and is built around the village of Nürburg, in the Eifel region of Germany. The huge and historical complex features a Grand Prix race track that was built in 1984, as well as the longer old North loop track, or Nordschleife as it is better known, which was built in the 1920s and is considered to be one of the most demanding and difficult racing circuits in the world. The Nordschleife has remained a one-way, public toll-road for nearly 80 years and anyone with a road legal car or motorcycle - as well as tour buses, motor homes, or even cars with trailers - is welcome to take the challenge of this iconic circuit and as such has become a must-do for many race enthusiasts and petrol-heads alike.
This weekend's World Superbike action will get underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session, followed by the opening qualifying period in the afternoon. Saturday morning will have a second qualifying session to confirm the 16-riders that will progress towards that afternoon's Superpole. The first of Sunday's two races - both to be held over 20-laps - will see the lights change for go at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST); with the second event set to get underway at 15.30hrs local time (14.30hrs BST).
"I saw my osteopath yesterday and he told me that there is some damage to the muscle above my right hip. I'm a little stiff, but it's not going to affect me on the bike and I'm looking forward to riding this weekend. The Nurburgring hasn't been particularly lucky for me - I broke my wrist there in 2010 and last year the weather was awful. I like the track, with its ups and downs and it has a few interesting technical places where you have to know what you are doing. I'm not sure how the FIXI Crescent Suzuki will go round there, but we've made good progress recently and hopefully we can qualify well and have a good weekend."
"I don't have any good memories of the Nürburgring, because the last time I was there in 2009 I was run over on the first lap of race one and got knocked out! What I do remember is that it's quite a technical circuit, with a bit of everything and also many elevation changes. There's a mix of fast and twisty corners but I think the FIXI Crescent Suzuki's chassis should work pretty well there. We've had our best races of the season in the last two rounds and I think we'll continue to get better. I'm going to Nurburgring with the hopes of getting our best results this season and I'll be doing everything possible to finish both races inside of the top-five."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"As well as the Crescent-based team, I know that Yoshimura have been working hard in Japan and I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements they have made. Recently there have been good signs that our hard work is paying off and we can be competitive. If Leon had not been involved in a crash during practice in Russia, he would've finished much higher up the grid than the fifth row and would've challenged the leaders for sure. Our aim this weekend, as usual, is to have both Leon and John qualify well and take it from there. I feel we haven't showed our true potential, but I'm looking forward to the Nürburgring and our guys fighting with the leaders."
EUGENE LAVERTY ARRIVES AT THE NÜRBURGRING
THE FINAL DASH IS ON FOR THE 2012 SUPERBIKE SEASON.
THIRD LAST ROUND OF THE YEAR FOR MAX BIAGGI, IN THE THICK OF THE BATTLE FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. EUGENE LAVERTY ARRIVES AT THE NÜRBURGRING READY TO CONTINUE HIS PROGRESS ASTRIDE THE RSV4.
Nürburgring, 5 September 2012 – After the Superbike début in Russia, the factory derivatives head for the round at the Nürburgring, the historic name that brings to mind the undertakings achieved by great champions on the old Nordschleife track. For Max Biaggi this will be a decidedly particular round, both due to the Championship situation and because it was precisely on this German asphalt that the Corsair suffered an injury in 2011 which effected the rest of his season.
With three rounds left in the Championship, Max is in the thick of the battle for the final victory. The difficulties of Silverstone and Moscow reopened the top end of the championship standings, but they were unable to dampen the tenacity of the five time world champion. At the Nürburgring Max Biaggi wants to get back to battling for the win.
"I've always liked the Nürburgring circuit, even if it played a cruel trick on us last year. After Silverstone and Moscow we are chasing the leaders now – an uncomfortable position – but we need to use this as motivation to get back to being competitive. Every round from here to the end will be a match point and the winner will be whoever manages to stay calm and focused. It goes without saying that even the slightest mistake is out of the question".
The Russian weekend ended with a crash, but Eugene Laverty garnered a good feeling in the races at Moscow Raceway. His sights ever set on the podium, the rider from Toomebridge seems to have reached a promising feeling with his RSV4 in the various conditions, and in Germany he will put forth his best effort to confirm this impression.
"The rain seems to have followed us everywhere lately and this weekend we return to Nurburgring, where we suffered monsoon rain during race two last year. Let's hope we don't get a repeat of those conditions! Nurburgring is a fun circuit to ride with so many cambered turns. All the changes of direction make it quite a physical circuit which I enjoy. We've been strong during the last three races but we haven't been rewarded with the results we deserve so I hope that everything falls into place this weekend in Germany".
MULTITASKING REA ALL SET FOR FINAL FEW SBK ROUNDS
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) will have a busy time in the forthcoming final three rounds of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship over the next month or so, but he has already started down the road of MotoGP testing for the official Repsol Honda team.
His immediate focus after the completion of an ongoing MotoGP test at Motorland Aragon in Spain is the 12th round of the Superbike World Championship, which begins with free practice and first qualifying on Friday September 7 at the famous Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
The 5.137Km long track, which sits high in the Eifel Mountains not far from the borders of the Benelux countries, is now a firm favourite with the stars of SBK racing. It is a particular favourite of Rea’s given that he has won a race there in 2010, and it was the scene of a positive comeback from injury last year.
Rea is now on a total of 212.5 championship points, 96 from the new championship leader Marco Melandri (BMW) with three rounds left. Jonathan is in fifth place overall, 21-points behind Carlos Checa (Ducati), but 32.5 points ahead of Leon Haslam (BMW).
For Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) the Nürburgring is yet another new track for the Japanese former 250cc GP champion to face. Some competitive showings in testing and practice for the previous round in Russia could not be converted into top ten finishes on raceday, but Aoyama was unlucky not to score points in race two.
Once more Hiroshi’s primary aim is to get into the top 16 after regular qualifying and then progress through the three stages of Superpole. In the championship standings he is 18th, on 44.5 points.
CLUZEL AND LOWES ALL OUT FOR RACE WIN IN GERMANY
The 2012 FIM Supersport World Championship has three more rounds to run, the first being at the world famous Nürburgring in Germany this coming weekend. For Honda’s two top runners, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) and Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) the task ahead of each of them until the end of the championship may be a tough one, but it is one that gives each of them a clear aim.
With championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu 33 points ahead of Cluzel and 35 ahead of Lowes each Honda rider has to aim to win all three races now, starting off at the iconic Nürburgring circuit this weekend.
Lowes and Cluzel have been adept at finding their way to winners’ circle this year, with the Frenchman taking victories in Monza and Silverstone; Lowes winning at Donington and Aragon. Cluzel has five podiums in total, Lowes the same number.
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) is yet to score a race win 2012, but he has found his way into the top three on three occasions so far. He sits fifth overall on 109 points, with a burning desire to take more podium finishes and if possible a valuable race win.
The previous round in Russia was a blip on the upward slope of the progress of Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda), but he is looking to reset himself this weekend and find positive outcomes from the final three races to move up from his current seventh place ranking.
Talented Italian rider Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda) is still tenth on the championship rankings, looking for his first podium of the year, after two season-best finishes of fourth so far.
Hungarian star Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) has made rapid progress since joining the Supersport championship, claiming eighth last time out in Russia. He is 14th in the rankings despite missing the first five rounds of the year.
Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) and his team-mate Balazs Nemeth have found little good fortune in the most recent rounds and thus Toth sits 19th and Nemeth 23rd in the rankings, despite some good early showings.
Rookie rider Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) hopes he has recovered from a run of punishing no-scores thanks to his most recent results of 11th and tenth place finishes. He has now moved up the table to 24th, into the double-digit point scores. Valentin Debise (SMS Honda) is looking for points once more to move him back towards the top 20.
Martin Jessop (Riders PTR Honda) has found the transition from riding a BSB machine in 2011 to a WSS machine in 2012 a tricky one, but he is positive about his approach to the next round, and his chances of scoring points again. Recovering Polish racing star Pawel Szkopek is scheduled to make another comeback ride on his Bogdanka Honda PTR machine in Germany.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
"I have been busy enough after the Moscow race with some MotoGP testing, but I did get some rest in at home. It is going to be a busy couple of weeks for me. I do not think that my MotoGP testing is going to hurt my Germany Superbike weekend at all. Having sampled those GP bikes I think it will be an easier transition to go back to Superbike. It is a case of my brain feels a little bit like an ECU right now; after I finish one I have to re-programme it again to cope with the other. Nürburgring is where I made my comeback last year after being injured. It is a track that has been good to me in the past. I like the circuit, the layout of it, and it is a track that can be affected by weather. I am hoping that the weather is positive and we can have a good safe weekend."
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
"Another new track for me and it is a very famous one in Europe. I am looking forward to riding it, very excited by it. I know it is not the long circuit, but the small one. I understand that last year it was raining, so I also have to think of that. I think we found some good things in testing and practice in the previous round in Russia. I am sure the first day will be tough for me in Germany, but then we should get better and then we need to get up to the same speed as the others. Our pace in Russia was often quite good so we will continue in the work in the same direction with the machine."
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
"I have never been to the Nürburgring. Like in the last races, I want to try to do my best, to be at the front, beat Kenan and continue my good form. Everything now is clear. I know the PTR team better and my crew chief - we have more experience together to improve the bike and work for the weekend. Also I know my PTR race bike better. When I started the first race it was all last minute, but now I am much more comfortable. I need to be on the front and do well and then something can happen. Every time I have had to learn a new circuit we have had a good weekend so I hope we can continue like this."
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
"I am OK now after Russia. It was one of those things and I just made a mistake. I love Germany and I really enjoyed it last year. The pressure is off me now. I can just go there and focus on enjoying riding my bike and winning races. To be fair the last three tracks are very good for me, some of my strongest anyway. We had good pace in Russia and if I had not jump-started we would have been there. I feel good that we can go there and get riding all-out now. It would be better to be in Kenan’s position, but I am not. But it is not over yet. If we win the next two races then it has to go to the last race anyway, so that is what I am focused on doing."
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
"Three more races and thee more chances to go for a win. That is the plan now, to try and win a race before the end of the year. Last race we just made a mistake with the tyre choice. We had a good pace all weekend, so that was a bit unfortunate. All three tracks we are coming to are good tracks for me and normally I finish strongly, so hopefully we can win a race before the end of the year. Nothing to lose and a lot to gain because I can still realistically be in the top three in the championship, so that is the goal."
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
"I have been working on my fitness and maybe at some other rounds I have put my expectations too high and been trying way too hard. I really enjoy Germany as it has fast and flowing corners so I am going there with a clear head and ride to have some fun, and maybe a good result will come from that. I am excited and want to get back riding. I am not putting my expectations too high, but I want to enjoy my riding and the success will follow."
Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda):
“I am looking forward to the race in Germany although I do not know this track as I have never been there. I hope to learn it quickly and take a good result and to help with this I am going there a day early to ride my bicycle and learn the layout. My bike should be good at every track so I am looking forward to this weekend.”
Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
“This is a new track for me and I've been looking forward to going to it. It is up and down and there is massive history, which I like. I was riding the bike a lot different to normal at the last round and want to pick up from where we left off. Sam (Lowes) is coming over with me this time and I hope he can show me the way round the circuit the day before and I can start in a better position straight away."
DOODSON JOINS FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI
Team Suzuki Press Office - September 6.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will be teaming up with internationally-recognised insurance advisor Doodson Broking Group for the remainder of the 2012 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season and then continue the partnership into 2013.
The new FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Doodson partnership will first be in action at the next round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Nurburgring in Germany this weekend, when the Suzuki GSX-R1000s of Leon Camier and John Hopkins will feature the Doodson logo in its livery for the very first time.
Doodson, founded in 1964, has a rich and diverse heritage that spans over six decades. During that time it has cultivated trusted, long-term relationships with clients operating across many disciplines within the UK and USA. It is that conviction that has led FIXI Crescent Suzuki to join forces with the specialist motorsport arm of the Doodson Broking Group.
As well as being a specialist in the world of motorsport, Doodson operates across many other sports including, football, rugby and water sports.
Doodson is currently one of the fastest growing, leading independent insurance brokers. Through its exclusive insurer relationships it can provide many products associated with not just the sporting world, but also for the entertainment, corporate and private client fields. With 120 employees based in seven offices in the UK and USA, Doodson can provide an excellent around-the-clock service to clients seven days a week. For more information, or to see what Doodson can do for you, just click here: www.doodsonbg.com .
Neil Clayton - Managing Director, Doodson Broking Group:
"Our business continues to grow globally in all areas and working with the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team is a great opportunity for us to promote our brand and services. The team has some great plans for the future and it is great news for Doodson that the team has agreed a partnership with us."
Paul Denning - FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team Principal:
"Doodson is a Blue-Chip provider of insurance services and has been able to offer us some unique protection in the very volatile and fast-changing business of global motorsport. 2012 has been a very tough introduction to the World Superbike Championship for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team, but we are determined to keep improving and fight for podiums. Our partnership with Doodson Broking Group means that our insurance requirements are one less thing to worry about, and we can concentrate on the performance of the bike and team."