2015 Misano World Superbike Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizers and World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's WSBK round at Misano:


WorldSBK on the Adriatic coast of Italy for Round 8

Great anticipation for the PATA Riviera di Rimini Round.

It has been no surprise that Max Biaggi’s return to competition has made worldwide headlines ahead of this weekend’s PATA Riviera di Rimini Round. After Troy Bayliss, Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli, ‘The Roman Emperor’ becomes the fourth World Superbike Champion to grace the eni FIM Superbike World Championship grid this year. His first of two outings will be at Misano World Circuit "Marco Simoncelli" in Italy.

Misano first appeared on the WorldSBK calendar in 1991: a season remembered for the utter domination of Doug Polen. 24 years later, the series features a similar set of circumstances for Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea as the Portuguese holiday resort of Portimao is traded in for the popular Italian destination of Misano Adriatico – surroundings long since associated with top-level motorcycle racing.

Championship-wise, Rea’s lead cannot be considered as anything other than colossal. Indeed, a margin of 124 points over second-placed team-mate Tom Sykes is the largest gap ever witnessed between first and second position in the Riders’ Championship after the opening 14 races of a season. In order to clinch what would be the first title for a rider from Northern Ireland, Rea no longer needs to win any more races – second and third places would be enough between now and the Qatar finale. On the other hand, should he seal doubles the like of which he has done four times from the first seven rounds, he will win the crown by as early as Malaysia on 2nd August – three rounds and over two months before season’s end.

However, it is Biaggi’s return that is arguably most awaited. Can the title winner of 2010 and 2012 improve on the ninth place finish of Troy Bayliss in Thailand? As mentioned by 43-year-old Biaggi himself, this will be the reference. Spicing up the plot only further, World Superbike has the privilege of being the first World Championship to race on Misano’s new track surface, which has been installed by Dromo and will encourage more grip in wet conditions in particular; the previous asphalt was particularly slippery in the wet, as the rainwater mixed with sea salt from the nearby Adriatic Sea. One would expect a fully dry June weekend anyhow, but there is no doubt that the new surface will encourage riders to push only more, even if the net result is that lap times will inevitably fall this year.

Amid the 2015 regulars, there are changes. Althea Racing has parted company with Nico Terol as Niccolò Canepa moves back to Genesio Bevilacqua’s team, with which he was second overall for EVO honours last year. Canepa’s seat at Grillini SBK Team has been taken for the round by 35 year old former World Supersport regular Gianluca Vizziello.

Not only will there be three factory Aprilias on-track, but a trio of Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team machines as well; Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano will be joined by test rider Luca Scassa, as the Italian rides for a factory outfit for the first time. A fourth BMW is added as former Superstock 1000 racer, 21-year-old German wildcard Markus Reiterberger, will compete with the VanZon Remeha BMW squad. He previously rode as a wildcard at the Nurburgring in 2013, scoring points in both races.

Opening World Superbike practice begins on Friday at 11:15 local time (GMT +2).

2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship (7 of 13 rounds completed)

1 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team - 330

2 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team - 206

3 - Leon Haslam Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils - 199

4 - Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team - 184

5 - Jordi Torres Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils - 131


Cluzel heads to Misano hoping to close the gap to Sofuoglu

Until Portimao, Jules Cluzel had not won a World Supersport race since the Phillip Island season-opener. Now he’s back on the top step and refusing to back off the throttle, with Kenan Sofuoglu’s championship lead having been reduced to 40 points.

Cluzel won the first race from pole before being denied in Thailand due to an engine failure. A similar problem ruled him out of Aragon, while Sofuoglu picked up his first of four straight wins. But with five races still to go and the Frenchman having beaten the Turk in a head-to-head fight last time out, the battle is back on as Misano awaits.

Facts are facts. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) leads Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) by 40 points. He has won four races to Cluzel’s two and looks good for a fourth World Supersport crown following his previous successes of 2007, 2010 and 2012. For Cluzel, this is his third season in the category after 2012 and 2014; he finished runner-up on both of those occasions and is more than desperate to shake off the ‘bridesmaid’ tag he appears to have unintentionally attracted.

Misano will mark Sofuoglu’s 100th race start in the World Supersport class. It all started in Valencia in 2003 on a Yamaha, while the maiden win came with Honda machinery at Assen three years later. 12 years after his debut, the Turkish rider now leads the way for race wins, podium finishes, front row starts, fastest race laps and points scored. Furthermore, one more pole position would put him equal for the top spot with Sebastien Charpentier. But can he hit the race start century as a winner? His pre-race preparation has not gone according to plan, as Sofuoglu was briefly hospitalised following a highside in testing at Misano last Tuesday.

25 riders are set to start Sunday’s race. These include Italian wildcard Flavio Ferroni with Renzi Corse Srl SSD, whereas others are officially listed as ‘One Event’ riders. Alexey Ivanov again competes with DMC Racing, whereas Schmidt Racing joins the action with a pair of Honda CBR600RR bikes for Hungarian compatriots David Juhasz and Janos Chrobak. A total of eight Italian riders are included in the field.

Friday’s opening World Supersport practice session for the PATA Riviera di Rimini Round commences at 10:15am local time (GMT +2).

2015 FIM Supersport World Championship (7 of 12 rounds completed)

1 - Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing - 150

2 - Jules Cluzel MV Agusta Reparto Corse - 110

3 - PJ Jacobsen CORE'' Motorsport Thailand Honda - 95


Misano in WorldSBK history

Memorable moments and significant dates for the event.

2015 is the year in which Misano takes over from Monza for hosting more rounds of WorldSBK. Currently, both of the Italian venues have 44 World Superbike races to their name. Only two circuits have more races starts to their names since the series inaugurated in 1988: Phillip Island and Assen, with 48 each.

The first appearance of Misano was in 1991, the dominant year of Doug Polen, who did not miss an opportunity and registered what remains highest WorldSBK average race speed to have been recorded at the track: 157.726 km/h, although this was before the circuit was modified and changed direction in 2007.

The 1991 success of Polen was not the only Misano double, however. In fact, the circuit has witnessed no less than 15 doubles from 22 race weekends, including the last four: Max Biaggi in 2010 and 2012, Carlos Checa in 2011 and Tom Sykes in 2014. There was no event in 2013, as WorldSBK raced at Imola and Monza instead.

Max Biaggi (ITA) 2012

Tom Sykes (GBR) 2014

Another memorable Misano meeting was that of 1995. Now two decades ago, Mauro Lucchiari obtained the only two wins of his career. That weekend also saw Troy Corser pick up a third place finish which would mark the first of his 16 podium finishes at the circuit – no other rider has finished on the podium more times at a single circuit. Second in this particular ranking is Carl Fogarty, who managed to collect 15 top three finishes at Assen over the course of his career; this was beaten by Corser at Misano when he did the double on an Aprilia in 2000.

John Kocinski (USA) 1996

Carl Fogarty (GBR) 1999

In 1996, American John Kocinski took the establishment by storm as he clinched the double from pole position. He went on to win the world title the following season.

In 1999 – the year of ‘King’ Carl Fogarty’s fourth and final title – the Englishman scored his only two Misano victories. Perhaps more significantly from a records point of view, that June weekend also saw him clinch his 100th podium finish courtesy of the Race 1 win. Fogarty thus became the first rider to hit a century of podiums in World Superbike – a figure matched by Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga in 2006 and 2009, respectively. As things stand, the records for most podium finishes are as follows: Corser leads on 130 from Haga (116) and Fogarty (109).

Troy Bayliss (AUS) - 2001

Pierfrancesco Chili (ITA) 2004

The opening Misano race of 2001 featured success for World Champion-to-be Troy Bayliss after an intense fight with Ben Bostrom, who repaid the favour in Race 2. This was to be the first of six wins for Bayliss at Misano; this makes him the most successful rider for victories at the Adriatic venue, ahead of Max Biaggi on four.

Misano was a truly special place for Pierfrancesco ‘Frankie’ Chili, Regis Laconi and Ruben Xaus; all three riders clinched their last career race wins at Misano. Chili did so in 2004 after staging a remarkable comeback in Race 2; he was 15th after two laps but edged in front of the pack on the final tour. Laconi did the double the following year while Xaus’ last win came in 2008, in Race 2.

Jonathan Rea (GBR) - 2009

In Race 2 of 2009, an upcoming Jonathan Rea clinched his first World Superbike win. It did not come easily, as this was a year in which Ben Spies won no less than 14 times and the official Ducati team 11 times with the help of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio. Rea started from Row 2 and was on the rear wheels of Haga and Fabrizio when Spies began to slow due to clutch problems. Rea may have had the Ducatis to deal with, but the Honda works rider sold a dummy on the last lap to move ahead into the first corner, then resisting the challenge for the remainder. Rea won, with Fabrizio just 63 thousandths of a second behind; Haga was also within half a second of the winner in the climax to a highly memorable race.

In more recent times, Misano has tended to treat each year’s World Champion very kindly. Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa did the double through 2010 to 2012, while there was a crucial double for Tom Sykes last year; at the time, this consolidated the then reigning Champion’s lead in the title race. This cushion was held until the season finale in Qatar, where Sylvain Guintoli blasted through to win the title by six points.


Luca Scassa to wildcard with the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team at Misano

Arezzo/Borgo Panigale (Italy), Thursday 11 June 2015 – The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team confirms that Luca Scassa will compete as a wildcard entry at the next round of the Superbike World Championship, taking place at the Misano World Circuit over the weekend of 19-21 June.

Scassa will ride a third Ducati Panigale R for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team, alongside official riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies. The 31-year old rider, who hails from Arezzo, Italy, is already a component of the team, representing Aruba at all championship rounds. In 2015 he has also started working as test rider for the Ducati Superbike development team, something that will help him at the upcoming World Superbike round.

Luca last raced in the Superbike championship at Imola last year, after which a serious injury (a fractured right femur resulting from a crash during testing at Mugello in May 2014) unfortunately prevented him from competing for the rest of the season. In recent years his racing career has seen him compete in the Superbike, Supersport and MotoGP world championships, with his best result a fifth place finish in the 2011 Supersport series. This weekend’s wildcard entry will equate to Scassa’s 58th race start in World Superbikes.

Comments ahead of the event:

Luca Scassa

“It’s been a long year of recovery after my leg injury but finally it’s time to return to racing. Thanks to the work carried out for the Ducati test team, I’ve already had chance to ride the Panigale R and I can’t wait to race at Misano. For now I’m not setting myself any particular objectives, but I am confident I’ll be able to do well considering the good feeling that the bike gave me during the last tests at Mugello. I’m also very pleased that I have the chance to wildcard in Italy, also because it will be the first time that I race a factory bike with a top team.”

Stefano Cecconi – Team Principal

“It’s a great pleasure for us to have Luca on track as a third rider at the Misano round. With this wildcard we want to thank him and the test team for the great work that is continuously carried out, away from the spotlight but fundamental to the team. It will also be a good opportunity to collate further data and feedback in a real race situation. Finally, having another Italian rider on the Italian bike gives all of the fans and Ducatisti one more reason to come and enjoy the Superbike show at this second home round.”


Althea Racing announces the return of Niccolò Canepa to its ranks, riding the Ducati Panigale R.

Niccolò Canepa and Team Althea have reached an agreement that will see them work together for the remainder of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship after the premature departure of Spanish rider Nico Terol. The rider and Team Althea share great memories of the 2014 season, in which they concluded in second position in the EVO category of the world championship.

Team Althea trusts the Genoan rider to achieve the kind of results that have always characterized the Italian squad in the category for production-derived bikes.

The arrival of a rider as motivated and experienced as Niccolò Canepa will give the whole team a new stimulus and will of course please all of Team Althea’s many fans.

Genesio Bevilacqua: “I’m very happy to welcome Niccolò to the Althea family, one he already knows and with whom he already shared significant success in 2014. His motivation, athletic freshness and great experience can surely make the difference and allow us to obtain important results. Although we have less than half the championship left to run, we want to do our very best and make the most of the great potential that the Ducati Panigale R has already shown in the field.”

Niccolò Canepa: “I’m very pleased to return to the great family that is Althea. After last year’s fantastic season in which we finished second in the EVO world championship, being able to get back on Team Althea’s Ducati and return to my team gives me great motivation. The bike has improved a lot from that of last year and so I’m sure that after some laps to get back into things I’ll be able to be competitive right away. I thank Genesio for giving me this opportunity and I’m sure that he and the fans will not be disappointed. I’ll see you at Misano.”


PATA the Main Event Sponsor for the Riviera di Rimini Round

The Italian company further strengthens its presence in the upcoming Italian event.

Italian snack company PATA has become the Main Event Sponsor for Round 8 of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship, taking place on June 19-21 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. The PATA Riviera di Rimini Round will feature a prominent presence for the Italian company not only around the 4.226km, recently fully resurfaced track, but in many ways within the WorldSBK paddock and on event promotional material.

PATA has a long history within the Superbike World Championship, starting in 2010 with team sponsorship and gradually extending to different classes during the years. While maintaining all of the previous partnerships, in 2015 the PATA Group has also become one of the sponsors of the Championship.

With the Main Event Sponsoring of the last Italian Round of the season, PATA ensures even greater visibility within its key market and worldwide.

In what is one of the highest attended and most passionate rounds of the season, the many spectators who will choose to experience the spectacular WorldSBK action live will be also able to enjoy all of the delicious varieties of chips and snacks made by PATA.


MISANO WORLD CIRCUIT MARCO SIMONCELLI 19 – 20 – 21 JUNE 2015

ROUND 8 OF THE 2015 SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Team Althea Racing arrives at the next important round with very high expectations:

Niccolò Canepa, taking part in his first race with Team Althea Racing in the Superbike World Championship is keen to demonstrate his full potential in the remaining races. His previous experience with the Team (2014 EVO championship) will undoubtedly help him.

Matteo Baiocco, strengthened by the fact he lies in seventh place in the general standings and by recent results at Portimao during both the races and testing, will be able to solidify all of the positive sensations experienced with the new software that he recently tested. With this new system mounted during Monday morning’s test session at Portimao, it seemed that Matteo’s Ducati Panigale R had overcome many of the problems that were conditioning the rider’s performance. The lap times seen in the Portimao tests have boosted the confidence of the Team’s technicians and engineers.

There are also high expectations for Raffaele De Rosa and Luca Salvadori in the Superstock 1000 race. De Rosa will surely want to fight for his first win that he has just missed out on so far and Salvadori, after a rapid recovery from injury, will be able to move in on a place in the top ten, a result that he has already achieved twice.

Matteo Baiocco: “We finally reach Misano, a track that I’ve always really liked, and we also get here feeling very positive after the great weekend at Portimao which ended with Monday’s tests during which we tried some really positive solutions. I can’t wait to try them on my home track in front of the many fans that will come to support me. Misano is my favourite track on the SBK calendar and so I really want to complete two top-level races this weekend.”

Niccolò Canepa: “I can’t wait to be back in the Team Althea garage at Misano. I’ve been training hard in order to arrive at the Italian round in the best possible physical shape. I hope that the weather is good, so that we can work well right from the first session on Friday morning, so that I can build confidence with my Ducati. It’s an important race for me and for the Team and I’ll try hard to be fast right from the outset.”


The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team is back on home turf for Round 8 of the World Superbikes

Arezzo/Borgo Panigale (Italy), Tuesday 16 June 2015 - The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team is preparing for round 8 and its second home event of the 2015 World Superbike season, taking place this coming weekend at the Misano World Circuit. Factory riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano will be joined by Luca Scassa who participates as a wildcard entry.

At the latest Portimao round, both factory riders reached the podium with Chaz finishing third in race 1 and Davide closing race 2 in second place, consolidating the positive trend seen at recent events. Now the Aruba Ducati riders are aiming for the podium once more, with the added incentive to do well in front of the home crowd. In the past, Giugliano won his Stock1000 race at Misano in 2011, also obtaining a podium finish in SBK in 2012. Davies’ best result has been a fourth place scored in last year’s first Superbike race. Scassa has not raced at Misano for five years, with his best result an eighth place finish in 2010.

There was a degree of bad luck in 2014 unfortunately, with Chaz crashing in race 2 and a ‘ride through’ penalty for Davide after he made a jump start in that same race. This means that the riders are even more determined to achieve positive results at the Italian track this year. Seven rounds into the championship and the general classification sees Davies in fourth position with 184 points, Giugliano eleventh with 73 points and Ducati second in the manufacturer's championship (232 points).

Comments ahead of the event:

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7)

“I’m looking forward to the weekend as I love racing in Italy, though hopefully the weekend will bring more success than we had in Imola. Last year’s first race at Misano went pretty well and I finished fourth, having battled for a podium, but unfortunately in race 2 I made a mistake and crashed. The track has recently been resurfaced, so this should help with the grip situation which is always critical in Misano, especially with what are generally very high temperatures. Let’s say I’m optimistic going into the weekend and plan to fight for podium finishes or better.”

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #34)

“Now we return to race in Italy where there are always so many of our fans who come to watch the racing, something that really makes a difference to me and my team. I really like the Misano track and last year we were able to be very fast but then in the races we were rather unlucky… Let’s hope that the bad luck is a thing of the past and that we are able to complete two great races in front of the home crowd.”

Luca Scassa (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #99)

“The weekend is finally approaching. The Misano track is one of those that has given me great emotions in the past and can hopefully do the same in the future. I’ve trained hard in recent days, so as to arrive at the track as prepared as possible. It will be a weekend of hard work, but I feel more at ease with each lap I make on the Panigale and hope that the feeling continues to improve so that I am able to record some good lap times. This weekend is a first step towards returning to the levels of several years ago…”


Misano The Next Arena For Rea And Sykes

Round eight of the FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli between 19th and 21st June, with KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes out to compete at the very front of the action once more, at what is a favourite venue for both riders.

So far in a season that began in Australia and has most recently held a round in Portugal, KRT’s official riders have won 12 of the 14 races, with runaway championship leader Jonathan Rea having scored ten of those individual victories.

His start to his first season in Kawasaki colours has been unprecedented as he has scored not only double-digit race wins but he has added second place results in every other race to take a lead of 124 points into the forthcoming round.

With just over half the season gone Rea has a total of 330 points, in what has been the most effective start to a season in WSB history. He has dropped only 20 points in 14 individual races. Having won the first of his current career tally of 25 race wins at the Misano circuit, way back in 2009, Jonathan is looking for more silverware this year.

Second place in the championship right now is recent Donington Park double race winner and 2013 World Champion, Tom Sykes. He scored second place in race one in Portugal and moved to second place in the title chase. Tom is only one behind Rea in terms of career WSB race wins, with 24.

Sykes scored a double WSB win at Misano in 2014 and hopes to replicated that result to ease away from the riders behind in the points table before the series heads to the USA and then Malaysia over the next two months.

The regularly remodelled 4.226km Misano circuit has recently been resurfaced, which will provide a new characteristic for the riders to take into consideration, especially in the hot temperatures everyone expects to find on the Adriatic coast of Italy in late June.

Jonathan Rea: “I had my first ever WSB race win at Misano and I always enjoy going to Italy. The Ninja ZX-10R has been really competitive at Misano and I am looking forward to it. We will see on Friday how the bike is because it is another new track for me on the Kawasaki but we will see how things are in the first session and take it from there. I hope that there will be a lot of people there on the weekend; there always seems to be. Imola was pretty full and the Italian crowds always have a warm place in my heart. Temperatures should be hot again, like in Portimao, so I expect to be strong. It is the last European race for a while, before we go on two fly-aways, so it would be good to make it count.”

Tom Sykes: “This year we have had a bit of bad luck, which is very unlike us, but we have got the bike working well for us and in a way that was giving us good results. I am looking forward to going to Misano because it is a great part of the world. There is a great atmosphere just being there in general and we will be back to competing in front of the Italian fans. It is nice to be racing on the coast of Italy and this time of year the temperature is up, the sun is generally shining and all-in-all it is a great venue.”

David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) continue to keep each other company in the championship standings, with Ramos 14th overall and Salom 15th. 2014 SBK Evo champion Salom is hoping to record two strong finishes to close up a five point gap to Ramos.


Adriatic adventure for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki heads to the Italian Riviera and the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this week for round eight of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship – the final European round before two back-to-back flyaways herald the 2015 summer break.

A successful test at Portimao left Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet positive and raring to tackle the Rimini track after making significant improvements to their respective Yoshimura-powered GSX-R’s. Having achieved an eighth place finish after a challenging Misano debut last season, Lowes is eager to exceed his previous WSBK performance on his 2015 Suzuki, while his teammate de Puniet – no stranger to San Marino with seven races and numerous tests throughout his GP career – is looking forward to his debut visit on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is located 25kms from the Republic of San Marino and just 3kms from Italy’s Adriatic coast. Designed in 1969 and thoroughly modernised over the past ten years, the 4,226m clockwise layout incorporates ten right and six left-hand corners and is a firm favourite with both fans and riders due to its close racing and passionate atmosphere.

The weekend’s action will follow the standard European schedule with two free practices on Friday 19th June at 11:15hrs and 15:00hrs local time (10:15 and 14:00BST), a further two practices and two Superpole sessions on Saturday 20th and the all-important 21 lap races at 10:30hrs and 13:10hrs local time (09:30 and 12:10BST) on Sunday 21st June.

Alex Lowes:

“I like the Misano track but it was one of the most difficult weekends last year, for me, Eugene and the whole team, it’s never nice knowing we’ve struggled there in the past but I’m hoping we can lay those ghosts to rest this year. I really like the layout and the whole place – the atmosphere at Italian races is always fantastic and it’s by the sea which adds an extra element – so I’m looking forward to getting there. I’m hoping for a normal weekend, to build on the developments made in Portimao and getting back in the mix for race day.”

Randy de Puniet:

“Misano is a tight track but it’s nice to race. You have fast corners, slow corners and I’ve always had a good feeling there. With the developments made with the GSX-R at the Portimao test I’m really pleased and happy to go to Misano. I’m hoping to start with the same base we found in Portugal and continue to make more improvements throughout the weekend so we can start to return to a normal race pattern and have a good result on Sunday.”


Pata Honda riders set for Italian battle

Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark are preparing for the Pata-sponsored eighth round of the 2015 World Superbike championship which takes place at Misano World Circuit this weekend (19-21 June) on the Adriatic coast of Italy.

Both Pata Honda riders enjoyed improved results in the last round at Portimao in Portugal but the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP-mounted duo knows that further steps are required to challenge for more podium finishes.

Reigning WSBK world champion Guintoli has never visited the podium at the 4.226km Misano circuit, which has recently been resurfaced to improve wet weather grip, but the 32-year-old French rider has declared himself ready for the challenge.

World Superbike rookie van der Mark, 22, finished second at Misano last season on his way to the 2014 World Supersport championship and the Dutch ace is determined to add to his debut WSBK podiums scored earlier this season at his home round in Assen.

Sylvain Guintoli

I’m still buzzing from the parade lap I did last week at the Isle of Man TT, except it wasn’t a parade lap as we were doing almost 200kph down Bray Hill and I saw 270kph on the CBR’s clocks over the mountain! What a perfect bike for the job though, as John McGuinness showed in the Senior TT on Friday. But now it’s time to focus back on our own CBR for Misano and continue the hard work that the team has been doing recently. We had a test after the Portimao round and tried a couple of new things that we think could improve our race pace some more. I really like Misano and it’ll be good to try the new surface there and chase more top five finishes and our first podium of the season.

Michael van der Mark

I’m really looking forward to riding at Misano this weekend because it’s a track that I really enjoy and to ride it on the Fireblade should be great fun! After a bad run of results, it was really good to finish both races in the top ten at Portimao and that’s definitely going to be my biggest target for Misano. Hopefully, we can have a weekend without any problems and get back to challenging some of the front guys again like earlier in the season.


SIX-TIME WORLD CHAMPION MAX BIAGGI IS BACK TO RACE WITH APRILIA

LEON HASLAM AND JORDI TORRES ARE READY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ITALIAN V4'S HOME PITCH

IN SUPERSTOCK 1000 LORENZO SAVADORI IS KEEN TO SPEED UP HIS RACE FOR THE TITLE

Misano, 17 June 2015 – World Superbike will be in the limelight on the Marco Simoncelli Circuit at Misano Adriatico this weekend. Aprilia will be at the second round on Italian soil (after Imola) well prepared and with the goal of taking the RSV4 onto the podium.

It will be a difficult challenge given the incredible skill level of the adversaries on the track, but on the Romagnolo track the Italian team will also be able to count on a third bike and a great return: Max Biaggi, six-time World Champion, two of which in Superbike with Aprilia, the only Italian to ever have earned the title in the factory derivative category.

Max will be back in the saddle astride the Team Aprilia Racing RSV4 RF, one of the most victorious models ever in Superbike, a bike that he himself rode to a double championship title (Rider and Manufacturer) in 2010 and 2012. However, development of the V4 from Veneto has continued non-stop, partially in light of the rule changes, and it is Biaggi who manages this aspect with the support of the Aprilia Test Team.

His return, in the dual role of tester and rider - triple if you consider Max's successful commitment as sports commentator for Mediaset - is exciting not only for the fans, but also for Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager.

“At this point we can't wait to have him on the track” said Albesiano. “Of the many riders who have won with us, Max is the most victorious in Aprilia history with his four titles in 250 and the fantastic World SBK double win. Seeing him race on ‘his' RSV4 will be very exciting, both for us and for all motorcycling fans. We are also curious to see how practice and then the two races will go. Max now has a bike which has been adapted to the new rules but one which has also reconfirmed its competitiveness this year and that Max knows well because of his invaluable work as a tester. We are going to Misano motivated to do well with all our riders and to make this round a festive moment for the return of a great champion.”

“I'm getting back on the track!” commented a beaming Max Biaggi. “It is truly very exciting for me to return to racing, to taste the adrenaline of competition again, especially on a circuit as special to me as Misano. In my work as a tester I'm helping Aprilia develop the new RSV4 RF, working very well with the guys that I know well and who by now understand me at first glance. The wild card is a 'cherry on the top' so to speak, a chance where I definitely plan on giving my all. I am also well aware of the difficulties. Our rivals are in grand form and for me it won't be easy at all. The goal is first and foremost to have fun, not to predict any results, but to give 100% to bring a smile to the face of Aprilia, the fans and all enthusiasts. Sunday after Race 2 we'll draw our conclusions.”

Aprilia's great efforts in World Superbike also benefit the Team Aprilia Racing – Red Devils rider Leon Haslam, affected in recent races by an injury that the tough English rider has handled professionally and with grit, containing the damage and bringing home the best possible result in spite of it. Closing the gap behind the leader is a complex but not impossible job and Leon believes he can do it, counting on help from ex rival Biaggi to shake up the championship.

Leon Haslam: “Misano is always a special race, the track and area is fantastic. Also to have Max has a team mate for this is very special. There is a new tarmac which is reported to be very different, so I can’t wait to gets things going and to try the solutions we found in Portimao. We need to keep pushing to fight for the top spots, and I would love to repay all my Aprilia team with a victory on home soil”.

Jordi Torres knows the Misano circuit so his apprenticeship here will be more streamlined. The Spanish rider aims first and foremost to improve his Superpole performance because starting from the front means taking advantage of the pace and staying with the lead group. In any case, Jordi does not underestimate the work on tyre wear which is fundamental in light of the new asphalt at Misano, so he wants to exploit the solutions that came out of the recent Portimão post-race tests.

Jordi Torres: “I am coming to Misano with a great desire to do well. I know the track so I'll be able to adapt quicker here. Our biggest effort will be performing well in Superpole in order to start as far forward as possible and lock onto the lead group. In the Portimão tests we tried various configurations precisely to streamline the bike adjustment process during the weekend. We'll also need to work on tyre duration in order to be competitive even at the end of the race. The Misano track has a lot of closed turns where we need to get the RSV4 RF to perform at the top of its game.”

In Superstock 1000 FIM Cup the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Lorenzo Savadori are keen to continue their hunt for the title, closer than ever after 3 wins and 2 second place finishes in the 5 races held thus far. The Team Nuova M2 standard bearer is playing on his home pitch and wants to do well for his fans, as does team mate Kevin Calia, who has been improving consistently in the recent rounds.


VOLTCOM CRESCENT SUZUKI READY FOR MISANO WSB

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 18.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki heads to the Italian Riviera and the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this week for round eight of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship – the final European round before two back-to-back flyaways herald the 2015 summer break.

A successful test at Portimao left Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet positive and raring to tackle the Rimini track after making significant improvements to their respective Yoshimura-powered GSX-R’s. Having achieved an eighth place finish after a challenging Misano debut last season, Lowes is eager to exceed his previous WSBK performance on his 2015 Suzuki, while his team-mate de Puniet – no stranger to San Marino with seven races and numerous tests throughout his GP career – is looking forward to his debut visit on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is located 25kms from the Republic of San Marino and just 3kms from Italy’s Adriatic coast. Designed in 1969 and thoroughly modernised over the past 10 years, the 4,226m clockwise layout incorporates 10 right and six left-hand corners and is a firm favourite with both fans and riders due to its close racing and passionate atmosphere.

The weekend’s action will follow the standard European schedule with two free practices on Friday June 19th at 11:15hrs and 15:00hrs local time (10:15 and 14:00BST), a further two practices and two Superpole sessions on Saturday and the all-important 21 lap races at 10:30hrs and 13:10hrs local time (09:30 and 12:10BST) on Sunday 21st June.

Alex Lowes:

“I like the Misano track, but it was one of the most difficult weekends last year, for me, Eugene and the whole team; it’s never nice knowing we’ve struggled there in the past but I’m hoping we can lay those ghosts to rest this year. I really like the layout and the whole place – the atmosphere at Italian races is always fantastic and it’s by the sea which adds an extra element – so I’m looking forward to getting there. I’m hoping for a normal weekend, to build on the developments made in Portimao and getting back in the mix for race day.”

Randy de Puniet:

“Misano is a tight track but it’s nice to race. You have fast corners, slow corners and I’ve always had a good feeling there. With the developments made with the GSX-R at the Portimao test I’m really pleased and happy to go to Misano. I’m hoping to start with the same base we found in Portugal and continue to make more improvements throughout the weekend so we can start to return to a normal race pattern and have a good result on Sunday.”


Sofuoglu Out For The Race Win At Misano

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) heads to the eighth round of the 2015 FIM Supersport World Championship at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this coming weekend intent on taking his fifth race win of the season.

After scoring four wins in a row on his Ninja ZX-6R, from Motorland Aragon to Donington Park, Sofuoglu placed second at the most recent round in Portimao, but he fully intends to get back to winning form at the forthcoming Misano event.

When the race begins on Sunday 21st June Sofuoglu will start his 100th WSS race in a career laden with success in this category of racing. So far Kenan has secured 66 podiums, including a record 31 race wins, 21 pole positions, 24 fastest laps and three world titles.

Kenan has won a WSS race at the 4.226km circuit on the Adriatic coast of Italy in the recent past, taking victory in 2012 as part of his record third World Championship season. He was just off the 2014 Misano podium, in fourth place.

Misano will be another home race for Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki), who sits ninth in the World Championship standings after seven rounds, with a best race finish of fifth at Imola in early May.

The consistent Christian Gamarino (Go Eleven Kawasaki) is only five points and two places behind Faccani in the overall rankings, having put in a career best of seventh at the previous round in Portugal.

Dominic Schmitter (Go Eleven Kawasaki) is 14th in the championship, the Swiss rider looking to score well before the WSS series has a long break until the next round after Misano, at Sepang in Malaysia, on August 2nd.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “We are in a strong pace in the championship, our speed is very good and we only lost the most recent race in Portugal on the last lap. I learned a lot from that race and will work hard to win the race in Misano. I had a crash in testing at Misano last week and I could not ride so much. I am OK and ready for the race, although Misano is not an easy track for us. The team is working very well and I think my race weekend will be OK anyway because I trust my team so much to find a good set-up on the bike. I know I will make 100 WSS career race starts at Misano but I cannot say it is special to do that. What is more special is what I have done in the 100 races. I think I have between 60 and 70 podiums, plus a lot of wins, and that makes me proud. I hope I have a good result in my 100th race. Some people have question marks about why I have made so many races in Supersport and not in Superbike, or some other class. But the main reasons I stay in Supersport are because this kind of bike was my dream when I was racing in Turkey and still I enjoy riding a 600cc bike so much. You have to be in a place you like and the Ninja ZX-6R is a bike I enjoy riding.”


Smith hungry for podium return

Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith is keen to get back to podium ways this weekend in the eighth round World Supersport championship encounter at Misano World Circuit in Italy.

The 23-year-old British rider took his Honda CBR600RR to a sixth place finish last time out at Portimao in Portugal, but Smith needed a solid points result to get his championship back on track after crashing out of the previous two races in Italy and the UK.

He has already put his CBR machine on the podium twice this season and he has been given a confidence boost ahead of this weekend’s race at the 4.226km Misano circuit with news that Pirelli will return a favoured front tyre to its selection.

Smith has struggled with a lack of front-end feeling in recent weeks and hopes that the slightly different construction of Pirelli’s SC2 tyre and a new track surface at Misano will improve his lap times.

Kyle Smith

It would be really good to get back on the podium this weekend. Sixth place at Portimao was OK after crashes in the two races before, but I still struggled a little with bike set-up all weekend. It wasn’t the best result, but I took it relatively gentle because I really didn’t want to crash and I managed to get some valuable points. We’ll see how this weekend unfolds but I can’t wait to get started. There’s new tarmac here so we’ll see how it goes but I’m really looking forward to it.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

The result at Portimao was quite good for Kyle and his team because there were too many DNFs before that. We have good hopes that we can do a little better here, especially knowing that Pirelli will bring a different front tyre that will hopefully suit Kyle and the CBR a bit more. We have tried a number of changes with the set-up but we’ve still been having some front-end issues. Hopefully this weekend we can see the old Kyle that started the season so strongly, so we’re really looking forward to Friday.



Savadori heads home with a lead to defend

Whatever happens at Misano this weekend, with three races still to go in the 2015 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, the title cannot be won. However, there is plenty of racing still to come as the title fight intensifies between Lorenzo Savadori and Roberto Tamburini. Two very different characters, but two Italians all-set to race at home.

Perhaps the season-opening race at MotorLand Aragon in April was a sign of things to come, as Savadori and Tamburini fought for victory until the last corner. The former had had last year’s title won until a critical unforced error on the final lap at Magny-Cours, whereas the latter continues to shine in his debut season after making the switch from World Supersport. Three races remain, which translates to a maximum of 75 points, with 25 currently between the leaders. Last year, Savadori won the Misano Superstock 1000 race from Leandro Mercado and Fabio Massei, while Tamburini put in a brilliant World Supersport performance for fifth place.

A staggering 38 riders will be navigating their ways towards the Park Chicane this Sunday afternoon, as the Superstock 1000 riders climax the day of racing by following in the footsteps of their World Superbike and World Supersport counterparts. Racing BMWs for the respective DMR Racing Team and Vueffe Corse squads, Italian wildcard riders Luca Oppedisano and Marco Sbaiz will be looking to make an impression, while South African Ronald Slamet is back on the grid with BWG Racing Kawasaki following his debut outing in Aragon. Completing the mammoth field will be Romania’s Robert Muresan for H-Moto Team.

Friday’s first Superstock 1000 practice session for the PATA Riviera di Rimini Round starts at 8:45am local time (GMT +2).

2015 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup (5 of 8 rounds completed)

1 - Lorenzo Savadori Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia -115

2 - Roberto Tamburini Team MotoxRacing BMW - 90

3 - Ondrej Jezek Triple-M by Barni Ducati - 66


Becoming Champion at Misano a genuine possibility for Razgatlioglu

At Portimao, Toprak Razgatlioglu had an outside chance of clinching the FIM Europe Superstock 600 Championship. He may have delivered a stunning performance to win the race yet again, but the ultimate goal remained up for grabs. Now heading to the PATA Riviera di Rimini Round, becoming Champion is a real likelihood.

Put simply, Toprak is looking very good for the title win at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Mathematically, the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider can be beaten only by either PATA-Honda Junior Team’s Federico Caricasulo or San Carlo Team Italia’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi – both of whom are contesting a home race this weekend. However, to say the Italians are ‘up against it’ would be an understatement.

Toprak heads to Misano unbeatable to date, having won each of the four races thus far this season plus his season-ending French outing of 2014, making it five out five for a 100% winning record. Should he finish in the top five this weekend, he becomes 2015 Superstock 600 Champion regardless of what his rivals can muster. If not, he still picks up the title if he finishes inside the top ten (providing Caricasulo does not win) or even inside the top 11 (should Rinaldi not clinch victory). Furthermore, with a lead of 64 points, Razgatlioglu could even fail to score at Misano and still win the title should neither of the two aforementioned Italians finish on the podium…

Bolstering the grid to an impressive 40 in Italy are two wildcard entries, as Italians Elia Mengoni (GP Project) and Gennaro Sabatino (Renzi Corse Srl SSD) join the fray. Friday’s first practice session will start at 9:30am local time (GMT +2).

2015 FIM Europe European Superstock 600 (5 of 8 rounds completed)

1 - Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing - 125

2 - Federico Caricasulo Pata Honda Junior Team - 61

3 - Michael Ruben Rinaldi San Carlo Team Italia - 60


Superstock 600 - Misano, new opportunity of success for San Carlo Team Italia

In Misano Adriatico second "home round" of 2015 for Rinaldi and Tucci.

The turning point of the 2015 season was reached and passed and now San Carlo Team Italia gets ready to start the second home round at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, scenery of the "Riviera di Rimini Round" of the European Superstock 600 Championship. After the excellent performances of the last races, the declared goal is to work for the victory, trying to benefit of the "home advantage".

Close to the victory, which faded for just 65 thousandths at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve of Portimão, Michael Ruben Rinaldi will give his best to achieve this goal, trying to strengthen and, if possible, to improve his third place in the championship, thanks to his 60 points.

Same attitude for Andrea Tucci, among the protagonists in Algarve (4th at 381 thousandths from the winner Razgatlioglu), determined to carry on the positive trend started with the amazing third place of Imola, who gave him the fourth place in the standings with his 49 points.

Stefano Cruciani (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)

"Our goal for Misano is to conquer the first seasonal victory that, until now, we missed because of some vicissitudes. We were very very close to win in the last races, so we hope to achieve it in our home track. The weekend at Portimão was positive since both our riders were in the front group, so we have all the premises to do well. Micheal and Andrea are excited, and also the team will try to work in the best way from the first practice. We tested in Misano during the Official Test of CIV, but the temperature will be quite different compared to the 14 degree of last March. In terms of set-up, we will start from a good base, but it happens every weekend and it's the result of the excellent work done by our team."

Supersport World Championship

Second home round of the 2015 season also for Marco Faccani, expected to be one of the protagonists of the weekend in the Supersport World Championship in Misano Adriatico. Currently ninth in the standings, at his debut season in the class, the Superstock 600 European Champion will get out on track this weekend encouraged by the positive results of the test that San Carlo Puccetti Racing did at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in the past days. On this track, the talented rider from Ravenna got pole position and victory last year in the European Superstock 600 Championship with San Carlo Team Italia.


MRS Yamaha Moves On To Misano

The MRS Yamaha team makes its way to Misano for the eighth stop on the eni FIM Superbike World Championship calendar, staged at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this weekend.

It will be another action packed weekend, as thirty-eight riders will dash towards the first chicane at the start of the Superstock 1000 race during the PATA Riviera di Rimini Round.

Two weeks ago Kev Coghlan had a brave ride to fifth during the race in Portimão, where he rode with a fractured right little finger. The Briton was on the verge of a podium finish, motivating him even more to fight with the front riders this weekend.

On the mend from his hand injury and with a basis set-up already sorted out in pre-season testing, he feels confident he can get another top result in Misano. He is determined to ride his YZF-R1M to the podium during Sunday's sprint and bridge the five points gap to third place in the championship standings.

Teammate Florian Marino also gave a heroic performance at his return in Portugal. He was forced to sit out the race in Donington after a high-speed crash in Imola, but was back in the saddle just four weeks later. Riding with surgical plates in his right forearm, he stunned with an eleventh place finish, scoring him vital championship points.

Marino is working hard on his recovery and is getting fitter every single day. With only three races still to go in the 2015 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, he looks forward to being able to give a 100 per cent this weekend to climb up from tenth place in the overall rankings.

Kev Coghlan

Championship: 5th, 61 points

"The weekend we had in Portimão was quite positive. It was interesting to test the changes made to the bike on a new track and see if it transfers there and works as good as it did during the test we had earlier that week. We managed to have some testing done in Misano during the pre-season. It's one of the few tracks where we rode the bike previously and already got a basis, that should make the weekend a bit easier. Hopefully we can get a bit closer to the top guys and get back onto the podium."

Florian Marino

Championship: 10th, 23 points

"My arm is certainly not at a 100 per cent, but it's getting better than what it was in Portimão. I was quite tired after the race, but I'm starting to feel better and look forward to Misano. The track is very demanding in some parts, but I think it will be a good track for us. I have some good memories there, so I hope I can ride a good race. In Portimão we could already see that I was fast, but I just wasn't strong enough to keep the pace going for the whole race. I'm still following my recovery program and I hope that I'll be able to fight until the end of this weekends race, that's the goal. I want to be able to give it my all over the full race distance, that's my main concern, so I'll work hard to be ready. In Portimão we worked on the power delivery of the bike to make it go smoother, which helped me. So far I'm happy with the bike's performance, it has been improving well and I feel great on it."


Hoogenboezem to join Gerardo at Agro-On WIL Sport Racedays

New Zealand Supersport Champion, Alastair Hoogenboezem, will partner Uruguay's Maximiliano Gerardo at the Racedays Honda squad for the Misano, Jerez and Magny-Cours rounds of the FIM Europe Superstock 600 Championship.

This will be the first racing trip to Europe for the 22-year-old Hoogenboezem and he is looking forward to racing in the highly competitive support class to the eni FIM World Superbike Championship.

Maxi Gerardo arrives at Misano following an impressive race at Portimao where he finished ninth and set a new lap record, previously unbroken since 2009.

Alastair Hoogenboezem:

“I’m really excited for the challenge ahead, the experience it will become and being able to compare myself to some of the best young riders in the world.”

Maximiliano Gerardo:

“I’m more than happy with the race at Portimao. I didn't have a good first lap and ended up in a big battle to finish ninth but we took the lap record which shows we are competitive and I have a good pace to fight for a top position.”

Gerry Bryce - team principal:

“We're very pleased to welcome Alastair to the Agro-On WIL Sport Racedays team. It will be a challenge with a new bike and new circuits, but he has adapted well in the past with some great results at new tracks and we're confident he will put on a good performance. Maxi had a great race at Portimao to claim his first top ten finish in what is a very competitive championship. He also broke the five-year-old lap record, which really shows his potential. Hopefully we can continue to progress at Misano this weekend and target a top five result.”


Round Number: 
8
2015

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