2016 Qatar World Superbike Press Release Previews

Preview press releases of the final WorldSBK round this weekend:

As the Sun Sets on 2016, the Final Battle Begins

Qatar darkness brings the biggest gains as the Crown awaits

The Losail International Circuit of Qatar is the final battleground of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and everything is at stake as the ultimate battle for the title resumes. Located on the coast of the Persian Peninsula, just north of Doha, the circuit sees WorldSBK riders tackle 16 turns on 5.38kms of floodlit tarmac under the stars in the Arabian desert.

Both Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes are chasing the 2016 World Superbike crown but with a 48-point lead, it looks a more likely prospect for Rea. Sykes knows the odds are high, as he needs to win both races with Rea needing to finish outside the points to win it. It’s not over yet, though and as we’ve seen time and time again this season, anything can happen.

Another man who will make it incredibly tough for Sykes- if he is to steal crown- is Chaz Davies. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati rider has been in his best form all season and arrives in Qatar with two consecutive double wins from the last two rounds. His blisteringly fast pace has been difficult to match, as he heads to Qatar with guns blazing in a bid to finish runner up in the Championship.

Saeed Al Sulaiti will be flying the Qatari flag in his first race at home in WorldSBK. The 31-year-old will be looking to take his Pedercini Racing Kawasaki to the front and collect as many points as he can in front of local fans. Joining Al Sulaiti at Pedercini is 2015 Race 2 winner – Leon Haslam. Last year saw the Brit take victory on the Aprilia, with a stunning last corner pass on the inside of Chaz Davies. Could Haslam bring the challenge to the Ducati rider after a year out of the Championship?

Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) will be feeling nostalgic in the final round, as Losail staged the Spaniard’s first and so far, only win in WorldSBK. Torres fans will be hoping to see him find glory again under the desert floodlights in just under a week’s time. Joining Torres and Markus Reiterberger on the grid in Qatar with his own Althea BMW is none other than 2016 STK1000 Cup Winner Raffaele De Rosa. The Italian will join his WorldSBK teammates for the season finale, in what could be a glimpse of things to come next year.

Nicky Hayden will be back in Honda World Superbike Team colours this weekend but it will be the first time he tackles the Arabian circuit on a superbike. The Kentucky Kid has previously raced at the Losail International Circuit in MotoGP, contending every year from the first time it appeared on the Grand Prix calendar in 2004. All that experience could play in his favour and another podium could be on the cards. His teammate Michael van der Mark finished in the top five in both races last year, and with another season of experience under his sleeve, the Dutchman is sure to be a podium challenger.

Sylvain Guintoli heads to Qatar with fond memories of his 2014 World Title leading the way. Losail is one of the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK rider’s favourite tracks, and after his previous success at Jerez last time out where he finished in the top five, Guintoli is sure to be attacking for the podium. His teammate Alex Lowes will be looking to settle a personal score; he retired from both races in Qatar last year and will be looking to find redemption under the starry night sky.

After re-signing with MV Agusta for another season, Leon Camier will be full steam ahead in Qatar. With his future set and his results inching closer and closer to the podium with every round, don’t be surprised if the Brit finally makes it up there at Losail.

Lights will go out for the final Round of the season beginning on Saturday 29th October with the last 50 points up for grabs and the World Championship to be settled over two spectacular WorldSBK races.

Final Round Decider For KRT Riders Rea And Sykes

After Kawasaki won the Manufacturers’ Championship at the previous round in Spain the forthcoming races in Qatar will determine which Kawasaki Racing Team rider, Jonathan Rea or Tom Sykes, will be crowned 2016 FIM Superbike World Champion. Only one of those two Ninja ZX-10R riders can become the new number one, with the balance of mathematical probability very much on the side of Rea, as he enjoys a 48-point lead at present.

The last two races of the 13-round WorldSBK championship will ultimately determine which KRT rider becomes champion but as things stand Rea only has to score two points to be crowned champion for the second successive year.

Were Jonathan to win the biggest prize in Qatar he will become the first rider since Carl Fogarty (1998-99) to win back-to-back championships in the WorldSBK category. He would also be the first Kawasaki rider to win more than one title and the ninth WorldSBK rider to achieve more than one championship win.

With a maximum of 50 points up for grabs Sykes would have to win both races at the Losail International Circuit, and Rea score only one point or no points across both races for Tom to be able to take his second world championship. Were Sykes to become champion again, after his 2013 success with KRT, then it would be he who would become the first Kawasaki rider to win more than one title and the ninth WorldSBK rider to score more than one championship.

As well as making his final attempt at catching Rea, Sykes also has to ensure he keeps ahead of Chaz Davies in the overall rankings to retain second place and a Kawasaki 1-2 finish in the Rider’s Championship. Davies is currently 19 points behind Sykes.

With a Ninja ZX-10RR on the way for 2017 the current model Ninja ZX-10R has had a remarkable impact in its lone year of WorldSBK competition. As well as being the platform for the Manufacturers’ Championship win the ZX-10R has provided Rea with the sheer pace to score 21 podiums and nine race wins so far in 2016, and Sykes 19 podiums and five race wins.

Uniquely in the WorldSBK season the races at the fast and flowing 5.380km long Losail International Circuit are held under floodlights, in the relative cool of the evening. The 17-lap WorldSBK races will be held on Saturday and Sunday, as per the two-day format introduced for the first time in 2016.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am happy to finish the season here at Losail because it is a circuit that I really enjoy. The atmosphere of Qatar - being a night race, in the middle of the desert, surrounded by five star hotels - is cool. All my family will be there and a lot of my friends are making the trip as well because I hope to cap off an amazing season with the championship win. That is what we have been working hard for all season. The races in Qatar give us our chance to try and do that. We have just come off the back of a good weekend in Jerez where I was on the podium for the first time ever, and on the podium twice. I feel really equipped to go out and do a good job at Losail because I really enjoy the track and I feel we can aim high this weekend.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “I am relaxed and looking forward to the races in Qatar and my ideal scenario is winning at least one of them. I feel we can go there and fight for the wins. It would be nice to finish the year with a win and if we can secure runner-up in the championship, it is not a bad season. Not a great one because I have definitely let myself down in the wet races but after a large part of the season had been completed I was not really expecting to be in a position to take it to the last round. Looking to this weekend, I really enjoy the format of the floodlit races and I am a night owl anyway! I am also doing the press event to help launch the race weekend on Thursday, which includes some traditional coffee tasting. For me, that cannot be bad! The weekend will definitely start well and hopefully we can finish it well, with a couple of strong results.”

Having come so close to winning the British Superbike Championship in 2016 with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki squad, WorldSBK race winner Leon Haslam will join Qatari rider Saeed Al Sulaiti for the final round, taking up the challenge of a one-off ride on a Pedercini Racing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. A home round for Al Sulaiti will be the perfect chance for him to score more points in his rookie WorldSBK season, which he has spent as a regular competitor in the Pedercini set-up.

Spaniard Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki) is currently 15th in the championship rankings. Dominic Schmitter and Gianluca Vizziello, from the Grillini Racing Kawasaki team, are 26th and 27th respectively in the championship rankings, with one round and two potential points scoring races to go.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team in the spotlight in Qatar for the 2016 WorldSBK season finale

Back from two consecutive double wins scored by Chaz Davies in Magny-Cours (France) and Jerez (Spain), the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action in Qatar for the closing round of the 2016 WorldSBK championship. Located on the outskirts of Doha, the Losail track will once again host the races at night, a unique feature in the calendar.

Chaz Davies, who has won 5 of the last 6 races, will try to further stretch the positive streak that saw him become the undisputed protagonist since the summer break. The Welshman has his target set on second position in the championship, from which he is 19 points away. Davide Giugliano, after two difficult rounds due to a right-shoulder injury, heads to Qatar with renewed optimism and is eager to step back on the podium to seal his three-year tenure with the team in the best possible way.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) 3rd (395 points)

“It’s the last race of the year, but in some ways I wish the season had just started, given that we obtained such good results lately. We were a bit late to the party, but we need to look forward. Last year, in Qatar, we managed to be quite competitive and took a second place, which was OK. We got more some horsepower now, which should help us in the long straight. Racing at night is always something different and fun. We need to bridge a 19-point gap from second place in the championship, and I believe there will be more riders in the mix. History shows anything can happen in racing, so why not? We can only do what we’ve been doing in the last few races, and then do the math.”

Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) 6th (197 points)

“I head to Qatar in better physical conditions compared with Jerez. We made progress with the physiotherapy program, and earlier this week I was able to be fast and consistent while training on a motard, even though some pain still remains. The Losail track has a very flowing nature, which theoretically should make it easier for us than in the past couple of rounds, and I definitely enjoy riding there. Last year I didn’t race due to injury, but during my first outing in Qatar in 2014 I got pole position. In the races we struggled a bit with top speed, but the Panigale R is much more competitive now. My first goal is to part ways with the team with two strong performances, even though we already share many beautiful memories, especially with all the hard work done together to develop the bike throughout these years.”

Lowes and Guintoli Face the Floodlights for Losail Final


Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli are preparing to race their 2016 YZF-R1's for the final time this week as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship reaches its season climax in the heart of the Qatari desert. Losail International Circuit welcomes the final round on Friday 28th October as the opening practice is performed at sunset, before racing is illuminated by 1000 floodlights as the weekend unfolds.

Lowes is looking forward to returning to Losail for his third appearance at the Middle-Eastern track, with its high speed, flowing layout suiting his riding style. A successful Spanish test, completed after the last round of competition at Jerez, has buoyed the British rider further as he looks to complete his season in style at the 5,380m circuit with the final two 17-lap races of the year.

Guintoli is eager to return to a track that holds special significance having convincingly secured the rider's Superbike World Championship title in 2014, as the series was held under artificial lights for the first time in its history, by claiming the fastest lap of the weekend alongside victory in both races. The tradition of night action upheld for the past three seasons, this year's schedule sees battle commence at 20:00 local time on Saturday and 21:00 on Sunday.

Completed in 2004, Losail International Circuit held its first WorldSBK race at the start of the following season and has been a regular host of motorcycle racing ever since, despite the championship's four-year absence at the start of this decade. The sinuous layout interlaces six left and 10 right-hand medium and high-speed corners with the finish straight, measuring just over a kilometre in length, continuing to keep the pace elevated. Friday's free practice begins at 17:45 for the opening twilight hour, with the second instalment set to mirror Sunday's race time.

Alex Lowes

Championship: 11th / 116 points

"Losail is a fantastic circuit, apart from being in the middle of the desert! It's awesome to race there especially as we race at night which is always really exciting. It's a flat track without many points of reference which can make it difficult to learn and there are a couple of places that look the same on entry but when you arrive at the corners they couldn't be more different - one is a fast fourth gear corner which opens up compared to a second-gear ever-tightening corner. The front straight is a kilometre long so speeds are high and it is also the last race of the year so it's one I really look forward to! I feel the fittest I have felt all year after a tough season with lots of different injuries but now I am feeling good and want to end 2016, which is the start of 2017 for me, with two solid results on the YZF-R1!"

Sylvain Guintoli

Championship: 12th / 112 points

"I have some very special memories from Doha after clinching the title there in 2014. Losail is a great circuit and the night races give it a very special atmosphere - it makes you feel alone on track which is a unique feeling. I'm really looking forward to going back there this week."

Hayden and van der Mark eager to wrap up 2016 season in style in Qatar

Round 13 – Qatar

Losail International Circuit, Qatar

The Honda WorldSBK Team is currently in Qatar, in the Middle East, where this weekend the thirteenth and final round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship takes place. Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark will attack the fast-flowing 5.38 km Losail International Circuit on board their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines and share the garage one last time.

The Losail International Circuit made its WorldSBK debut back in 2005 and, after disappearing from the calendar in 2009, the Qatari race track made its return in 2014, when the first World Superbike night race was held under the impressive floodlight system that had already been used by MotoGP from 2008.

Nicky Hayden’s current best result at Losail is a second place finish scored in 2006 when racing in factory Honda MotoGP colours, the same ones he rode with last weekend at Phillip Island as a substitute rider for his injured former team mate Dani Pedrosa.

Michael van der Mark, who today celebrates his 24th birthday, will be contesting his last round as a factory Honda rider this weekend. The young Dutchman was fourth and fifth in the two Qatari races last year after mixing up front for honours, while in 2014 he wrapped up his World Supersport title-winning campaign with a race win.

Nicky Hayden 69

I’m ready to switch back to World Superbike mode, tyres and everything else, and the truth is I’m really happy to be back here in Qatar. I like the racing at night under the floodlights, I think it’s fun. In the past I obviously went to Losail at the start of the season, while here it’s the last round. I am looking forward to getting on track, and to see how quickly it cleans up and get ready for the races. I’m very motivated: the team and Honda have given me a great opportunity to race and do well, as well as letting me do the MotoGP races when I was needed there and had a weekend off. I really hope to repay them with two really good races.

Michael van der Mark 60

I cannot believe that it’s already the end of the season! Of course, being under floodlights this is a very special race and I can’t wait to be racing again here at the Losail International Circuit. This will be my last race with the Honda WorldSBK Team and I really want this experience to end in the best way possible. We’re still fourth in the championship standings so the goal is to make this our final position for the year. In 2015 we had two good races and I hope this time out we can even do better, so we will be pushing hard!

Pieter Breddels

Technical Manager

We’re looking forward to the last race of the season. Last year, Michael did well here in Qatar and was in the fight for the podium, which proves that he really likes the fast-flowing character of the circuit. This is going to be his last round with us, so a podium finish would be the best way to end the season. Nicky is again back to WorldSBK after racing in MotoGP, so we’ll see how much time it’ll take him to adjust back. Looking at his performance both in Jerez a fortnight ago and Phillip Island last weekend, he is undoubtedly in great form. Our goal is to maintain fourth and fifth places in the championship, which would be a good result ahead of a hopefully even better one next year.

De Rosa to compete in final Qatar SBK round

Rome (Italy), Friday 21 October 2016

Fresh from winning the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup with the Althea BMW Racing team, 2016 champion Raffaele De Rosa will take part in the two final Superbike races of the 2016 season, taking place over the weekend of 30 October at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Respecting tradition, and doing as it has in the past with other Superstock riders, Althea BMW Racing has decided to give newly-crowned champion De Rosa the chance to line up against the Superbike field, an additional ‘prize’ for the talented Neapolitan rider, after he scored the title last weekend at Jerez.

Raffaele will therefore be the third Althea BMW representative in Qatar, alongside official riders Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger. The Italian is enthusiastic and hopes to be able to do well in the races as he competes against his team-mates and the rest of the field. This is Raffaele’s second appearance in World SBK this season, having stood in for Reiterberger at Laguna Seca in the USA.

Raffaele De Rosa

“Genesio Bevilacqua is giving me this chance in Qatar and I can say that, having won the title, this is a really great prize. I have some idea of what to expect, seeing as I already rode the Superbike this year at Laguna. But in this case I know the track and, knowing that I have already won the championship, am feeling more relaxed. It’s a track I like and I can’t wait to get back to work. I’m really pleased to be able to take part in the final round at Losail.”

Genesio Bevilacqua

“I’m very pleased to announce De Rosa’s participation in the Qatar SBK round as the third Althea BMW rider. This is down to the excellent result that Raffaele scored last week, winning the Stock 1000 title. It seems only right to have him the chance to express his potential in Superpole, in an event that we are happy to offer him, as I believe he deserves it. Next year’s programme is still to be defined, but it’s clear that he is one of the riders in team Althea’s orbit; having said that, we still need to see where he can fit in to our plans. In the Althea tradition, when we see riders who deserve to move up a category, we need to help them to show the public that they are here, and that they are supported by the team and sponsors.”

The Althea BMW Racing Team is in Qatar for the final SBK round

Rome (Italy), Tuesday 25 October 2016

The Althea BMW Racing Team is gearing up for the final round of the 2016 Superbike World Championship taking place this weekend at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Riders Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger will be joined this weekend by Stock1000 champion Raffaele De Rosa, and all three are keen to end the season on a high. The evening track schedule at Losail always making for an interesting race weekend, something that Jordi knows well, as it was the setting for his first SBK race win last year. Raffaele also benefits from some experience, having last raced at the Doha-based track in 2014, while Markus on the other hand has never raced at the Qatari circuit.

With twelve championship rounds completed so far, Jordi Torres lies in seventh place in the championship with 195 points, just 2 points from the sixth-placed rider, while Markus Reiterberger is sixteenth with 81 points.

Jordi Torres

“I can’t believe we’re already at the last round! I have great memories of the Losail track, as it’s there that I scored my first SBK win last year. I hope to be able to close this season with two good races in Qatar and, considering the championship standings, try to improve my final position. I think this can be a good track for the BMW. There are some fast turns, where you have to let the bike run mid-turn, and this is one of my strong points so I hope to be competitive. It’s important to close the season in a positive way.”

Markus Reiterberger

“I hope we can do well this weekend in Qatar. I’ve never been to the track so I’m looking forward to it, particularly with it being a night race. It will be a new experience for me, I'll just have to see if it’s an advantage or tougher to ride in the evening, but it should be exciting anyway. The track, from what I’ve seen on TV, looks great though I know sand can be a problem, making for a slippery surface. We would like to finish the season on a positive note of course.”

Raffaele De Rosa

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s race, which I can face in a fairly relaxed manner, seeing as my own championship has already concluded. Having said that, I would like to do well in Qatar, a track I’ve ridden at before, and so hope to be able to use the experience I gained riding the Superbike at Laguna. I’m really pleased to be able to take part in the final round at Losail and am looking forward to getting started on Friday.”

WorldSSP: The Fight for Second Takes the Spotlight Ahead of Qatar

The WorldSSP Championship isn’t over just yet

The World Supersport field head to Qatar for the final round of the season and though Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is the newly crowned World Champion, the floodlights will shine just behind him on the riders caught in a three-way fight for second place overall.

Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and PJ Jacobsen (Honda World Supersport Team) will go wheel to wheel at Losail in their bid to finish runner-up. The stakes are high with only three points separating Krummenacher and Cluzel, with the Swiss leading. Behind them, Jacobsen sits just four points from the Frenchman. It will be Krummenacher’s first time in Qatar on a Supersport bike, so he’ll be counting on his Moto2 experience to lend him a hand against his rivals.

Cluzel finished on the podium at Losail in 2014, and after the incredible pace he’s shown with his MV Agusta in the last rounds, Cluzel will be a tough challenge for second place. Jacobsen finished in the top five last year and will be looking to finally climb to the top step of the podium in a week’s time.

Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) is another rider who will be tough to beat after he won the race in Qatar last year. His podium at Jerez last time out where he came third, will be the confidence he needs to be fighting for the top positions once again. He’ll be looking to repeat his Middle Eastern feat and cement his status in the top five overall.

Lorenzo Zanetti will be manning Gino Rea’s MV Agusta once again as the Brit continues to recover after his hand-breaking crash at Jerez. Zanetti's memories of his third place in Losail last year will fuel his fire this time around, as he aims for another podium, not only for himself but also for Rea. Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) will be back on track after injuries prevented him from competing in Jerez. The Italian finished in the top ten last year and will be looking to continue that good form.

Ayrton Badovini (GEMAR Balloons - Team Lorini) will be another rider looking for a podium tussle as he lies just outside the top five overall in seventh, just five points shy of Gino Rea in sixth. He’ll be aiming to collect as many points as he can to overtake the Brit in the standings.

WorldSSP won't have the FIM Europe Supersport Cup to share a grid with this weekend as they finished their season in Jerez at the last Round. So be prepared to see a smaller grid line up on Sunday. The stars of World Supersport will take to the grid for lights out at 19:15 local time (GMT+3) on Sunday the 30th of October for the final clash of 2016.

Final Round Focus For Sofuoglu And Krummenacher

The season-ending round of the FIM Supersport World Championship will take place on Sunday 30th October under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit, with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Kenan Sofuoglu already crowned champion at the previous event. For Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) maintaining his current second place in the points ranking is his ultimate goal before he moves to the Superbike World Championship in 2017.

With one round remaining Kawasaki has already won the Manufacturers’ Championship in the WorldSSP class, thanks in large part to the efforts of Sofuoglu and Krummenacher. Of the 11 races run so far, Krummenacher won the first in Australia, while his team-mate Sofuoglu took his career-winning total to 38 after scoring six race victories this year – at Motorland Aragon, Imola, Donington, Misano, Lausitzring and Jerez.

Both Puccetti Racing riders will be out to win the last race of the year to finish their seasons on a high. Each will also consider the final championship position of Krummenacher, who is aiming to finish second overall before he moves to the WorldSBK grid with his current team in 2017. A 1-2 finish for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders would be a perfect end to a season laden with pace and achievement aboard the Ninja ZX-6R.

In becoming the first rider to reach the mark of five World Championships in WorldSSP, and with three of those titles coming on Kawasaki machinery, Sofuoglu has re-written the record books once again. His career statistics are all class leading. As well as his untouchable 38 race wins he has scored 77 podiums in all, taken 30 pole positions, 93 front row starting positions and 27 fastest laps – all within 115 race starts. With one round remaining any or all of those totals could be improved once again, such has been the late season pace demonstrated by the Turkish star.

Krummenacher would like to bracket his first WorldSSP season with a win to go with his opening day success, way back in February in Australia. He is now three points ahead of Jules Cluzel in the race for second place overall, and seven ahead of Patrick Jacobsen. He has work to do to make sure he finishes above both of these rivals, but feels his great experience at Losail from his GP days will count for much on race weekend.

The Losail WorldSSP race is scheduled for 15 laps and will get underway at 19.15 local time on Sunday 30th October.

Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “After the championship win I had quite a busy week with press conferences and so on but I did not do so much after that because I have to finish the season first. I can relax a little bit for Qatar and I will take all my family with me, for the race and for a holiday. We did our job and won the championship at the last round in Spain by winning the race. Now in Qatar we have a goal to win the race again. Last year I did a good lap time and I think it will be good again this year. We will try to win the race but within Kawasaki and the team we all have the goal to be first and second in the championship. If I am in a position to help my team-mate to be second in the points, I will help. The team did a good job and I want to help them to finish first and second.”

Randy Krummenacher, stated: “I have around ten years of experience racing at Qatar so I want to show this, and be strong this weekend. I want to prove that I made a step forward and also bring it to the finish in a good way. I want to win the race, to finish my Supersport season with another win, and there is no better place than Qatar to do this. For sure I have learned from my mistake in Jerez when I crashed, and I want to show myself that I can do really well. To show myself that I got to a better, higher, level than the start of the season and bring home second place in the championship.”

Recently crowned FIM Europe Supersport Cup champion Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) proved the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R’s worth in the newly formed class-within-a-class, by also ending his season in 11th place. Riders just behind him could still overtake his points total by the end of the year, as he will not be competing at Losail. His effort was all the more remarkable as he did not race at three previous rounds of the championship. All three were held outside Europe and he and his fellow ESS riders only competed at the European circuits.

Malaysia’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is currently 13th overall, another top ESS rider Illia Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) 14th and series regular Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) is 15th.

Christian Gamarino (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) is 19th, one place behind ESS competitor Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) who had an impressive season of his own.

Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) has got a point on the board for his team this year while rookie rider Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) continues to get closer to his goal of scoring his first point.

Jacobsen prepares for Qatar’s runner-up spot battle

Round 12 – Qatar

Losail International Circuit, Qatar

The last round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship takes place this weekend at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, with PJ Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team ready to battle for the runner-up spot in the series on the 5.38 km long and fast track located on the outskirts of Doha.

Jacobsen currently sits fourth in the championship standings, although just seven points away from the rider currently in second place, Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher. Last time out in Jerez, the 23-year-old American rider was only 0.1secs short of a podium finish on board his Honda CBR600RR machine.

The final race of the 2016 World Supersport season will get underway on Sunday 31 October at 19:15 local time.

Patrick Jacobsen 2

I’m really looking forward to this last weekend of the season. I feel the most relaxed I have been all year and I know what I need to do this weekend to get the job done. Jerez was not too bad in the end, but I know where our problems have been so this time we should have that all worked out. I won’t give up and I will do anything possible to be in front of the two guys I need to be ahead of.

Pieter Breddels

Technical Manager

This is probably not PJ’s favourite track of the year – if we look at his past results in Qatar – but he is ready to fight to the finish. We are still very much in contention for the runner-up spot in the championship and we will take our chances this weekend. The bike performs really well at this track as we won the race last year, and I’m pretty sure that once there’ll be some rubber down the grip will be really good.

Gino Rea to miss Qatar season finale with broken hand following 100mph collision at Jerez

October 26, 2016

Gino Rea’s recent run of bad fortune has brought his 2016 World Supersport campaign to a premature conclusion following a 100mph collision with a fallen bike. The incident occurred during Friday's free practice session at last weekend's Spanish round at Jerez.

Gino started the weekend strongly, running as top MV, however his progress was drastically halted when PTR rider Hikari Okubo crashed in front of him exiting the fast Ferrari turn 12. Rea had to take immediate action in order to avoid hitting Hikari, sending him into the path of the fallen bike. Gino hit the PTR machine at over 100mph catapulting him over the handlebars and into the gravel pit. Rea took a hard impact to the head before tumbling through the gravel and into the armco barrier. The Londoner was fortunate to come away with only 3 broken metacarpal bones in his left hand however will not ride at the Qatar season finale following surgery last Wednesday.

Gino comments:

“I am extremely lucky to come away from that crash walking; as is Hikari. When I saw him slide off his bike the first thing I tried to do was avoid hitting him because if I did, it could have ended very, very nastily at them speeds. In avoiding Hikari, I had to go to his left which was on the gravel and his bike was sideways in front of my path. I couldn’t even slow down and I just smashed straight into it. It was such a fast crash yet it feels like it happened in slow motion. I looked at the bike and just thought ‘sh*t, this is going to hurt’. I hit it and as I was tumbling through the gravel I was like ‘yep this hurts’. I ended up against the armco, so I rested against it and tried to get my breath back as I was badly winded. I’d say it was a bigger and scarier crash than the one last year at Magny-Cours, mainly because of the speed and knowing what was coming. I feel so lucky to only break my hand with a few bruises on my body. I owe thanks to my protection sponsors, HJC Helmets, Damen Leathers, Impact Safe-T Armor, Gaerne Boots and Armadillo Merino.

“I will miss Qatar because the 3 broken metacarpals were quite bad and needed surgery. Mike Hayton did a fantastic job of repairing them so now I’ll focus on securing a competitive ride in 2017 and recovering in the winter period. I’ll be back stronger!”

“Thank you to everyone for your support during 2016 and especially my personal sponsors who have made this year possible.”

Did You Know?

#QatarWorldSBK in Numbers

- A few stats and facts about WorldSBK in Qatar -

56 – At Losail, only two riders have been able to record a lap time in the 1-minute 56-second bracket: Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea recorded a 1’56.821 and 1’56.997 respectively in Tissot-Superpole 2 in 2015.

12 – Ducati holds the record for most podium positions in Qatar at 12. Only one of those podiums was actually a win and it was Troy Bayliss who recorded it, in Race 1 of 2008.

10 – There have been 10 different winners from of the 14 races held in Qatar so far.

6 – Max Biaggi holds the record for the most podium finishes at Losail: six, claimed in the three weekends from 2007 to 2009. Troy Corser follows with 5 and Tom Sykes with 4.

6 – There have been six different riders to claim pole in WorldSBK’s history in Qatar. The only rider who has started from pole twice here is Troy Corser (2007-2008).

6 – Troy Corser has led six races at Qatar, winning just two of them: in 2005, Race 1 and 2006, Race 2.

5 – Suzuki has had the most successful results at Losail with 5 wins. Aprilia follow with 4 wins - they won the last four races at the Middle Eastern circuit.

4 – Four riders who claimed their first career win in Qatar were: Yukio Kagayama (2005), double World Champion Max Biaggi (2007), Fonsi Nieto (2008) and Jordi Torres (2015).

4 – Four riders are tied with holding the record for the most wins at Losail (2 wins): Troy Corser, James Toseland, Ben Spies and Sylvain Guintoli.

3 – In the last three visits to the Losail International Circuit, each round was won by a single manufacturer: Yamaha in 2009 (Spies), and Aprilia in 2014 (Guintoli) and 2015 (Torres, Haslam).

3 – Only Troy Corser (2005, 2007, 2008) and Max Biaggi (2007, 2008, 2009) have started from the front row three times in Qatar. If Tom Sykes qualifies on the front row this weekend he will be the third rider to hold the record.

2 – Only two riders have been able to score a Losail double victory: Ben Spies in 2009 and Sylvain Guintoli in 2014, and they both won the Championship at the end of the season.

2 – Only two manufacturers have been able to win both races at Losail on the same weekend, with two different riders: Suzuki in 2005 (Corser, Kagayama) and Aprilia last year (Torres, Haslam).

2 – Regis Laconi (2005) and Davide Giugliano (2014) are the only non-English riders who have recorded a pole position in Qatar.

1 – The only reigning World Champion to have won in Qatar was Troy Corser, ten years ago.

0 – Only in 2014 and 2015 the pole-sitters didn’t win their races.

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