2018 Misano WorldSBK Preview Press Releases

Press releases previews ahead of this weekend's Misano round of WorldSBK:

Sun, Sea and SBK®

We’re nearing the summer break as WorldSBK heads to Misano with a lot to play for

With just one round remaining before the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship plunges into their summer break, there’s all to play for as Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli hosts round nine, and there are plenty of riders to keep an eye on. With 2018 providing fans with six different winners, eight podium finishers and enough drama to last a full season, riders aren’t on their holiday’s yet and action is about to begin.

As always, all eyes will be on Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), as the three time world champion heads to the destination of his debut WorldSBK victory. Taking the win back in 2009, he has gone on to stand on the top step three more times here on top of four more podium finishes. A strong circuit for the 31 year old, he will have one eye on his 75 point championship lead ahead of the nine week break. After a flawless performance around Laguna Seca last time out, his level of confidence will be strong into the ninth round of the season.

On the other side of the garage, Misano is also a strong circuit for Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with six pole positions and four victories to his name. Mr Superpole’s record of pole positions around the 4.2km track is outstanding, as he has been unbeaten to the front of the grid since 2011. His record is already impressive without mentioning his wins here, which amount to four from 2014 right through to last season. Taking his second win of the 2017 here last season, the British rider will be hungry for more this weekend.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the hero of the weekend last year, as he secured Italy’s 100th WorldSBK victory in race two with a sensational performance in front of his home fans. Taking his first victory with the Ducati team - and his first around Misano - he will hope to replicate this once more this season after some tough rounds onboard the Paniagale R. With three more podium finishes to his name in Rimini, the Italian fans will no doubt be there to support him this weekend.

Yamaha’s leading rider Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) continues to hold onto his third position in the world championship standings, despite a tough weekend around Laguna Seca with two top eight finishes. Heading back to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli – the scene of almost his debut victory last season – he will look at rectifying this ahead of the summer break. In 2017 the Dutchman led the way in the opening laps of race one, but tyre issues forced him to retire from the fight and the race. Salvaging a fourth in race two, the 25 year old now has two race wins under his belt in 2018, and with one win in STK600 here he will be chasing that top spot this weekend.

Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was another rider to leave Misano disappointed last season, as the Spaniard was chasing his first victory in SBK® before suffering the same fate as van der Mark, and being forced to retire. Despite this, he was able to take a top four in the opening race and has a consistent record around Misano. Heading there this weekend with his new Italian team, he looks forward to putting in place the updates and changes made to his F4 bike.

Heading to Italy following a stunning podium finish in Laguna Seca last time out, Eugene Laverty and his Milwaukee Aprilia squad are prepared to repeat their performance around their manufacturers home circuit this weekend. Finally finding the rear grip they have spent the last season and a half searching for, Laverty was able to lead the way in the opening half of race two, and took a well earned podium. Misano has been a varied circuit for Laverty in the past and having never having finished on the podium here, it could be a big ask, but with the added bonus of confidence from America his performance will be one to watch.

Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) heads to Misano fresh off the back of his best weekend yet in WorldSBK, after two top ten finishes in front of his home crowds. A boost of confidence will be welcomed on the no.45’s side of the garage ahead of visiting a track he will be familiar with from his Red Bull Rookie’s days – securing a podium. Whilst Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) prepares to bounce back from a tough weekend in America, but is heading to a track which hasn’t been favourable to the Brit in the past. Can he break into that top six? The last time he finished in the top six here was back in 2011, but there’s no time like the present to change this.

Sitting in 11th position in the world championship standings, Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) makes his return to Misano for the first time since 2014 with WorldSBK, and he will have some fond memories from the east coast circuit. Securing a double podium with Kawasaki in 2014, the French rider has a strong pace in Italy, which will go well when coupled with his improving pace on-board the S 1000 RR.

Don’t miss out on the final WorldSBK racing action before they head into the summer break! Bikes take to the track on Friday at 09.45LT (+2 GMT), before Saturday’s full schedule of Superpole at 10.30 and Race One at 13.00. Lights go out for the final time this July on Sunday at 13.00, and no rider will give in.

Misano The Final Round Before Summer Break

The ninth round of the WorldSBK Championship will take place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, close to Italy’s Adriatic Coast this coming weekend. It marks the final round for KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes before the start of a nine-weekend summer break in the championship calendar.

Contrasting recent fortunes follow championship leader Jonathan Rea and his team-mate Tom Sykes into the forthcoming race weekend, to be held between the 6th and 8th of July.

At the most recent championship round, at Laguna Seca in the USA, Rea won both races and extended his championship lead to 75 points, which equates to three race wins.

Rea has now won eight races this year on his Ninja ZX-10RR and has already become the all-time record holder in this category of racing. He has enjoyed the championship lead since the fourth race of the season, despite all Kawasaki riders having a lower season-starting rev limit than all of their main four-cylinder competitors, by regulation.

Having won a race at Assen already this year Sykes, the 2013 WorldSBK champion for Kawasaki, found Laguna a difficult venue in the races, finishing seventh and eighth after qualifying well. He is fourth in the championship and looks to Misano to get back to his podium best.

There have been no fewer than 50 previous individual WorldSBK races held at Misano, the first in 1991. The original circuit ran in a counter-clockwise direction, before extensive modifications in the mid-2000s brought about a change in direction and many other upgrades to meet contemporary standards.

Both KRT riders have strong records at Misano with Rea taking his first race win in WorldSBK there in 2009, and four victories in all. Sykes also has four Misano wins on his record, the most recent being in race one last year.

Kawasaki has a 45-point championship lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings after Laguna Seca.

After breaking a bone in his left foot during a crash in the USA, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) expects to be fit to race at his team’s home round at Misano. The WorldSBK rookie from Turkey is an impressive eighth overall in the points.

Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) sits in 15th position after eight rounds, Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 16th and Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) is 18th.

With the championship going into its summer break after the Misano race weekend, the next opportunity to for KRT to ride as a unit will be at Portimao in Portugal. An official two-day test session in late August precedes the tenth round of the championship, to be held between the 14th and the 16th of September.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “Misano is one of my favourite races of the season and this year we planned a holiday before the race with my family, staying on the beach with our motor home. It sets the weekend up perfectly as I feel recharged for the last race before the summer break. The circuit is pretty straightforward and has a mix of everything. Although it’s flat, it’s still a challenge to find a compromise with set up, so we will work hard on Friday to make sure we can be competitive. It’s important to strengthen our position in the championship. Our target is to keep working the way we have in the previous races and maximise our potential.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “Misano is a beautiful venue with fantastic fans. It is great just to be part of the whole atmosphere and environment. The fans do enjoy themselves! When I get there I will settle in with a nice Italian coffee and some seafood. I head there in the knowledge that we have good information to work with. The corners give it an interesting layout with a fast section that is unbelievable. A flat-out right kink, with quite a dip in the middle. You have to get the front settled on the way in. The lap times are always close at Misano so you have to get technical and find the small differences that way.”

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team ready to battle on home soil at Misano for Round 09

After claiming two podiums overseas at Laguna Seca (United States), the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action in front of its fans at Misano (Italy), home of the ninth round of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship and second "home round" after Imola.

The Italian track evokes unforgettable memories for the team, who barely missed the win in Race 1 last year with Chaz Davies before a last-lap crash, which resulted in an injury, forced him to retire; Marco Melandri then took the victory in Race 2, claiming his first success with Ducati in front of local fans. Both Davies and Melandri are as determined as ever to make the most of the "home court" advantage to narrow the gap in the general standings ahead of a long summer break.

The Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will also be back in action at Misano with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who recently took his best result so far in first WorldSBK season with a 6th place in Brno and is keen to resume his quest. After eight rounds, Davies (245 points) and Melandri (168 points) are respectively second and sixth in the championship, while Rinaldi (54 points) is 14th. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action on Friday, July 6th, at 09:45 CET for the first free-practice session.

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

"After a solid weekend at Laguna Seca, we're keen to get back in action at Misano. I enjoy the track and its atmosphere, since it's full of passionate Ducati fans, and I think our past results there have yet to reflect our speed despite the fact that it probably isn't the best track for us. In recent years, we always proved to be competitive and had good pace. For example, last year we were leading the race until the incident during the last lap. It's going to be a hot weekend, and tire management will be crucial. It's also important to go into the summer break with good results and good momentum, so hopefully we'll use the home factor to our advantage."

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)

"Misano is always a special round for me, and clearly my first win with Ducati scored there last year left an indelible mark in me. To race there once again, this time knowing for sure our potential, makes me really excited. I feel great physically, and I'm ready for two races that will likely be very hot and grueling. I'm sure we'll be in the mix, and I expect a big fight given how much some of our competitors have improved lately, which only makes things more fun and exciting. I can't wait to get back on the track."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21)

"After a first half of the season culminated with our best result so far at Brno, I go to Misano eager to get back on the bike, both because we skipped last round but also because it's my home race and plenty of fans will attend. I really like the track, I never rode a Superbike there and I can't wait to find out our potential. The heat will play an important role, both in terms of grip and stamina. I expect a spectacular, hard fought round."

Three is the Magic Number in Misano for the Pata Yamaha Team


The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are looking to continue their recent excellent run of results under the Adriatic sun at Round 9 of the 2018 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as they launch a triple-pronged assault at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this weekend. Michael van der Mark heads to Italy third in the WorldSBK Championship standings after missing out on the podium at Laguna Seca and is determined to fight back at a track where he came so close to securing victory last year. Alex Lowes recorded his third podium of 2018 in Race 2 at Laguna Seca and will be looking to continue his excellent form in Misano where he stormed to second in Race 1 last year. They will be joined on track by official Test Rider Niccolò Canepa for the second time this season as Yamaha continues the excellent development work on the YZF-R1 that has seen it emerge as a genuine contender in 2018.

The Pata Yamaha team are looking forward to getting back into action for Round 9 before the long WorldSBK summer break kicks in after demonstrating 2018's progress at the last round in Laguna Seca. The US track is one that the R1 has traditionally struggled at in the past, but a much stronger set of results for the team in 2018 means they head to Misano full of confidence as historically, it is a circuit that really plays to the machine's strengths with van der Mark only denied the chance of victory in 2017 by cruel fate and Lowes recording a podium.

Van der Mark recorded an eighth-place finish in Race 1 at Laguna Seca after suffering from a lack of grip but bounced back superbly in Race 2 to enjoy an excellent battle with his teammate Lowes, before crossing the line in fifth. The 25-year-old Dutch rider was happy with the improvements made over the weekend and heads to Misano full of confidence after leading for the majority of Race 1 at the track last year, before being denied the chance of victory due to an issue beyond his or the team's control. He recovered to finish Race 2 in a superb fourth place and with the improvements that have been made to the R1 in 2018, van der Mark is relishing the chance to battle for victory once more in Misano. He is currently third in the overall championship standings with 215 points, just 30 points behind Chaz Davies in second, and has already accumulated only eight points less than his tally for the entire 2017 (223 points) season after just eight rounds.

Lowes is riding the crest of a wave of confidence after a run of superb results, including his maiden WorldSBK victory in Race 2 at Brno, and he continued this excellent run of form in the USA by charging from fifth on the grid to secure his third podium of the season in Race 1, before coming out on top of the superb battle with his teammate for fourth in Race 2. Lowes stormed to second in Race 1 at Misano last year and was battling for the podium in Race 2 before, unfortunately, crashing out, so the 27-year-old British is confident with the improvements made in 2018 that he will be able to take the fight to his rivals once more. Lowes' recent run of form has seen him move up to fifth in the championship with 183 points, just 13 behind Tom Sykes in fourth.

Van der Mark and Lowes will be joined once more by the team's official Test Rider Niccolò Canepa as a wildcard in Misano on the Pata Yamaha development R1. The 30-year-old Italian - who is a former MotoGP and Moto2 rider - and his GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team are the reigning Endurance World Champions and he comes into the Misano round on the back of a third-place finish at the Oschersleben 8 Hours, with his experience and input key to helping the team improve the Pata Yamaha R1. After a positive recent private test by Canepa in Mugello, he is looking forward to getting back on the WorldSBK-Spec R1 at his home round in front of the passionate Italian fans.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is a fast, flowing, and technical track located next to the picturesque town of Misano Adriatico in the province of Rimini, North East Italy. A firm favourite with riders and fans alike, it held its first event in 1972 and the iconic track is 4.226km in length, consisting of ten right and six left-handed corners, plus has a start-finish straight of 510m. The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team will hit the track at 9:45 am Friday morning for FP1, while qualifying starts at 10:30 am Saturday with Race 1 at 1:00 pm and Sunday's Race 2 at 1:00 pm.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 3rd - 215 points

"I am really looking forward to Misano! It is one of my favourite race weekends of the calendar, especially at this point of the season where we are having such strong results with the R1. I think we highlighted how much we have improved the overall package by our performance in Race 2 at Laguna, as that is a track we have struggled at in the past. Misano is different, it suits the R1s strengths and I am excited to see what we can do this weekend. The target in Misano is to get back on the podium!"

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 5th - 183 points

"Misano is a great circuit and one I really enjoy riding. My favourite part of the track is the fast section near the end of the lap, it's just so much fun to ride. My confidence has been building lately and I am really enjoying my riding and how the R1 is performing. I can't wait to get back on track and start working with my guys to keep our momentum going and challenge for the podium."

Niccolò Canepa

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team

"I am really happy to get the chance to race again in WorldSBK with the Pata Yamaha team! We did a private test in Mugello last week and my feeling was a lot better with the WorldSBK-spec R1 than it was at Donington, where we had some issues. It is my home round, so I am really looking forward to riding in front of the Italian fans and to continue the development of the Yamaha R1. I feel very proud about that because now we can really see the results of the hard work we have been putting in with Michael and Alex winning races and consistently on the podium. This means that we are working in the right direction and it is a big advantage to be able to continue this development in a race. My team is ready and I am cannot wait to get back on track!"

Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team on a mission at Misano

Riviera di Rimini Round

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Italy

This weekend’s Riviera Di Rimini WorldSBK round at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is an important one for the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, as Leon Camier and Jake Gagne aim to head into the summer break with a strong showing at the Italian circuit.

Camier endured a frustrating round at Laguna Seca last time out, however progress was still made on fine tuning the set-up of the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, giving the British rider some confidence that an improved performance is on the cards this weekend in Italy.

On the other side of the garage, Gagne comes off his best WorldSBK round to date with two top-ten performances at Laguna Seca. The American rookie is in good form and returns to a circuit he last rode during his Red Bull Rookies Cup winning year in 2010.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is a tight and technical circuit, jamming in sixteen corners into its 4.2 kilometer length. The most challenging part of the circuit is from turns eleven to fourteen, starting with the flat-out Curvone which sweeps into progressively tighter right-hand corners ending at Carro.

The first WorldSBK session at Misano is Free Practice 1 which starts at 0945 local time (GMT +2). Race 1 and 2 will start at 1300 local time on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Leon Camier 2

I am looking forward to the Misano round this weekend and it's a track I enjoy riding. After our work at the last round at Laguna Seca, I think we found a good direction for the setting of the Fireblade, so we have a few things to try this weekend. I can't wait to get started and hope we have a good performance and leave for the Summer break in a good place.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jake Gagne 45

Coming off our best weekend At Laguna Seca I’m really excited to continue making progress at Misano. I have been to this circuit once before in the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2010 so I’m looking forward to seeing what Misano has to offer on a Superbike. I think the Honda Fireblade will get along well with the track so I hope we continue our momentum and get some strong results before the summer break!

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

We head into the ninth round of the championship at this Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, a great place to ride and with an electric atmosphere provided by the Italian fans. We head into the weekend with confidence, with both our riders being fit and development continuing on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. We hope we will see glimpses from Leon of the form from the start of the season and hope he can push for the top five. Jake is coming off his best race weekend at Laguna Seca and he has ridden at Misano before, so we hope he can continue the momentum and put in a brace of strong finishes.

Gulf Althea BMW returns home for the Misano SBK round

Rome (Italy), Tuesday 3 July 2017

The Gulf Althea BMW Racing team returns from the United States ready for round nine of the Superbike World championship, taking place this weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is located in Misano Adriatico in Italy. Inaugurated in 1972, it has been a regular host of the Superbikes for many years, traditionally during the summer season.

The last time Baz raced at the Italian track with the Superbike, in 2014, he obtained excellent results, finishing both of the weekend’s races on the podium, in second place. Delbianco also knows the track well, having competed in the Italian CIV series last season, and hopes to do well in front of his home crowd.

Ten days ago, the Gulf Althea BMW Racing team was on track at both Laguna Seca with Baz, where they scored a tenth-place finish, and at Imola, with Delbianco competing in the SBK class of the Italian CIV championship. The young Italian qualified second but a crash during the Superpole unfortunately left him with an injured shoulder; Alessandro already feels stronger but it remains to be seen whether his injury will impact on his performance this weekend.

Loris Baz

“Laguna wasn’t the best weekend for us, so I hope we can finish this first part of the season with good results at Misano. I’m optimistic because this round was one of the best for the Althea team last year, so I hope we can match that performance. I have good memories of the track and will continue to give 100% and fight for Genesio, the team and the fans at what is their home race.”

Alessandro Delbianco

"Misano is truly my home race, in that I live just a couple of kilometres from the track! So I’m very excited and keen to start work. My left shoulder is still a problem but I hope to be better by the weekend. I really like the track and, injury aside, we should have all we need to complete a good weekend.”

Manufactures Profiles from Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Enjoy reading about the highs and lows from the Italian circuit

Aprilia have won six times around Misano, scoring three doubles. The first one came in 2000 with Troy Corser, then in 2010 and 2012 with Max Biaggi. Since that last double, Aprilia have secured three third positions at Misano, the last one in 2015 with Leon Haslam in Race 2. Last year the best results for Aprilia were achieved by Eugene Laverty, as he took a sixth in Race 1 and fifth in Race 2.

In 2010, Troy Corser secured the first BMW pole in WorldSBK history around Misano (incidentally the last pole in Corser's career). They stood on the podium on two occasions, both times in third position, which was their best result here. These podiums came with the aforementioned Corser in Race 1 2010 (the last of Corser's 130 podiums) and with Leon Haslam in Race 2, 2012. Last year they came close to scoring a podium, as Jordi Torres was fourth in Race 1 and in Race 2 he led for eight laps before encountering tyre issues.

Ducati dominates the Misano stats with 29 wins (*), 11 poles and 77 podiums (*). Last year they won in Race 2 with Melandri and it could have been a double, as Davies was in the lead up to the final corner in Race 1, but his painful crash not only deprived Ducati of the win, but sidelined Chaz for the second race.

(*) the most for a manufacturer on any given track in the World Championship history.

Honda won on four occasions here, and the last one was in 2009’s Race 2 (Rea’s maiden win). They have taken 17 podium finishes with the last one two years ago - a third from Michael van der Mark in Race 1. Last year only Stefan Bradl was fielded by Honda after the tragic departure of Nicky Hayden less than a month earlier. Bradl retired in Race 1 and was 10th in Race 2.

After six wins in the 2014-2016 weekends, Kawasaki was left without a double last year: they were able to salvage a strong finish in Race 1 with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) after the Davies/Rea clash on the final lap, but in Race 2 Melandri broke the Kawasaki string. Kawasaki have recorded a double podium finish on five occasions recently here: Sykes/Baz in both 2014 races, Sykes/Rea in 2015 Race 1 and in both races two years ago. Their podium tally here is 23, and 15 of these came from 2014 onwards. Kawasaki - with Tom Sykes – have recorded pole in the last six Misano weekends (2011, 2012, 2014-2017): they are the only manufacturer with a string of six poles around Misano (Ducati have recorded four from 2001 to 2004).

The best result for MV Agusta in Misano is an eighth position from Leon Camier in Race 1, two years ago.

Yamaha have won twice around Misano: in 2006’s Race 2 with Andrew Pitt (the only career win for the Australian) and in 2009’s Race 1 with Ben Spies. Last year Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) put a Yamaha back on the Misano podium for the first time since 2011, finishing second in Race 1.

WorldSSP bikes are ready to head back on track

19 points split the top as Italy is the destination for round eight

Coming to the end of a month long break, the FIM Supersport World Championship riders are ready to go back on track for the eighth round of their season ahead of the summer break, and there is still all to play for. With just 19 points dividing the top four riders in the standings, every race counts and if the battles we have seen so far are anything to go by, it will a drag to the line for not only the race win, but for the title too.

German rookie Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) heads to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as the championship leader by two points, taking two victories so far this season on-board his Yamaha YZF-R6. His experience in Moto2™ and Moto3™ will stand him in good stead this weekend, with a victory in 2012 and 11 appearances around the 4.2km circuit. Heading to Misano with a new bike, it will be a challenge for Cortese, but one he has relished so far this season having never finished outside of the top four in a sensational 2018.

Brno’s race winner Jules Cluzel (NRT) has been another consistent force this season, as he is has finished on the podium in the last five races – with a back to back victory. Sitting in a strong position as the season heads into its second half, the French rider is primed ready to attack. Holding the pole, circuit and race record around Misano - as well as winning here back in 2014 and 2015 - it will take a lot of stopping Cluzel who had the pure straight line speed to take the win last time out.

Randy Krummenacher (BARDHAL Evans Bros. WorldSSP Team) currently sits in third position, after three tough races with his Yamaha team. His last podium finish was at Assen back in April, as the Swiss rider has been fighting off illness as well as bike problems. Despite this, his consistent top five finishes have put him in a strong position for the second half of the season, and with two top eight positions here in WorldSBK as well as a fourth in WorldSSP, he will be hoping to bounce back.

Looking at breaking past the Yamaha’s to take a victory will be Italian Rafaelle De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), as he continues to search for that final change to take him to the top. With four podiums this season, he is missing out on that final part to end on the top step, De Rosa will be searching for it with his home crowd, and they will certainly be an extra motivation for him.

Follow all the sensational WorldSSP action as it goes down to the line, with lights going out for the race at 11.30LT (+2 GMT).

GRT Yamaha Ready to Fight Back in Misano


The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team is ready and excited for their second home race of the season at Round 8 of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship in Misano this weekend. Reigning WorldSSP Champion, Lucas Mahias, heads to Misano fourth in the overall standings and determined to return to the podium for the first time since Thailand. Local hero Federico Caricasulo is looking to bounce back from a DNF in Brno and put on a show for the passionate Italian fans, while Alfonso Coppola is another rider looking forward to his home round as he aims to build on his first point-scoring finish at the last round.

The GRT Yamaha team cannot wait to get started at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for what is the team's second home round after Mugello. Following a tricky last couple of rounds that has seen them miss out on the podium, the team have brought a few technical updates to Misano and are confident they will allow them to be back battling at the front.

Mahias fought hard to secure a fourth-place finish in Brno but having not stood on the podium since finishing second in Thailand, the 30-year-old French rider knows he needs to return to the rostrum to keep his dreams of defending his WorldSSP title alive. Currently third overall with 103 points, the early-season championship leader now finds himself 19 points behind the man at the top of the standings, fellow Yamaha rider Sandro Cortese. Last season Mahias was involved in a superb battle for the victory at Misano in the opening laps before, unfortunately, crashing out and is excited to see what the new updates will allow him to do in 2018.

Home hero Caricasulo hails from Ravenna, less than 80km from the Misano track, and the 22-year-old Italian is looking to bounce back from his DNF in Brno at a circuit he loves riding and at which the passionate Italian fans create an incredible atmosphere. Currently sixth in the championship standings with 79 points, Caricasulo is looking to use Misano as the round to get his title aspirations back on track after recording a podium at the track in 2017.

European Supersport Cup rider Alfonso Coppola heads to his second home round of the season on the back of his first WorldSSP points-scoring finish in Brno. Adapting superbly to the highly competitive WorldSSP class in 2018 after finishing as runner-up in WorldSSP300 last season, the 22-year-old Italian has been making superb progress. He has improved almost every time he goes out on his R6 and this culminated in his excellent ride to 14th at the last round. Currently 24th in the overall standings, Coppola is aiming to build on this result at a track where he finished on the WorldSSP300 podium in 2017 and add to the two championship points he collected in Brno.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is a fast, flowing, and technical track located next to the picturesque town of Misano Adriatico in the province of Rimini, North East Italy. A firm favourite with riders and fans alike, it held its first event in 1972 and the iconic track is 4.226km in length, consisting of ten right and six left-handed corners, plus has a start-finish straight of 510m. The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team will hit the track at 10:40 am Friday morning for FP1, while qualifying starts at 2:00 pm on Saturday with Sunday's race at 11:30 am.

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 4th - 103 points

"I am really looking forward to getting back on my R6 after this break and I really like the Misano track! Last year, it was a difficult race and I crashed but the track really suits me and I know the team and Yamaha have been working hard to improve the bike since Brno. We have some updates and I am excited to see what this means we can do. I am ready to fight for the podium!"

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 6th - 79 points

"I am feeling really confident for Misano! It is my second home race of the season and it means so much to me to get to ride in front of the Italian fans. I am hoping to get my championship hopes back on track and think this could be a pivotal moment in the season for me, so I can't wait to start the weekend and get back on the podium!"

Alfonso Coppola

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team - 24th - 2 points

"I cannot wait to get back on track after this little break! After a good result in Brno, I am very motivated to do well in my most important race of the year. Misano is a circuit that I love and I have always managed to get good results at the track and this gives me hope that I can build on my performance in Brno. My goal is to improve on my best result and score some more championship points and I am looking forward to getting back onto my R6!"

Filippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Offical WorldSSP Team Manager

"We are looking forward to another home race, despite all the extra pressure it brings, it is always nice to race in front of the Italian fans. We are confident as the team has spent the last month working very hard with Yamaha and we feel we have improved our package. We have tried to give Lucas the same feeling with his R6 that he had at the start of the year to allow him to battle at the front once more. As a home round for Federico too, he will be focused and ready to hit the ground running on Friday morning and is looking forward to getting back on his R6 after Brno. Alfonso is another local hero, so he knows the track very well and we are confident he will be able to continue the excellent progress he has made all season and record another point-scoring finish. Thanks to the team and Yamaha for all of their support and hard work over the break and we feel ready to fight back in Misano."

Anticipation High For Popular Misano Round

Round eight of the 2018 WorldSSP championship will witness Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Hikari Okubo and Sheridan Morais ride at their team’s home circuit in Italy, shortly before the start of the series’ long summer break.

With no WorldSSP race at the most recent Laguna Seca round of the overall WorldSBK championship both Sheridan and Hikari are primed and ready to race, having not competed on their middleweight Ninja machines for a month.

After seven races since his move to Kawasaki the increasingly experienced Okubo is looking for his first top five finish. He has been close to the leading riders on occasion but found misfortune before the races reached the chequered flag. His best single finish of the year has been tenth, which he achieved at Imola. He qualified fifth at Donington, two rounds ago.

Riding as a replacement for the recently retired Kenan Sofuoglu, Morais has shown flashes of the form that gave him a race win in WorldSSP last season. He now looks to Misano as the place to get back to his very best, in what will be his fifth race for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team this season.

Morais is now 15th overall and Okubo 18th after seven of the 12 rounds have been completed.

A long summer break will take place after the completion of the Misano round. The season does not get underway again until round nine, at Portimao in Portugal, with raceday on the 16th of September.

Hikari Okubo, stated: “I like the track at Misano. I have had time to go back to Japan since the most recent race and relax. I also had lots of good minimoto training in Japan, to keep me sharp. I really think I can have a good race in Misano. I know the races before were so difficult. But, I am confident I can get have a good race this weekend in Italy. I have a good feeling in my spirit.”

Sheridan Morais, stated: “I am looking forward to the last round before a long summer break. I feel like we’ve only just started in some ways, so with this big break coming up, we need a strong result. I have been working hard on making that a reality. Misano is a good track for me and know it almost as well as the Italian riders.”

Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) will be back and ready to aim for his best finish of the year in Italy. Currently the Aussie star is top Kawasaki rider in the championship, in eighth place. The experienced West has been a WorldSSP race winner at Misano in the past, during the 2007 season.

Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) sits 13th overall and is top of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup standings, designed for riders who only compete in the European-based rounds of the championship. He is still the convincing ESS points leader, 13 ahead of his nearest rival.

Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) is 25th in the standings on the eve of the Misano round. Argentina’s Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) is another rider competing for an Italian based team at Misano. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) completes the regular confirmed Kawasaki line up for the eighth round.

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda head to Misano

Posted on 4th July 2018

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith will be joined in Italy this weekend by new team member Hungarian Peter Sebestyen for round eight of the FIM Supersport World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli located close to the holiday resort of Cattolica on the Adriatic coast.

British rider Smith is keen to get back on track after the month-long break and whilst Misano is not his favourite circuit he is looking forward to building on the eighth position secured at his first race back with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda in Brno last month. Smith said: “I’m eager to get back at it after a long break. Misano is a track where I have always felt fast but always had bad luck. I think it’s easier to turn luck around than speed so after a positive finish to Brno and having more things to try for Misano I’m looking forward to it.”

Welcome addition to the team Peter Sebestyen arrives in Italy fully prepared for the new challenge of his debut race with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda at the tight and twisty 4.2km circuit. He said: “Misano is one of my favourite tracks, it’s always a pleasure to race in front of the fantastic Italian spectators. It’s the best place to ride the first laps with my new bike and team. The last time I sat on a bike was in Imola so I’m sure I need a little time to find the good rhythm, but I’m going to work on it as hard as I can. Physically and mentally I feel good and prepared, I’m just so curious about the first impressions.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Misano will be Kyle’s second race back with us. He had a good beginning at Brno and we are looking at taking it forward from there. It has been a very successful track for us in the past and Kyle has been fast there in the past so let’s do what we do and that is to work as a really good team unit and put it together for the best possible result. Obviously our aim is to fight inside the top six and fight for the podium. It is the summer break after this and we have the exciting prospect of developing the Metronik ECU for our bike to put us on a level playing field with the other front running manufacturers. Our aim is to put the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda back on top so let’s see what we can do.”

“We welcome Peter Sebestyen to the team at this race. We look forward to the challenge and I’m sure he does too. Our aim for him here has to be to progress every session because in the summer break we have the chance to test with him to achieve the best possible end to the season. We are looking for points and before the end of the season we need to look for the top ten. As we have said previously we view this as a long- term relationship and another chance for CIA Landlord Insurance Honda to do what it does best, develop riders and get the most from them.”

World Supersport action from Misano kicks off on Friday with Free Practice One at 10:40 (local time).

WorldSSP300: Make or break in Rimini

Last chance to catch Carrasco before the season enters a two month break

Summer sunshine, the Adriatic Sea a stone’s throw away, a two month break ahead… It would be tempting for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship challengers to let off the throttle and go with the flow at the Rimini di Riviera Round, and take a breather before the final two battles of 2018. But it’s a far cry from what most will be thinking heading to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. But there will be no room for respite, as the up coming thirteen laps in Italy will decide the season for many a rider.

Coming under the spotlight once again, Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) had her least successful race this season last time around at Brno, crossing the line in eleventh amidst the red flag chaos. But she’s still 20 points ahead in the standings, and a win at Misano would secure her a strong chance at taking the title fight to the end of the season. Carrasco secured the overall lead at Imola with a scintillating performance – can Italy bring her joy again?

She’s not the only talented Spanish rider vying for that title however. One in particular has risen to the challenge through sheer consistency, taking three podiums in the last three races. Borja Sanchez (ETG Racing) is yet to win a WorldSSP300 race, but he may not even need to. Last year’s champion Marc Garcia averaged less than 16 points per race, and with regular rostrum finishes, Sanchez is already a huge threat. If he can secure that final push for the victory and improve his overall pace, who knows if the championship could be on its way to Galicia.

Another rider with impressive consistency this season is Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), who sits 21 points behind Carrasco and remains a dangerous challenger, despite not returning to the podium since his last lap triumph at Assen. The German is the only rider across the field to have recorded top 10 finishes in every race so far, and is a safe bet for another good result at the Pirelli Riviera di Rimini round.

At Brno four weeks ago there were three Yamaha bikes in the top 10, including the Czech Round race winner. Galang Hendra Pratama (BIBLION YAMAHA MOTOXRACING) has two victories in seven WorldSSP300 starts, as the youngster continues to get to grips with racing on the world scene. The Indonesian has been attracting a huge following in Indonesia, and could be the one to watch after the summer if he picks up another win in Misano.

One of the most marvelous facets of the WorldSSP300 championship is how ample the list of realistic race winners is (just ask Hendra Pratama, who was outside the championship top 10 before Brno). Nearly every rider can win any given race: the likes of 2017 Riviera di Rimini Round winner Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), Jan-Ole Jähnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), or Nick Kalinin (GP Project Team) are all tenth or lower in the standings, yet it would be foolish to brush any of them off. And what about Kevin Sabatucci (PROGP Racing) or Manuel Bastianelli (PRODINA IRCOS TEAM), both returning after strong wildcard appearances at Imola? The field is talented, the bikes are even and the pace is electric: in WorldSSP300, it ain’t over until it’s over. Bring on Misano.

Follow all the on track action around the 4.2km circuit, as bikes take to the track from 11.45LT (+2 GMT) on Friday, before Saturday's Superpole at 11.30 and the lights go out for the race at 14.20 on Sunday.

10 things you need to know before the Pirelli Riviera di Rimini Round

Check out the top ten stats ahead of Round Nine

1. At Laguna Seca, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) became the ninth different rider on the podium this year, and put an Aprilia back on the rostrum for the first time since the second Lausitzring race in 2016 (Alex de Angelis).

2. Kawasaki recorded their 118th win in Laguna Seca’s Race 2, and in Misano they will have the first chance to equal Honda at the second all time spot (119 WorldSBK wins).

3. There is only one rider in the current field who has qualified from pole at Misano: Tom Sykes, with six pole positions. He has recorded pole in all his last six race weekends here. He can become the first rider in history with seven poles at any given track. At the moment he shares the record with Troy Corser (six poles here in Misano) and with...himself, as he was on pole six times in Donington Park.

4. This is the track in which a single manufacturer has won the highest number of races, as Ducati have won here 29 times. They also sit in second in the table, with 25 wins at Assen. The best number of victories for another manufacturer is 15 from Kawasaki at Donington.

5. The podium placements from Ducati riders in Misano so far are 77, an all-time record for a single track. The Assen value for the Italian manufacturer is 73.

6. Misano has hosted 50 WorldSBK races so far, and will equal Donington at 52 – third overall. Only Phillip Island (55) and Assen (54) have hosted more races.

7. Troy Bayliss is the most successful rider around Misano, with six wins spanning from 2001 to 2007, all scored with Ducati. The second place rider with four wins is shared by Max Biaggi, and the current Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK pair: Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.

8. There are only two riders with double digit podium figures here at Misano: Troy Corser (16) and Troy Bayliss (11). Jonathan Rea can join the party as he has stood on the podium eight times here.

9. Nine years ago, Rea got his maiden WorldSBK win at this track. 61 more and three World Championships have since followed.

10. Ruben Xaus is the only rider who has won around here after starting outside the top 10 grid spots. In 2003 he recorded the double starting both races from 12th on the grid.

Summer sunshine and stunning fan action awaits at Misano

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is set to hold a scorcher of a weekend

Preparing to host round nine of the season under the sunny skies of Italy, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli has a spectacular weekend of action in store for fans travelling to the 4.2km circuit this weekend. With DJ sets, the all new Parc Ferme experience and plenty of entertainment, there’s no better way to spend a summers weekend.

La Notte Rosa 2018 falls on the same weekend as the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round, meaning there is double the celebration in Misano. #LaNotteRosaSBK kicks off in Misano on Friday night, as WorldSBK riders will be present to get the party vibes going. Welcoming Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki), Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) and Manuel Puccetti himself, the party starts at 21.00 and goes on into the night, with a complete DJ set.

Set along the Rimini coastline, the circuit is set to play host to some stunning racing and for the first time at the track fans can celebrate with the riders and teams in Parc Ferme for the all new experience. Watch as the stars of the race ride through the paddock, into Parc Ferme and then head onto the all new podium experience, before then hearing from the stars themselves on the Paddock Show Stage for the sensational Podium Show. Coupled with Friday’s Opening Day Show and Saturday’s SuperShow, you will have the chance to see all your WorldSBK heroes up close.

With free access into the paddock for children under the age of 12 alongside a paying adult, there will be plenty to see and do this weekend with the Fan Zone and SBK® Village. Offering Prosecco distribution, Acerbis and Shad product displays, bikes to check out and WorldSBK merchandise to support your favourites, it will keep you busy when bikes roll back into pit lane. Stunt shows and mini bike tracks will be on offer in the SBK® village all weekend, keeping the adrenaline pumping throughout the whole weekend.

Saturday afternoon is bound to be a highlight in the paddock for the adoring WorldSBK fans, as the gates are open to all ticket holders meaning they can truly get the taste of behind the scenes paddock action. Opening at 15.30, just after track action finishes, it’s the perfect opportunity to end a stunning day of racing action as the SuperShow and DJ set from Virgin Radio rounds out the day.

Don’t miss out on all the sensational WorldSBK action, on and off the track this weekend as summer takes a break for the WorldSBK weeken

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