The following is from Honda…After three weekends away from the rigours of competition Honda’s official Superbike and Supersport World Championship teams now return to action at the seaside venue of the Misano World Circuit, for the eighth round of the 2010 season.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea is now well-rested and ready for action after a big practice crash at the previous round in the USA. That race weekend was followed by a fruitful test for Rea at his Ten Kate team’s home circuit of Assen, a test carried out alongside his team-mate Max Neukirchner. The two days of track time allowed the team to make further technical advances to remain in contention for race wins, in what is proving to be an intense year of competition.Jonathan has already scored a double win at Assen on his way to third in the championship with six rounds to go, and both he and Neukirchner know what it is like to taste victory champagne at Misano. Rea took a win there for Honda in 2009 and Max won a San Marino race while riding another machine in 2008.Max Biaggi (Aprilia) took the lead in the series last time out in America, with Leon Haslam (Suzuki) now second and Rea ranked third.
Neukirchner is currently 17th, working towards getting back to his true form.In the Supersport World Championship the top two riders are official Honda competitors, series leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate
Honda) on 142 points and Parkalgar Honda’s Eugene Laverty on 136 points. Laverty has won four races so far, Sofuoglu two, and the only non-Honda race winner has been third place rider in the rankings, Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki).The combined efforts of Sofuoglu and Laverty have seen Honda soar to a 42-point lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings, after the midseason point was passed through at Miller last month.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Supersport rider Michele Pirro is now fifth in the rankings and on home tarmac at Misano he hopes to continue his push back towards another podium finish. He was on pole here last year in the Supersport class.Back in the Superbike category ECHO CRS Honda’s Broc Parkes will be working hard to eliminate chatter from his chassis-set up that has spoiled some of his race weekends so far. He knows Misano as well as anyone, having won the Supersport race there in 2008. Like most of his peers he will remain in Italy after the Misano weekend to test at the official Infront Motorsports sessions at Imola, on 29 and 30 June.Unfortunately, the Squadra Corse Italia Garvie Image Honda team will no longer take part in the Superbike championship in 2010, due to financial issues.
Currently seventh in the rankings, WSS rookie Gino Rea, from the Intermoto Czech Honda team, is back at a circuit he knows from his time in Superstock racing. The 2009 champion for Honda in the European Superstock 600 class is keen to take to the track once more, after a long break in the season’s rhythm.Massimo Roccoli, also from the Intermoto Czech Honda team, is a proven winner at Misano, having taken the race victory in 2006 when the track ran in the opposite direction from its current layout. A local man, Roccoli is looking to move up from his current ranking of 12th overall.Parkalgar Honda rider Miguel Praia is one place behind Roccoli in the standings, looking for improvements in his set-up that can allow him to race hard from the first lap to the last.Brno, in the Czech Republic, will host the next round of the championship, on July 11th.WSBK Rider CommentsJonathan Rea, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR: “I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in again at the weekend. It’s certainly going to be tough as our main rivals have tested here and have four days on us, but it’s a circuit I like very much and I’ve had some success here, including my first Superbike win last year. The guys have been working hard on our weaknesses back at the workshop and we had a reasonably good test at Assen over two days last week. We needed it though, but we won’t really know how much better the bike is until I start riding it around Misano on Friday. I’ll dig deep again and try to get the best results that I can. A repeat of last year wouldn’t be too bad.”Max Neukirchner, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR: “We got through a lot of work at the Assen test last week and we found a way forward. It’s not the complete answer to all the problems we’ve been having but I am looking forward to seeing how it works at Misano this weekend. We know the bike was already working well at Assen but, by putting some more weight on the rear of the bike, I’m hoping we can go better than in recent races. We’ll do some more work on the front forks on Friday to try to get the weight transfer and overall balance feeling better. I like the Misano circuit very much and had a win there in the first race in 2008 and I will try my hardest to get some good results this weekend.”Broc Parkes, ECHO CRS Honda CBR1000RR: “I have been training hard in Andorra since we got back from America, cycling when the weather was good and riding trials when it was bad. We didn’t get the chance to test since America, but we will work hard to get the best set-up when we get to Misano. I hope we have some new stuff to try out, and I am looking forward to racing, then testing at Imola afterwards. After such a long break, I’m really keen to get back on the bike and race.”WSS Rider CommentsKenan Sofuoglu, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR: “We tested a few things at Assen last week, especially electronics, and although the conditions were really not very good, I was able to go as fast as my qualifying time from April, which was very fast. The acceleration is strong but the traction control is not quite right, so we will test some more at Imola after the race at Misano. It is very important to try for another win this weekend to keep the momentum in the championship and, even if a podium is a good target, I will try with my team to win the race.”Eugene Laverty, Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR: “I have enjoyed the break since America, and been able to do some structured training. Misano is a great circuit; the section at the back on all those fast rights is fun no matter what bike you are on. It is a track I enjoy riding on, so I am going there with a positive attitude. I had a great fight with Cal Crutchlow there last year.”Michele Pirro, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR: “The test at Assen last week was not so bad and it was good to try out some new things with the suspension and some new electronics. The bike didn’t feel that different because it was already fast at Assen and it was very windy during the test. Misano is like my home circuit and I was very happy to get pole position last year. It has been too long since I was on the podium in Portugal and, although I have been close recently, I hope that the changes to the bike at Misano will help me to fight with the guys at the front.”
Gino Rea, Intermoto Czech Honda CBR600RR: “I am more than ready for Misano as we’ve had a long break, so I want to get back on my bike.
We are racing in my team-mate Massimo’s home territory so it will be interesting to see how quick he is out of the blocks. It would be great to get a good result and a good team result too. I hope I can get my head around racing a Supersport bike there from the beginning, as I know the track layout from racing in Superstock 600.”Massimo Roccoli, Intermoto Czech Honda CBR600RR: “Our season has been a bit up and down but back home in Misano I want to get things moving forward again. I hope the recent suspension changes we made to the front of the bike in America will help us in Misano, and for the rest of the year.”Miguel Praia, Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR: “Misano is a good track for us. For me, and especially for the team, it was good to have a break after a very busy month of racing in May, from Monza to Kyalami to Miller. Many hard races in a row so the team has had some time to prepare the bikes again, and develop them a little bit more. I have had the chance to prepare myself so I am fully fit and 100% focused for the race.”The following is from In Front Sports…The San Marino round is the eighth of the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship in 2010 and will take place at the Misano World Circuit between 25 and 27 June. There will a full card of races at the popular track close to Misano Adriatico, as the championship returns to Europe for the first time since the Monza round on May 9th. Several of the top teams have taken advantage of the long break between the previous Miller Motorsports Park meeting in the USA and the San Marino race weekend to make their own tests, many at Misano itself.New championship leader Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) also leads the 2010 win count with six as we enter the second half of another exciting year in WSBK, all of the four-time 250cc GP Champion’s victories coming in twos. Max has scored doubles at Portimao, Monza and most recently Miller. Hot on his heels is long-time leader Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare), now eager to make up for a crash in the USA that cost him his championship advantage. Both top protagonists, plus their team-mates Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) and Sylvain Guintoli (Alstare Suzuki), tested at Misano recently.Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and his talented team-mate Max Neukirchner made their own private tests at their team’s home circuit of Assen last week. The Honda duo will be keen to return to Misano in race mode however, as each has taken a victory at the ever-evolving Misano World Circuit, Rea last year and Neukirchner the year before. Rea is currently third in the championship standings, ten points ahead of the desperately unlucky Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) who was forced out of the lead in each Miller race. Carlos will have his usual high level of motivation going into Misano, and like his team-mate Shane Byrne he has tested at Misano as well, as part of the recent World Ducati Week festival.Official Ducati riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) also tested at Misano during that period, and there could be no better place for the talented duo to get back to their very best winning form. It has been a tough year on occasion for Michel and Nori, but they have each taken a race win; Nori in Spain and Michel in South Africa.Two of the fastest riders at the recent Misano tests were James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) and his team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who are looking to score their first wins of the year. BMW Motorrad Motorsports’ Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus were not quite at the level of the fastest riders in the Misano sessions, but Corser in particular was very close on times, and looks to one of his favourite circuits to be able to show his podium quality again on the ever-improving S1000RR. Xaus has put in some outstanding rides at Misano and the most recent of his 11 career race wins came there in 2008.One of the few top teams not to test recently is the Kawasaki Racing Team, but Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen are very much up for a fight in Italy, with Vermeulen now getting on top of his long-term knee injury and Sykes having had to rest his body after a heavy crash in America.In the kingdom of the true privateers, Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Ducati) and Luca Scassa (Supersonic) have been battling it out for the title of most impressive rider so far. Scassa may be nearer to home ground, and have tested at Misano recently (as did the DFX Ducati team) but Smrz can count on memories of being the 2009 Superpole winner at Misano to boost his pre-race hopes. Lorenzo Lanzi returns to action for DFX Ducati this weekend.Four-cylinder private entries from ECHO CRS Honda rider Broc Parkes, and Pedercini Kawasaki riders Roger Lee Hayden and Matteo Baiocco are in place once more, and there will be a wildcard in their midst this weekend as well. Regular CIV competitor Federico Sandi (Gabrielli Racing Team) will join the grid at Misano on his Aprilia RSV4 machine.
The following is from Suzuki…It has been almost a month since Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli last raced, but that does not mean that they and the team have been idle. Recently both riders and the team tested at Misano and it is there that the team will be in action this coming weekend, for round eight of this year’s Superbike World Championship.Leon
The tests went pretty well, even though we did lose some time due to rain on one of the days. We still managed to get through a lot of stuff – new forks, different clutch settings etc., and we were all happy enough at the end. I like Misano and although it is a tough track, I’m sure that we’re in for a lot of hard battles – but I like that! Everybody has tested there recently, so I’m expecting all the riders to be quick off the mark right from the start of first practice. I had the stitches taken out of my left elbow just before the recent tests and I’ve got full movement in the arm, so I don’t think there’ll be any problems in that area. There’s a little bit of discomfort because of where the stitches rub against my leathers, bit it’s definitely not going to be a problem. Max (Biaggi) will want to do well in his home country, but I’ll be going all out to give him a tough time of it and spoil his party.Sylvain
At least, I have raced at Misano before, so I will not have to start the first practice learning a new track, as has been the case so many times this year. Also we tested here recently and that has given me more track information and knowledge. I’m hoping that all of this means that I will not be chasing the rest of the riders on the first day of practice and I will be more more competitive right from the start. I want to get back to the way I was at the start of the season and be on it right from day one and qualify well. Poor qualifying has held me up quite a few times this season, so it’s about time I did the business on Friday and Saturday and got myself ina good position (on the grid) on raceday.The following is from Ducati…After recent race weekends in South Africa and America, the Ducati Xerox Team have less distance to travel for the upcoming World Superbike round, which will take place at the Misano World Circuit, just 150km from the Borgo-Panigale factory and, along with Imola, a “home” circuit for the Italian factory team.The team recently spent six days at Misano when they carried out official testing sessions during the sixth edition of World Ducati Week. On track alongside Troy Bayliss and other private Ducati SBK teams, factory riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga worked hard together with their technicians and the positive results of the test sessions bode well for the upcoming race weekend.Although the Ducati Superbikes have traditionally performed well at this track, it is strange that until now neither Noriyuki nor Michel has obtained a race win here, despite podium finishes in their favour. This will be Haga’s eleventh SBK event at this track and Fabrizio’s fifth visit. Michel’s best Misano weekend to date was just last season, when he scored a double podium, while Noriyuki finished the two races in fifth and third position, registering a new lap record in Race 2.At the most recent round in Salt Lake City, three weeks ago, Japanese rider Haga returned to the podium with a third place finish in Race 1, backed up with fourth in the second race, while Fabrizio had a tougher time of it, crashing out of Race 1 before battling to ninth position in Race 2. With the third place achieved in America, Noriyuki can now boast 109 podium finishes over his Superbike career, equalling Carl Fogarty’s impressive score. Only Troy Corser has experienced more rostrums, with 129 podium finishes to date.Noriyuki Haga (5th in championship, 135 points)
Haga has never finished higher than second at this Italian track, something he would like to rectify this year.”I’m hopeful that after the podium at Salt Lake, things are getting back on track for us. We had a tiring but productive time at WDW and I’m now looking forward to the Misano race with confidence. Last year didn’t go to plan as Race 1 was surprisingly wet and this caused me some problems. I’ve had highs and lows at Misano over the years and it’s a track I’ve never won at; I don’t know if that will be possible this time around with the level of competition that we are seeing this year, but I will try my best as always.”Haga’s Superbike form at Misano:
2009: Race 1 – 5th, Race 2 – 3rd
2008: Race 1 – 10th, Race 2 – 4th
2007: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 2nd
2006: Race 1 – 5th, Race 2 – 3rd
2005: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 6th
2004: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 4th
2002: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 3rd
2000: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – DNF
1999: Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 – DNF
1998: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – DNFMichel Fabrizio (10th in championship, 102 points)
Michel’s best performance at Misano to date was in 2009 when he scored a double podium.”We’ve just tested at Misano, during World Ducati Week, and the sessions went well. It was very hot, as I’m sure it will be for the race too, and so I feel that we are now better prepared for the coming weekend. I’d like to improve on last year’s performance of course and am very aware that although I have taken wins at Monza and Imola I’ve not yet managed it at Misano – rest assured that I’ll be doing everything in my power to change that this season.”Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Misano:
2009: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd
2008: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 11th
2007: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – DNF
2006: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 6thThe following is from Kawasaki…Returning to Italy for the second time out of three visits this year is the Kawasaki Racing Team who is hoping for a repeat of the performance last time they were in the country. Then, back at Monza three rounds ago, Huddersfield rider Tom Sykes scored his best performances in both qualifying and racing aboard the Paul Bird Motorsport Team’s factory Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R whilst Aussie Chris Vermeulen also got his campaign back on track following injury.Sykes posted eighth during qualifying and backed that up with a superb ninth in the opening race but better was to come when he rocketed to fifth place in race two to score his best finish of the season to date for the Penrith-based team.For his part, former MotoGP race winner Vermeulen, despite still struggling with the knee injury sustained in the first race, battled at Monza and recorded his best results of the season also at the time.However since then, it’s been hard going for both Sykes and Vermeulen with minimal points during the last two rounds at Kyalami and Miller so both riders are hoping that a return to Europe will help elevate themselves from their respective 15th and 19th places in the series standings.Tom Sykes: “Coming away from the Miller race wasn’t so good for us as the results were not what we were expecting but we are continuing to make progress with the ZX-10R machine and learning all the time. I’m happy with the team and the way we work together as we know that when we find a good direction, we make the most of it. I’m looking forward to Misano, it’s a really nice track and I enjoy racing here. I will start fresh after the recent break and will look forward to seeing what we can achieve. I have high expectations of myself and the team so it’s just about finding the combination to make the package strong and seeing what we can get out of the bike. Hopefully we can make another step forward.”Chris Vermeulen: “I’ve had some decent results at the Misano circuit over the years with a mix of podiums in WSB, WSS and MotoGP but never the top step. Unfortunately I don’t think this year we’ll have the package to reach the top step of the podium but I do hope that I will be able to make a significant leap up as the four-week break has done me good. My injured knee is coming along and I’ve been working hard on my training and physio treatments in Australia since Miller so I’m looking forward to seeing what Misano brings us. The Misano event is always a favourite amongst fans with the sunshine and Italian passion for racing so I hope we can put on a good show and improve on our current form.”