World Superbikes: On To Brno

Press Release | July 6, 2010

The following is from Honda…There has been competition in and around the city of Brno since the early days of motorcycle racing, but the official Honda riders who travel to the Czech Republic this weekend are out to write their own new chapters in the Superbike or Supersport categories.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea is particularly keen to get back to the kind of situation that allowed him to take two Superbike race wins at Assen in April. The last few races have not been as kind to team or rider, but after a test at Imola last week Rea is looking for a positive turn of events at Brno, a circuit that he and virtually all his peers rate as one of the very best.Jonathan is currently fourth in the championship fight, one of six riders who have won races in 2010. The championship leader is Max Biaggi for Aprilia (307 points), second is Leon Haslam for Suzuki (270 points), third Carlos Checa on a Ducati (172) and Rea now has 158 points.The Supersport World Championship has hardened into a three-way fight for the title in 2010, with Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) taking the lead from Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) at the previous round. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) is in a close third place and only 13 points separate the ‘big three.’ The fourth placed competitor over 50 points from Lascorz. Honda continues to lead the Manufacturers’ Standings, by 47 points.Brno is a special race for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Superbike rider Max Neukirchner, as the German rider can count on a high degree of support from hundreds of his fan club members and other supporters who make the journey to the Czech Republic each season. Like his team-mate Rea, he found some real improvements with his machine set-up at the recent Imola test and intends to put them to good use in the fast esses and frequent inclines of Brno.Another Honda Superbike team, ECHO CRS, and its rider Broc Parkes had their first joint test of the season at Imola, as Broc missed the early races and pre-season with injury. Eliminating chatter was their aim, and they succeeded to some degree, filling Parkes with hope that he can make two solid points scoring finishes at Brno.The second Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Supersport rider, Michele Pirro, sees Brno as a chance to make up for the points lost at Misano last time out, when he collided with fast starting Gino Rea (Intermoto Czech Honda). This race is a vital one for each rider, as Pirro needs to score strong points, and Rea will be racing at his team’s own racetrack. Pirro is now seventh, Rea eighth in the standings.Massimo Roccoli, Gino’s Intermoto Czech Honda team-mate, is looking for the ideal of a top five finish at Brno, the same target as Parkalgar Honda rider Miguel Praia. Praia set out to score top tens in each race in 2010, and has largely succeeded, taking two ninths and three tenths so far. In the standings, Roccoli is 12th, Praia 13th.After Brno there will be a two weekend break in race meetings, before both WSBK and WSS classes return to a new-look Silverstone for round ten, between 30 July and 1 August.WSBK Rider CommentsJonathan Rea, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR: “I feel OK about the forthcoming race in Brno. In Imola during the test we didn’t suffer from chatter problems as badly as we did in Misano for the race. We did try some radically new things in Imola. Nowadays nobody really makes big strides in WSBK, it is just about little things, but we are looking for a big step. Things have changed in WSB since last year, since last time we were in Brno. The tyre we always use is creating a lot more grip, and that is maybe causing some of our issues. I have had some good results at Brno in the past and we will definitely start practice on Friday with an open mind. We’ll be giving it a good go as always.”


Max Neukirchner, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR: “We found a little bit in the test at Imola and I could get a bit more feel. It was not so good on the first day but the team worked well and we spoke a lot about how to improve things. I was a lot happier on day two. I only used race tyres so my best lap time was not so bad. I hope we can have a good result in Brno and I really like the racetrack. Lots of my fan club members will be there too and I want to put on a good performance for them as well as the team.”Broc Parkes, ECHO CRS Honda CBR1000RR: “We had a good test at Imola recently, and made progress with the chatter we had been having on the bike. It is still there, but reduced. There are not really an awful lot of things we need to get our two bikes a bit closer to each other in configuration and set-up. It’s just making the strategy work in the same direction. I have had some good results at Brno in Supersport so I am hoping we can go there and be a lot stronger.”WSS Rider CommentsEugene Laverty, Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR: “We did not have a test at Imola but I think we will be fine at Brno. I enjoy riding Brno even if struggled a bit last year, as we didn’t get the settings quite right. With the bike working so well this year we will start in a good way, even on Friday. It is turning into a fight between the top three guys, and I think it will be that way to the end of the season.

It would be good to have a few more people up there at the front, however.”Kenan Sofuoglu, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR: “We had a good test and we have improved everything on the bike. I have to ride at the maximum to win the championship but I know I have the package to be world champion and I know I have the belief. Everything is very good now. I have a bike and suspension package to be ready at Brno.”Michele Pirro, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR: “We had a good test at Imola last week when we tried lots of things and worked on the electronics some more. It was very useful also for me to spend some time on the track because the Italian championship doesn’t go to Imola and it was only my second time there. I like Brno because it is smooth, the lines are smooth and it has not too many slow corners. It is a very important race for me, and we need to take a good result.”Gino Rea, Intermoto Czech Honda CBR600RR: “We tested at Brno and that wasn’t too bad; we got to try a few things that we would not normally get to use on a race weekend. We’re all feeling good for the race and it’s my team’s home event, so it should be a good one. We proved we can run up the front last time at Misano, so I am looking forward to getting back on track again.”Massimo Roccoli, Intermoto Czech Honda CBR600RR: “We tested at Brno last week and did the same times as we did in qualifying last year.

It was not so easy as it was a track day as well, so many riders were on the circuit, but it was very useful for us all. This will be my team’s home track and they will bring many guests, so everybody wants to have our best race yet here.”Miguel Praia, Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR: “I am pretty motivated after the race at Misano and our bikes will be strong in Brno. I like the track and I am 100% fit. We need to keep pushing and make another step in Brno. I would like to try to go for a top five as that is something I have not done yet. I think given everything we have should look to that as a new target. We have already met one target of making top tens this year.”The following is from Ducati…The Ducati Xerox team gears up for Round 9 of the World Superbike Championship, taking place this weekend at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic.Eighth round Misano was extremely hard fought, as well as being the hottest event on the 2010 calendar so far, but Michel Fabrizio’s determination paid off when he reached the podium in Race 2 (third), having just missing out on a top three finish in race 1 (fourth). Noriyuki, starting from further down the grid, finished the races in seventh and ninth position, consolidating fifth place in the overall championship standings.


Straight after the Misano round, the factory team moved on to an equally hot Imola to participate in the official tests scheduled by championship organisers Infront Motor Sports at the “Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari”. During the two day session Noriyuki and Michel concentrated mainly on tyre testing, with Pirelli bringing various new compounds to the track, and by the close of play Michel had recorded the second fastest time overall, Noriyuki the fifth.Attention now turns to the upcoming Czech event. Brno was one of only two rounds in which Noriyuki failed to achieve a podium finish last season, mainly due to the fact that he was riding with a fractured scapula after a bad accident at Donington Park. In spite of his serious injuries, the Japanese rider rode two strong races and finished well inside the points zone in both. Michel, on the other hand, was fast in all the practice sessions but a costly mistake put paid to his chances in Race 1. He reached the podium in the second race but had hoped to do better at the track at which he has had most success in recent years. Both Ducati Xerox riders hope for a much better performance at the Czech circuit this season.Noriyuki Haga (5th in championship, 151 points)

Noriyuki has won only one race at Brno, back in 2005.”I like the Brno track and don’t really know why I haven’t done better. I have won a race there but that feels like a few years back now! Last year was especially hard work after the accident at Donington, I needed lots of painkillers in order to get through race day and all in all the results were not so bad; of course we want to do a lot better than that this year though.”Haga’s Superbike form at Brno:

2009: Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 – 6th

2008: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 7th

2007: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 4th

2006: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 3rd

2005: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – winnerMichel Fabrizio (8th in championship, 131 points)

Michel has scored six podiums over eight races at the Czech track but a race win has thus far eluded him.

“Traditionally I’ve done well at Brno in recent years but, although I’ve had a lot of podium success, I haven’t ever won a Superbike race there. I was happy to be back on the podium at Misano just recently but I really had to fight tooth and nail to get there; the competition won’t be any easier to beat at Brno, but I’m feeling confident that I can do well.”Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Brno:

2009: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 3rd

2008: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd

2007: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 3rd

2006: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd

The following is from Suzuki…

Team Suzuki Alstare riders Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli are looking forward to Brno and hoping to go into the summer break on a high. The 5.403 kilometre circuit is a favourite amongst riders due to its flowing nature and elevation variations but, as usual, a good set-up is necessary for a fast lap.It has been a busy time for the riders recently, particularly Leon, who managed to fit a visit to the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, but he and Sylvain will be chasing podiums at the Czech Republic circuit.Leon

I like Brno circuit because it has a bit of everything really. There are a lot of ups and downs and it is a challenging track to ride and one that requires a good bike set-up. Max (Biaggi) is obviously the rider to beat at the moment because he and his bike are working really well together. But, I’m going to fight all the way this weekend and hopefully claw back some of the points.

It has been very hectic recently because after the San Marino race, we had a two day test in Imola and then the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unfortunately I had a couple of get-offs at Imola and bashed a delicate area of my body, but it will not affect me on the bike. I’m fit and ready to battle Brno and Max and want to start my summer holiday with some more podiums.Sylvain

Fortunately I have been to Brno before, so at least I will not have to start the weekend wondering which way the track goes! It’s a good track and I enjoy racing there and am hoping to be on the pace right from the of practice and be in a good position come raceday. Recently, I feel I have begun to have a better understanding of what World Superbikes is all about and how strong you have to be right from the first moments of day one.

This is a tough old series and very competitive, so you really cannot hang about at all. The racing is hard and a real battle and I like that a lot. After Brno, we have quite a break, so my goal is to get two very good results this weekend and then enjoy my holiday.The following is from InFront Sports…The HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship enters its ninth round this coming weekend, at another firm favourite for riders and fans alike, Brno, in the Czech Republic. A modern era circuit with its roots very firmly in the heritage of the old road courses that have hosted races in this area since the early decades of the previous century, Brno is a classic of its type, with wide chicanes that are still attacked with pace, plus uphill and downhill sections that are a real test of engine power and front end set-up.After winning another two races at the previous round, the experienced Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) now has eight race victories in 2010, and a 37-point championship lead over Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare). Haslam enters the Brno round determined to peg back Biaggi, but the fact that Brno is Biaggi’s favourite circuit of all, where he won a race on his Aprilia RSV4 last year, may hamper Haslam’s ambitions. But Haslam has been a revelation this year too, which leaves a fascinating battle of nerves all ready to be played out for the benefit of the fans this coming weekend. Like many of their peers, both official Aprilia and Suzuki teams left the previous round of Misano and went directly to Imola for a two-day test.Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) will be ready to go for more wins and podiums on his well-supported 1098 machine, while his team-mate Shane Byrne will be out to overcome the effects of a nasty left hand laceration suffered at the Misano tests. Checa still leads the factory Ducati Xerox duo of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, but for Michel in particular, Brno is his ideal venue, one he has enjoyed success at both as a privateer and a factory rider. He scored his first ever podiums in WSBK at Brno, and has scored at least one top three finish there every year since 2006. Curiously, he has never quite taken a win at Brno, however.

Brno should be a new track for some riders, but for others it is a well-known venue. Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) has been a rider on the rise this year, and at Brno he has also a strong record, with three of his previous 33 race wins coming in the Czech Republic. His team-mate Ruben Xaus is out to eradicate bad memories of a femur fracture he suffered in 2009 at the base of the uphill section.For local riders the sight of Jakub Smrz racing gladdens the heart at any time and for the Pata B&G team rider a last minute swap to Aprilia RSV4 machinery may well bring him back into the upper echelons of the results sheets. In the official Aprilia team Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) will be out, with the second works Suzuki coming from Sylvain Guintoli (Alstare Suzuki).With seven manufacturers on the grid in 2010, the talent pool is deep and wide, and in the Honda camp Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) is still the man most likely to post the strongest results, despite his team-mate Max Neukirchner and privateer Broc Parkes (ECHO CRS Honda) finding improvements to their respective set-ups during the Imola tests.Yamaha Sterilgarda duo James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow are looking for a step-up in pace to allow them to compete for wins in 2010, a season in which everything has moved forward several steps compared to even 2009. Each is capable and if they qualify well, can be in with a chance on raceday.One squad particularly pleased to have tested at Imola last week is the official Kawasaki Racing Team, and at the Italian venue Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen each found a way forward with machine set-up, leaving them more confident of better finishes as the season wears on.The impressive Luca Scassa (Supersonic) and experienced Lorenzo Lanzi (DFX Ducati) will be two more privateers competing at Brno and the pairing of Roger Lee Hayden and Matteo Baiocco will be looking for their best performances of the year on their Pedercini Kawasakis.

Points (after 8 rounds of 13): 1. Biaggi 307; 2. Haslam 270; 3. Checa 172; 4. Rea 158; 5. Haga 151; 6. Corser 149; 7. Toseland 138; 8. Fabrizio 131; 9. Camier 130 70; 10. Crutchlow 120. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 313; 2. Suzuki 283; 3. Ducati 250; 4. Yamaha 177; 5. Honda 169; 6. BMW 152; 7. Kawasaki 47SUPERSPORT: The championship lead changed hands at Misano as Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) won and Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) scored second, but there are only three points in it. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki is only 13 points off a share of the lead with five rounds remaining, including Brno. All of the top three have won races so far, Laverty five, Sofuoglu two and Lascorz a single. ParkinGO Triumph BE-1 rider Chaz Davies sits fourth, 33 points up and away from his team-mate David Salom. Davies is 36 away from both Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Honda) and Michele Pirro, Sofuoglu’s team-mate. This will be a home race for the Intermoto Czech Honda team that fields Gino Rea and Massimo Roccoli, and they will also have one of a total of eight one event riders swelling the ranks of this division this weekend, Czech rider Tomas Holubec.

Points (after 8 rounds of 13): 1. Laverty 161; 2. Sofuoglu 158; 3. Lascorz 148; 4. Davies 97; 5. Salom 64; 6.Harms 61; 7. Pirro 58; 8. Rea 54; Manufacturers: 1. Honda 195; 2. Kawasaki 148; 3. Triumph 107; 4. Yamaha 11

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