Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racers Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes are looking to reignite their championship challenges on their respective Yoshimura-powered GSX-R machines this weekend as they prepare to visit the iconic Imola circuit in Italy.
Barring a DNF on Laverty’s last visit to the Italian track, the Irishman has finished in the top six for his previous eight races here, standing on the podium on three occasions both in World Supersport and during last year’s Superbike seventh round battle. Lowes, although still in his first full season in the World Championship, is no stranger to the circuit having raced here in 2009 during his Superstock 1000 career.
The 4,936m Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari has been a dominant feature across both motorsport and global news in the past week. The 20th anniversary of the passing of Roland Ratzenberger and three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna saw Imola the centre of attention, and a week after the four-day commemorations at the historic circuit, the eni FIM Superbike World Championship travels to the venue. Thoroughly renovated for safety over the past decade, the anti-clock wise, high-speed circuit comprises 22 corners - 13 left and 9 right-handers - with the main straight allowing speeds of up to 290 km/h before braking for Tamburello and the rollercoaster of turns and undulations that form the breath-taking lap.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will begin its Italian campaign with two 45-minute free practice sessions on Friday 9th May, the first of which taking to the track at 11:45hrs local time (10:45BST). The team is also planning to remain in the paddock for an official championship test day, following the weekend’s activities, on Monday 12th May.
"Race day in Assen was perhaps the worst day of my career but it's important to move on and focus on the next round. We made a big step with our Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R from Round Two to Round Three so I'm confident that with a bit of luck we'll be fighting for the podium this weekend in Imola. Unfortunately we've slipped down the order in the championship following a double non-score in Assen so we've got some catching up to do, but I’m looking forward to the challenge."
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend after the podium last time out. I’m enjoying the Suzuki GSX-R, I feel like I am finding my feet in the series and I think Imola will suit us well. Italy is always a great place to race and I can’t wait to get out there on Friday and start working hard to achieve the best results possible!”