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Sep 10, 2013

FIM Superbike World Championship: Melandri Has Won Two MotoGP Races At Intercity Istanbul Park

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Marco Melandri (33).
Turkey – Istanbul.

13th – 15th September 2013
11th of 14 race weekends

Munich/Milan. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is entering uncharted territory: this weekend (13th to 15th September), the FIM Superbike World Championship makes its debut in Turkey. The “Intercity Istanbul Park” will host the eleventh round of the 2013 season. As it is a new track in the calendar and there has been no pre-event testing on the circuit, this weekend’s schedule has been slightly changed in order to give the riders and teams more track time to get familiar with the layout. Friday’s first free practice will be extended to 90 instead of 45 minutes. The sessions on Saturday and Sunday will start one hour earlier than usual due to the time difference. Thus, for the audience in Europe the Superpole qualifying and the races will start at the usual times.

Although the Superbike World Championship is visiting Turkey for the first time, the two BMW factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) have raced there before with the MotoGP and the 250cc World Championship respectively. Marco especially has very fond memories of Istanbul as he won two of the three Turkish Grands Prix held at the venue. In 2005, he celebrated his first ever MotoGP victory at Istanbul, a success he repeated the following year.

In the Riders’ classification of the 2013 Superbike World Championship, Marco is currently third with 257 points and a gap of 30 points to the top. Chaz is fifth with 221 points. Together, Marco and Chaz have already claimed six victories and a total of 14 podium finishes on their BMW S 1000 RRs this year. The latest successes were celebrated at the previous round at the Nürburgring in Germany, where both of them finished on the podium in both races, with Chaz claiming one victory and one third place and Marco finishing second and third respectively. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is third with 321 points, 48 points off the lead.

Istanbul from the rider’s point of view:
Marco Melandri:
“I have very good memories of the Istanbul circuit. I raced there in MotoGP and I celebrated my first victory in that series in Istanbul against very strong competitors. I really like the track and I know it very well. This means that everybody will keep their attention on me. I hope that we will have a good race. For sure I want to achieve a strong result and make up the bad luck I had in the last races. The championship is still completely open and plenty of points are still available. I will keep on riding race by race with the clear target to win as much as possible and I am quite confident for the next rounds.”

Chaz Davies:
“I have raced at Istanbul before, although it was with a 250cc machine which is completely different to a 1000cc BMW Superbike. In addition, I expect that the conditions of the circuit have changed in the seven years since I was last there. But I have good memories of Istanbul, as I was quite fast there on a 250cc bike and I am sure it will be a good track for me now too. I will use the first 40 minutes of the opening session to get familiar with the track again. The results at Nürburgring are a real boost for the next races. We needed that and it was what we had the potential for already at Moscow and Silverstone, so it was nice to actually finish the job at Nürburgring. At this point of the season, the championship still isn’t impossible and to finish within the top 3 is more realistic now so it is nice to get these results at this important time of the year. My target for Istanbul is to repeat what we did at the Nürburgring.”

Istanbul from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The results from our home race at Nürburgring were really positive and they brought us closer and closer to the top of the rankings. We are now heading to the next round at Istanbul in a positive mood and feeling quite confident. The team in Munich and in Italy continues to work hard and is fully focused on the championship. Our target is to reach the best possible result this season.

“Our riders really like the Istanbul track. Marco came here for the first time when he was in MotoGP and won twice. Chaz raced here in the 250cc World Championship. It is a fantastic track and we are confident that we will achieve satisfying results. The next weeks will be tough. From Turkey we will leave for the US, where we will race at Laguna Seca. Then we will directly return to Europe for the French round at Magny-Cours. The team and the riders are ready for this challenging time and look forward to further strong results.”

Istanbul from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“After the successful weekend on BMW home soil we are now heading to a track which is brand new for World Superbikes. We are highly motivated and keen to consolidate what we have shown so far. As Istanbul is a new track for the series, the challenge is going to be more difficult but for sure also more interesting. The event preparation won’t be an easy task for our engineers especially in areas like the gearbox selection and the electronic dynamic strategies. As we don’t have data collected in the past, we will start our work based on the track layout data and will run a few simulations. We will try to make best use of the extra 45 minutes of free practice on Friday morning.

“The experience of our riders will help, as they have already raced there on GP machines. Marco has fantastic memories of the Turkish track, having won twice in MotoGP. The racetrack follows the undulating character of the landscape, offering a bit of everything: a section with one of the fastest turns where the riders reach over 260 km/h, but also a series of slow chicanes. It is quite wide and for sure it is very technical. The rider’s skill will play an important role. We are all excited to explore the new racetrack and the enchanting country of Turkey.”

Istanbul from Pirelli’s point of view:
The Superbike World Championship visits the “Intercity Istanbul Park” for the first time, for Pirelli however, this track is not completely unheard-of. The engineers of the Italian brand have already been there in 2011 with the Formula 1 paddock. The tyres will face a track surface known to be particularly smooth and highly aggressive on the tyres without the possibility of carrying out the tests in the days before the round. Pirelli has specifically designed two development solutions, one in an SC0 compound and the other in SC1. They have been made ??by Pirelli engineers in an attempt to improve the thermal and mechanical properties and the grip of the standard SC0 and SC1 tyres. The goal is to provide the riders with solutions for circuits featuring aggressive asphalt and usually characterized by relatively high temperatures.

For the front, the Superbike riders can choose between three slick solutions. One is the standard SC1 (R426) soft compound which has already featured in all rounds of 2013. The second solution is the standard SC2 (R982) of medium hardness, which has also been take to all rounds this year, is ideal for high ambient temperatures because it provides a solid tread strip. In addition, there will be the development SC2 R753 which is even more robust than the R982 and therefore more resistant to the aggressiveness of the asphalt. At the rear, there will be four development slick solutions, two of which have never been used before. The softer one will be the SC0 S1190, that speaking about compound hardness is positioned in the area of ??SC0 and offers a superior grip than the SC1 but also higher mechanical-thermal resistance than that of the standard SC0. Pirelli will also bring two development solutions in SC1 compounds: the S1258 with the purpose of improving the thermal-mechanical properties and the grip, and the S514. It uses the same compound of standard SC1 and the central section of the tyre is reinforced. It has been developed with a different structure and materials in order to keep operating temperatures particularly low. The last solution available to the riders is the R1301, a development SC2 in a hard compound, more robust and protected in case of low temperatures.

The “Intercity Istanbul Park” circuit is located on the Asian part of Istanbul, approximately 45 kilometres east of the city centre. The track was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke and was inaugurated in August 2005. From the beginning, major racing series visited the “Istanbul Park”. Formula One raced there from 2005 to 2011, the MotoGP held the “Turkish Grands Prix” there from 2005 to 2007. Two of the three MotoGP races were won by current BMW factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA). The track has also hosted other series like the Touring Car World Championship (WTCC), the DTM and the Le Mans Series. The FIM Superbike World Championship races at Istanbul for the first time this year.

The “Istanbul Park” is surrounded by forests and fields. The track follows the hilly landscape with several elevation changes. The layout, which is run anticlockwise, provides a combination of three straights and 14 different corners, from tight and slow chicanes to very fast sections. A real challenge is the famous Turn 8, an ultra-fast corner with no less than four apexes. It often is compared to the “Eau Rouge” at Belgian Spa-Francorchamps. This also goes for the back straight, which features an uphill kink in the middle – as the “Eau Rouge” does. The first corner is nicknamed the “Turkish Corkscrew”: this corner is a sharp downhill left-hander which is reminiscent of the famous “Corkscrew” at Laguna Seca (USA). In general, the circuit is very wide and has huge asphalt run-off areas. Over the years though, the surface has become quite bumpy.

The design of the modern two-story pit buildings refers to the region, featuring an oriental style. The main grandstand has a seating capacity of 25,000, with more seats available on natural ground stands and temporary stands along the racetrack.
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