Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >   |   Win Cool Prizes: Take Our Reader Survey >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Sep 25, 2013

More Previews Of This Coming Weekend's World Superbike Event At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Aprilia World Superbike riders Eugene Laverty (58) and Sylvain Guintoli (50).



Noale – After Istanbul the next round will be the second one of the 2013 World Superbike season held at a first-time location, at least in terms of recent years. For the factory derivative bikes this will actually be a return since the California track hosted World Superbike every year from 1995 to 2004. Aprilia, the current Manufacturer Championship leader, has also already taken on Laguna Seca in its previous SBK adventure, taking a win in 2000 with Troy Corser.
The track's 3610 metres are well known to the fans for being quite spectacular, particularly at the Corkscrew, which has often set the scene for epic battles.

For the Aprilia riders the USA round is crucial. Both battling hard for the rider championship, Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty will need to set their sights on winning the three rounds left in the season. The French rider, lying second in the championship standings, finally got a taste of the podium again at Istanbul after the shoulder injury that affected the second part of his season. The final sprint doesn't promise to be an easy one for him, starting with this weekend on a track like Laguna Seca which is so physically demanding.

Sylvain Guintoli: “Istanbul was a difficult race day and my shoulder was in a very bad shape after the races. I gave everything and more and manage to get back on the podium, but to win the title I need better results. Laguna is a very physical track so I know I will suffer but, as they say here, no pain no gain!”.Sylvain Guintoli: “Quella di Istanbul è stata una tappa davvero difficile, dopo le gare la spalla era ridotta piuttosto male. Ho dato tutto me stesso, e forse di più, per tornare sul podio, ma so che se voglio vincere il titolo ho bisogno di risultati migliori. Laguna Seca è un tracciato che richiede una guida molto fisica quindi mi aspetto di dover stringere i denti ma, come si dice dalle mie parti, no pain no gain!”

The final stretch of the season for Eugene Laverty is off to a brilliant start. Coming from the double win at Istanbul, his first astride the Aprilia RSV4, the lad from Northern Ireland is in top condition for the final assault on the title. The 26 points that separate him from Sykes and the lead make this no simple matter, especially on a track that is completely new to Eugene. But without mincing his words, Laverty has his sights set on repeating the performance at Istanbul or, at the very least, making up points on his direct rivals for the final victory.

Eugene Laverty: “I've only ever seen Laguna Seca on television. It appears to be quite a technical track and it will be important to do my homework ahead of the race weekend. We're coming off the back of two very strong races in Istanbul and this gives me confidence going into the next round. A repeat performance of our double victory will be difficult but it won't stop us from trying! There are still four riders in the title fight so we're set for an exciting end to the season”.

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Superbike Team:

Pata Honda heads to California

The Pata Honda team and its current rider line-up of Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio are preparing for round 12 of the 2013 World Superbike championship this weekend (27-29 September) at Laguna Seca in the USA.

The 3.610km circuit is situated a couple of hours south of San Francisco near the Pacific coastal town of Monterey. While Laguna Seca has been a regular venue for the MotoGP world championship, it has not hosted a World Superbike round since 2004, when Australian rider Chris Vermeulen took both race wins on his Ten Kate-prepared Honda Fireblade.

In a specially-revised schedule for this American round, race one will be run on Saturday with race two going on Sunday, both at the local time of 14.00 (23.00 CET), with the Superpole sessions to determine final grid positions running on Saturday morning.

Of the two Pata Honda SBK riders, only Leon Haslam has raced at Laguna Seca before but both will be determined to fine-tune their Honda CBR1000RR machines for optimum performance over the weekend.

Leon Haslam

It was good to have a few days at home before the whole family set off for America on Monday. I’m really looking forward to going back to Laguna Seca where I raced once in 2004, my first year in World Superbikes. I remember it being an awesome place but my memories of the actual races are a little hazy. I know I broke my wrist in the second race, so that part of the weekend wasn’t so nice. What I do know is that Honda won both races with Chris Vermeulen, although the bikes were a bit different then – no electronics for a start. But that’s an area where we’ve made some progress lately and, although we had one or two other issues in Istanbul, we continued to make forward steps at that last round. The guys have got a good plan for the final three races of the season so I hope we can continue the progress at Laguna.

Michel Fabrizio

I’m still disappointed by the results that we were able to achieve at Istanbul because I think they could have been better. However, I am going to Laguna Seca with a big motivation. Although I have never raced at this circuit before I can hope for a good performance because of the experience that I was able to gain on the CBR in Turkey. I have been in contact with my crew chief, Chris Pike, and we have a clear idea about the direction we need to take in America so I am looking forward to riding at this iconic circuit.

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Motivated Sykes Heads To America For Round 12

WSBK, Laguna Seca, USA

Tom Sykes enters the Laguna Seca round of the Superbike World Championship in the USA with an eight point lead and a desire to go for more race wins to strengthen his position at the top of the table.

He will be joined in the USA by David Salom, who will ride as a replacement for the still-recovering regular KRT competitor Loris Baz, who fractured a vertebra at the tenth round of the year.

In a competitive yet rewarding 2013 season so far Sykes has ridden his official Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to six race wins, part of a total of 13 podium places. Along the way has also scored seven Superpole wins in qualifying and nine race fastest laps.

Last time out in Istanbul, Tom scored two podiums that extended his championship lead. His immediate plan in the USA is to shoot for race wins on his first visit to the iconic motorcycle race venue of Laguna Seca. Tom recently spent some time with Kawasaki in California during a promotional visit and is keen to get back to an area of the world he enjoys.

Supersport World Championship competitor Salom, like Sykes, is a new rider to the unique Laguna circuit and David will also be sampling the awesome official KRT Ninja ZX-10R for the first time. He was a privateer rider for the Kawasaki Team Pedercini squad last season. Salom missed some of the early part of the 2013 WSS season through injury to his right hand but he has been having successful treatment since his last WSS race in Turkey.

The weekend format in Laguna will be unique, with the first race on Saturday 28th September, following practice and Superpole, while race two takes place on Sunday 29th September. There are no regular WSS or Superstock classes at Laguna but there will be an extensive programme of AMA races.

The Laguna Seca circuit itself is an intense test for any rider and features the remarkable ‘Corkscrew’ downhill section - turns 8 and 8A - that in reality form a dramatic left/right chicane. Laguna was used as a Superbike World Championship venue many times until 2004.

SBK rider Federico Sandi (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) and Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) will be in the USA this weekend to try and score strong finishes in the points.

Tom Sykes: “I am feeling happy with how things are going. It was good to leave the previous round in Turkey with an extended championship lead but I wanted to do even better there. We lost a bit of time in practice to the weather and it was a circuit I had not raced at before. If there had been a third race that weekend I am very confident we could have improved the set-up of the bike and made another big step forward. On the back of those two podium results we are going to Laguna Seca now, which is another new circuit for me. It is considerably shorter than Istanbul was and I should have more track time than I had in Turkey. I am happy and confident in the package of the Ninja ZX-10R. We are heading into the final three rounds and it is amazing how quickly they tick by. I have heard that Laguna is a beautiful track and that it is quite tight and technical, a bit like some of the circuit layouts I experienced when riding in BSB. Only a couple of weeks ago I was in San Diego, California, which is not too far away from Laguna. I am looking forward to getting back out there because I enjoy America as a country. I hope to bring back some good memories from my first trip to Laguna Seca.”

David Salom: “This is a good opportunity for me to ride the official Kawasaki Superbike at Laguna Seca, although I am sure it will be a difficult challenge. The track will be new, this is the first time I have ridden the KRT bike, so I have a lot to learn. My old hand injury is much better now because I have spent a lot of time recently with doctors and therapists. I have found more power and stamina in it and I think it is good to race. I am really looking forward to Laguna and will give my best to get good results.”

More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Countdown is on for Laguna Seca WSBK return

Rome (Italy) – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be back this weekend to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, for the twelfth round of the season. The last time the 3.601m spectacular and challenging Californian track hosted a round of the series was on July 10th 2004, with former WSBK regular Chris Vermeulen who stole the show by winning both races - onboard the Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR.

The US Round will feature a revised schedule compared to the usual two-race format on Sunday: Race 1 will be contested on Saturday afternoon (after the morning's Tissot-Superpole), while the second and final race of the weekend will take place the following day.

With the title chase being a 4-way battle, Championship contenders Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), second and fourth in the standings respectively, will try and take advantage of their track knowledge, having previously raced there in MotoGP.

Points leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) – having a "one-off " team mate in WSS regular David Salom, substitute rider in USA for Loris Baz - is eager to get to grips with the iconic "Corkscrew" corner, likewise Istanbul's double race winner Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), who managed to narrow the gap to the top from 40 to 26 points in the last event.

Blake Young will replace injured Leon Camier in the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team: the rider from Wisconsin is at his second-ever participation to a WSBK round - first one was in 2009 at Donington Park, with Alstare Suzuki.

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) is the only current WSBK rider who raced before at Laguna in a World Superbike event (2004). Michel Fabrizio and him are hoping for some good results for the Dutch team at the North-American venue.

New recruit for Team Red Devils Aprilia Toni Elias is looking for another strong performance, after the successful debut in WSBK during the last round, while Niccolò Canepa will step in for Carlos Checa to join Ayrton Badovini in the Team Ducati Alstare. Canepa already raced this year with the Belgian squad at Donington Park.

Local riders Roger Hayden – former WSBK rider with Team Pedercini Kawasaki (2010) - and Danny Eslick will be wildcards for the event, onboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Michael Jordan Motorsports Team. Moreover, Aussie Glenn Allerton (Next Gen Motorsports BMW) will be again on track as one-event participant, after the Season Opener at Phillip Island.

Standings (Round 11 of 14) : 1. Sykes 323; 2. Guintoli 315; 3. Laverty 297; 4. Melandri 290; 5. Davies 239; 6. Baz 180; 7. Rea 176; 8. Fabrizio 168; 9. Cluzel 141; 10. Giugliano 139; 11. Camier 114; 12. Badovini 107; 13. Neukirchner 84; 14. Checa 80; 15. Haslam 78; 16. Sandi 45; 17. Iannuzzo 25; 18. Elias 21; 19. Aitchison 20; 20. Clementi 18; 21. Canepa 11; 22. Lundh 10; 23. Lai 8; 24. Reiterberger 7; 25. Allerton 6; 26. Uprak 5; 27. Smrz 4; 28. Stauffer 4; 29. Ercelik 3; 30. Akiyoshi 2; 31. Haga 2. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 419; 2. Kawasaki 377; 3. BMW 354; 4. Honda 216; 5. Suzuki 193; 6. Ducati 144; 7. Yamaha 4.