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Jun 5, 2012

Previews Of This Coming Weekend's Superbike World Championship Event At Misano

Marco Melandri (33).
San Marino Misano.
Preview.

08th 10th June 2012
7th of 14 race weekends

Munich/Stephanskirchen. The winner's champagne sprayed after the victory in Salt Lake City (USA) has dried out and Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport has returned to Europe for the third Italian race of the season in Misano Adriatico on the Adriatic coast. This weekend (8th to 10th June) the "Misano World Circuit", also known as the "Marco Simoncelli Circuit" since November 2011, will host the seventh round of the 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship. The races will be held under the flag of the nearby republic of San Marino.

Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) has climbed to second place in the Riders' Championship following his victory and second place in Salt Lake City. He now has 142.5 points to his name, 18 less than leader Max Biaggi (ITA). Marco's team-mate Leon Haslam (GBR) is determined to rediscover his old form after a difficult weekend in the USA. He currently lies sixth on 103 points. Together, the pair has already scored 245.5 points for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport this season. In the Manufacturers' Championship, BMW is leader Ducati's (195.5) closest rival in second with 176 points. Only the best result from each race counts towards this championship.

Misano has played a great role in the history of the Bavarian team: in 2010 Troy Corser (AUS) claimed the team's first pole position and second podium finish in the Superbike World Championship. Local hero Marco, who lives in Ravenna, finished third there last year. Leon was also on course for the podium in the first race, before suffering a nasty crash. In race two he fought his way into the top five on his RR, despite having riding with a broken ankle.

Marco's helmet will bear a special design for his home race in Misano. After the weekend, the helmet will be auctioned and the profits will go to those affected by the serious earthquakes in the Modena region. The tremors could also be felt in Marco's home town of Ravenna. The thoughts of everyone at Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport are with those who have lost relatives or homes in the earthquakes.


Misano from the rider's point of view:

Marco Melandri:
"I am excited to go to Misano. It is the first time I will arrive in Italy after having won a race with BMW, so I expect many fans to turn out. I am definitely proud to come to Misano after what we have achieved in the last two rounds. I will have a lot of pressure on my shoulders, because there will be high expectations as everybody thinks that I can get a good result there too. But I like that. At the last three rounds, we had three completely different types of tracks and our RR worked well on all of them. Misano is another different track, so it is going to be interesting to see how competitive we can be there. And actually, it will be the first time this season that we will race in very hot conditions. The Misano circuit is nice, but it has many stop and go corners. As such, it is going to be much more important to have a good position on the starting grid than it was in Salt Lake City. We have to be very focused on producing a good performance in qualifying.

My thoughts are with all the people who were affected by the earthquake. We could feel it quite strongly at my home, as the epicentre was not far from my house. In Misano I will use a special helmet and I want to sell it in an auction after the race to support the people who lost everything in these hard times. I am trying to do what I can to help a little."


Leon Haslam:
"I am looking forward to Misano and to making amends for the USA round. I really like the track and I can't wait to be fighting at the front again. Misano is a circuit I really enjoy and where our RR goes quite well. The characteristics of the track suit our bike. Already last year, two podium places were in reach for us. However, I had a really bad crash when I was in a podium position in race one. In race two I finished inside the top five despite a broken ankle.

After the earthquakes in Italy, my thoughts are with the people in the region around Modena, who are going through a difficult time. Italy is a second home for me, as me and my family spend a lot of time there."


Misano from a technical point of view:

Andrea Dosoli (Head of Race Operations):
"After claiming our second win in two events, the whole team is very motivated ahead of the third race in Italy this season. Misano is a track that seems easy, but it's a tricky one. It is technically demanding, with fast bends like 'Curvone', as well as slow and tight corners, some of them demanding hard braking. In addition, the grip might not be ideal. It needs a big effort from the team and the riders to find the proper setting for the chassis, gearing and engine management. Considering the performances BMW has shown here in the past including the pole position and the podium with Troy Corser and the fact that our RR has been well suited to all the different tracks we've raced on so far, we're looking forward to this event.

Marco and his crew are very motivated and extremely concentrated. So I'm confident that he will back up the form he has shown so far. He will get extra support from the Italian fans. Leon will forget the difficulties he experienced in Miller and be back to the level seen in Donington. I'm sure that, with the support of all his crew and everyone at Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport, he will be able to challenge the top guys again."


Misano from Pirelli's point of view:

For the home race in the Republic of San Marino, hosted by the "Misano World Circuit", Pirelli will bring a total of 12 solutions for the World Superbike Championship riders, including three for the front and five for the rear slicks, in addition to the usual intermediate and rain solutions and the Superpole qualifier tyre. On the front the riders will find the SC1 P1280, which they had the opportunity to test at Imola and use in the race at Donington: so this tyre, a development of the SC1 that provides better grip, will also be tested in hotter weather conditions after the excellent job it did in the low English temperatures. To complete the range of solutions available for the front, the 2012 standard SC1 and SC2 tyres will also be there.

For the rear, on the other hand, there will be an impressive five alternatives, starting with the two SC0 (P1126) and SC1 (P1170) compound solutions with a profile oversized to 200 that had we also took with us to Phillip Island and Monza: in fact, just last year these two solutions were tested on the Misano Adriatico circuit and this is why Pirelli has decided to bring them here as well, in order to see how they perform in a race. Two new solutions will accompany this one: the first is the R548, a development of the SC0, whereas the second is the R549, an evolution of the very sturdy SC1, backed up by a mechanical stress study of the materials. The fifth solutions the riders will be able to choose is the 2012 standard SC1.

The Misano track is characterised by various braking zones and low angle leans into curves, so the objective of the solutions offered is to provide more confidence in the rear. All of the solutions for the rear lean toward the soft end. This is because, for Pirelli, Misano opens up the development platform for soft tyres suited to warmer temperatures. This development will continue with the Aragon and Brno rounds.


Background:

Misano Adriatico is a popular Italian seaside resort, located just a few kilometres south of Rimini on the Adriatic coast. The town, with a population of 12,000, attracts many visitors thanks to its long beaches, restaurants and many entertainment facilities. A trip to the nearby city state of San Marino is a must for tourists. The Misano round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, which has featured on the race calendar since 1991, is held under the flag of San Marino.

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport celebrated its first pole position in this series in Misano, courtesy of Troy Corser in 2010. Troy's lap time of 1:35.001 minutes, set during the Superpole Qualification, remains the fastest time ever clocked by a superbike on the current layout. The MotoGP World Championship is also a regular visitor to Misano, where it stages its San Marino Grand Prix.

The circuit was opened in the hinterland around Misano Adriatico in 1972 and was originally known as the "Autodromo di Santamonica", before being renamed the "Misano World Circuit". Following the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli at the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix, the decision was taken to name the circuit the "Marco Simoncelli Circuit". The popular Italian MotoGP rider lived just a few kilometres away in Cattolica.
The circuit was originally 3.488 kilometres long, but has now been extended to 4.226 kilometres following several modifications. In 1993 a new pit lane building was added, which was then extended in 1996/97. A further modification took place in the winter of 2006/2007, during which the circuit was given a complete overhaul and the direction of travel was also changed. Since then, races in Misano are held in a clockwise direction. This allows wider run-off zones to be used.

Misano is a modern and very technical track. It offers a combination of fast sections and many chicanes. The circuit is physically very tiring, as even on the back straight the riders only have a bout four seconds to recover a little. The rest of the track is a mixture of corners with a diverse range of radiuses. As hot temperatures are also to be reckoned with in the summer, the rider's fitness plays an important role here. The back straight is one of the key points on the circuit. Here, the drivers arrive at high speed at the quick "Curvone" corner, in which they must find the perfect racing line whilst in fifth gear and travelling at over 220 km/h. The chicanes throw up another big challenge and demand good steering response from the bike. There are a few interesting braking points, some of which are located deep in the corner. Generally speaking, the layout of the circuit requires good acceleration.




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Round Seven Marks Halfway Point For KRT Duo

WSBK, Misano Adriatico, Republic of San Marino, 5 June 2012

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and his new team-mate Loris Baz will reach the halfway point of the SBK season when they complete the forthcoming race weekend at the popular Misano circuit.

Sykes' immediate hopes for the Adriatic coastal circuit race are to add to his impressive performances on the official Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R and then have an even better second half of the 14-round season than the positive first half he has already enjoyed.

In 2012 so far Sykes has scored a race win at Monza, taken six podiums in total and secured four Superpole wins, but hopes for an even better second half of the season after the San Marino round of the championship is completed at Misano.

The official Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SBK machine is an even more refined and sharpened device in 2012 than it was in 2011 and its capabilities have lifted Sykes to third in the championship table. He is, in fact, tied for points with second place rider Marco Melandri and they are each only 18 points away from championship leader Max Biaggi.

For relatively recent inductee to the KRT squad Loris Baz, who has replaced the injured Joan Lascorz, Misano is a circuit he knows well. He has not ridden his Ninja ZX-10R at the circuit near the Adriatic coast, however, but since he joined the team at Donington he has adopted a mature approach to riding in an official Kawasaki SBK racing team, learning his way step-by-step.

So far Baz has scored in three of his four individual SBK races and his goals for Misano include getting into Superpole qualifying and then scoring points in each race.

In the Kawasaki Team Pedercini squad Leandro Mercado and David Salom are both set to race at the third of three Italian based rounds for the locally based team.

Tom Sykes: "It has been all good since I got back from America on Friday, just getting up a bit early in the mornings because of the time difference, but I am getting there. I feel nice and relaxed. I am very much looking forward to Misano and I think it is a circuit that should suit us a little bit more than Miller. After America I was disappointed because we gave away some points to some of our closest competitors, so I hope in Misano we can get a little bit better race package and be able to fight a bit. There is no reason whey we cannot do that. The SBK spec Kawasaki has come a long, long way this year and there is no reason why we cannot make one more step. Miller was an exception in terms of our results, as we have been consistent for most of this year. We have to get it in perspective because in race two in America we were only nine seconds from the win. My crew told me that because we had a red flag in race two and changed the set-up of the bike before the restart, they learned a lot of good information from that. We are still well inside the top three and I think we have been doing quite a good job."

Loris Baz: "I have been riding at Misano many times, not last year but many years before then, so I know the track and I think it can be good. I think the track will be a bit more difficult than Donington or Miller for me, because my problems are in the slow corners at the moment and there are a lot of slow corners at Misano. I think I can learn where I am good and not so good there so I am still confident for the weekend. I hope I can get into Superpole for the first time and then if I can score again in both races I will be very happy. It would be good to have three dry days to get to know the bike properly at this track. Everyone is really professional in the team and knows their work. It is an official team so it is good to work with them. I have a lot of things to learn but we have been going better session-by-session. After Misano we have a test in Aragon, so hopefully after that we can make a good step."




More, from another press release issued by Kawasaki:

Positive Results The Goal For WSS Pairing

WSS, Misano Adriatico, Republic of San Marino, 5 June 2012

Kenan Sofuoglu and Sheridan Morais are both keen to get back into action as the WSS class did not take part in the recent Miller race weekend, with each looking to leave Misano with a big points haul.

The performances of Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini rider Sofuoglu have been so strong in 2012 that even after suffering a potentially nasty knee injury and losing points at Imola as a result he is the class leader after five of 13 rounds. Should Kenan win at Misano it will be his first victory at the San Marino round, and will extend his current championship lead of five points.

Misano was where Morais rode the official Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R for the first time so he in particular is looking forward to the familiarity of this track in what is his first full WSS season. He is looking for his first podium finish of the year and he is currently eighth in the championship.

Class WSS act Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step Racing) has had some misfortune recently but he is already a race winner on his supported Ninja ZX-6R, having taken the prize at Imola in April. Fabien is fourth in the rankings now, 26 points behind Sofuoglu. He is once more joined by his young team-mate Romain Lanusse, who is in 23rd place in the rankings. Romain has scored points in two races out of five so far.

Kenan Sofuoglu: "I have been training at home in Turkey and it has been very good preparation for Misano because it has been hot, around 33 degrees, and Misano is also usually hot. I have done so many laps of my training track, so it is looking good now. Also in the championship I am in first position and obviously I want to keep that in Misano. My previous knee injury is feeling really good now and I am hoping to take away a positive result from the San Marino round. This will be the first time for me racing at Misano on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R but I think the base of the bike is strong and I think I can earn a good result. On Friday we will try out our bike set-up and gearbox settings. If we have a good package early in the practice sessions we will have a real chance in the race again."

Sheridan Morais: "I just got back from home in South Africa and I'm feeling very fit. At Donington, last time out, I was still bashed up a bit after my crash at the previous round but I am back into the swing of things. I cannot wait for Misano because I did a two day test there on the Ninja ZX-6R last year, which was the first time I rode the bike. I like the track and know the layout and I am looking forward to race weekend now. There have been earthquakes in Italy recently and near my team base there have been cracked buildings and so on, but it seems to be improving now."




More, from a press release issued by Infront Motor Sports:

Biaggi and Melandri head the field at Misano

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 5 June 2012 The eni FIM Superbike World Championship comes to Italy for the third time this year at a crucial point in the season, with the San Marino Round at the Misano World Circuit the venue for what promises to be one of the hottest rounds of the year, and not just because of the encroaching summer weather. After six of 14 rounds the top of the table is an extremely hard-fought affair, with Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) in the lead since the opening round of the season, followed by Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in second, equal on points with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team). The top 5 (Biaggi, Melandri, Sykes, Rea and reigning champion Checa), on five different manufacturer machines (respectively Aprilia, BMW, Kawasaki, Honda and Ducati), are all within 30 points of each other, and with eight rounds and 16 races left, there are plenty of points on the board for the current situation to change dramatically every weekend.

Misano hosts World Superbike for the 21st time. The first edition dates back to 1991 when the wins went to Texan Doug Polen on a Ducati, the Italo-American pairing the combination to beat at the time. This year's edition will be the 304th round in 25 years of World Superbike, the 602nd and 603rd races in the history of the production-based racing series.

Points leader Biaggi's win in Australia has so far been his only victory, but the Italian has defended his lead with a sequence of solid results on his Aprilia RSV4; two years ago Biaggi's double win launched him on the path to his world title. With two wins at the last two circuits (Donington Park and Miller Motorsports Park) Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad) has rapidly caught up with his compatriot, and is now just 18 points behind. After giving BMW its first historic win, the man from Ravenna is now giving a couple of thoughts to the title, a target that just a short while ago appeared to be off-limits. BMW has a good record at Misano, where Troy Corser scored the German manufacturer's first pole position in 2010 and then finished third. In Superbike Melandri's experience is limited to last year's edition on a Yamaha, the Italian finishing second in race 1 and crashing out in race 2.

Equal on points with Melandri is British rider Sykes who came close to a podium here last year. The Japanese manufacturer had its last win at Misano way back in 1994 with American Scott Russell. The team's second rider continues to be the 19-year-old from France Loris Baz who has replaced the unfortunate Joan Lascorz, scoring encouraging results in the last two rounds.

The two previous rounds have also re-launched the title hopes of Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team), who is now just 19.5 points behind Biaggi. At Misano in 2009 Rea was virtually unbeatable but after this showing the young northern Irishman has not had much luck, missing the 2011 races due to an injury from a crash in the warm-up. The 2012-spec CBR1000RR has taken on a new lease of life and Rea has become one of the challengers for the title.

The top 5 is completed by 2011 champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 30 points behind Biaggi following two untimely crashes at Donington Park and Miller Motorsports Park. Misano will offer the Spaniard the chance to get back into contention, because Ducati has always gone well here, with 28 wins and 71 podiums in 40 races. Checa was untouchable last season, and he began his run-in to the title at the Adriatic Riviera circuit.

The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team is the only one unable to score the big win so far despite the team's big commitment and the talents of Leon Camier and John Hopkins. Misano is a special place for Hopkins who finished third behind Casey Stoner and Chris Vermeulen in the 2007 MotoGP race, again on a Suzuki.

Misano is an abrasive track on tyres and Pirelli, sole Superbike tyre supplier since 2004, has made a big effort by bringing a total of 12 solutions for teams, including three for the front and five for the rear slicks, in addition to the usual intermediate and rain solutions and the Superpole qualifying tyre.

At their home round, all eyes will also be on the Italians, in particular top rookie Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing), the 22-year-old from Rome and 2011 Superstock 1000 champion who has already stepped onto the podium with a second place in the Netherlands and who started from the front row in the previous Utah US Round. Misano could also prove to be positive for the BMW Italia pairing of Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini, while Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma Ducati) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Racing Aprilia) are both looking for their big breakthrough.

Points (after 6 rounds of 14): 1. Biaggi 160.5; 2. Melandri 142.5; 3. Sykes 142.5; 4. Rea 141; 5. Checa 130.5; 6. Haslam 103; 7. Guintoli 95; 8. Laverty 86; 9. Giugliano 64; 10. Smrz 61.5; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 195.5; 2. BMW 176; 3. Aprilia 171; 4. Kawasaki 148.5; 5. Honda 145; 6. Suzuki 48.5.


World Supersport

The World Supersport 'wild bunch' are back in action again with another chapter in the battle between Kawasaki and Honda; Turkey's Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) is on top with 81 points, and the Honda men, Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR) and Jules Cluzel (PTR) are right behind. Thirty-nine year-old Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) is not far off the top either, just 26 points behind his fellow Kawasaki runner.

Experience tends to favour Sofuoglu who in Supersport has already conquered two world titles and 18 race wins, but 22-year-old Lowes and 24-year-old Cluzel have both broken the victory ice this season and after a good start for the Turk they have now caught him up. Kenan is back to full form since his nasty early season crash during Imola testing, and can count on the Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini's specific experience at the track, which is close to its Mantova base.

Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) hopes finally to be in a position to kick-start his season, while Alex Baldolini (Power Team Team by Suriano Triumph) is sixth on 38 points. Massimo Roccoli, who scored his only World Supersport win here in 2006, will be one man to watch as he steps in for the injured Vladimir Leonov on the Yakhnich Yamaha.

Points (after 5 rounds of 13): 1. Sofuoglu 81; 2. Lowes 76; 3. Cluzel 64; 4. Foret 55; 5. Parkes 42; 6. Baldolini 38; 7. Quarmby 34; 8. Morais 27; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 111; 2. Kawasaki 106; 3. Triumph 51; 4. Yamaha 43; 5. Suzuki 6.


Superstock 1000

After a two-round break the Superstock 1000 category is back on the scene at Misano, with Romagna rider Lorenzo Savadori (Barni Racing Team Italia Ducati) leading the way; on his home track therefore Savadori will have a chance to increase his lead over Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet), who has slid down to second place, three points from the top, following his crash at Monza. The new Ducati Panigale machine is also going well in the hands of Eddi La Marra, third overall just five points behind his team-mate. Meanwhile the Kawasaki MRS team has replaced Loris Baz, who has been promoted to the official Superbike team, with his compatriot Jeremy Guarnoni.

Points (after 3 rounds of 10): 1. Savadori 53; 2. Barrier 50; 3. La Marra 48; 4. Reiterberger 35; 5. Baz 30; 6. Bergman 28; 7. Massei 23; 8. Baroni 20; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 61; 2. BMW 59; 3. Kawasaki 50; 4. Honda 23; 5 Aprilia 11.


Superstock 600

Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha) has ruled the European Superstock 600 roost so far this season in the championship reserved for the under-22s. The 19 year-old Italian has won two out of three rounds, but has been unable to outpace Dutchman Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team Honda), who is just seven points behind. Russo also leads the Italian championship and as a result is being watched closely by paddock insiders, as this entry-level category continues to produce interesting young talent.

Points (after 3 rounds of 10): 1. Russo 61; 2. Vd Mark 54; 3. Calero Perez 50; 4. Duwelz 42; 5. Chesaux 26; 6. Egea 24; 7. Vitali 20; 8. Schacht 18; etc.


KTM European Junior Cup

Talented youngsters get another bite of the cherry this year as the European Junior Cup comes into its own, this time on KTM machinery. The 14 to 19 year-olds are racing on identical 690 Duke bikes, with the overall winner getting a chance to move into Superstock at the end of the year and continue his or her career. The previous round at Monza was cancelled because of bad weather so the third round sees the youngsters virtually start from scratch, with Poland's Adrian Pasek leading the points thanks to his win at Assen.

Points (after 2 rounds of 8): 1. Pasek 25; 2. Hartog 20; 3. Wielebski 16; 4. Demoulin 13; 5. Patterson 11; 6. Lewis 10; etc.


Coppa dei due Paesi (Two-Nations Cup)

Misano will also be the venue for the first of three rounds of the Coppa dei due Paesi, the trophy reserved for Italian and Russian riders. Afterwards the Trophy will head to Brno (July 22) and Moscow (August 26). The 31 riders entered (with several wild-cards from different countries) will race on Superstock 600 machines. In 2011 the first edition of the Coppa dei Due Paesi was won by Russia's Vladimir Leonov who is now one of the protagonists of this year's Supersport World Championship.




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 07 SUNDAY JUNE 10 MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY
PREVIEW

OPTIMISM FOR REA AND AOYAMA AS MISANO APPROACHES

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) will be aiming for his
third win of the season on his CBR1000RR at the seventh round of the
2012 Superbike World Championship, to be held at the Misano Adriatico
circuit this coming weekend. Rea's two race wins and a further podium
finish have driven him up the rankings of late and he is now fourth
overall, only 19.5 points behind the leader Max Biaggi (Aprilia).

Misano is the site of Rea's first career Superbike race win, which
came while riding for Honda in 2009. Jonathan is currently on a total
of ten race wins, the most recent coming at Donington Park, with his
most recent podium arriving last time out in the USA. When the Misano
race weekend culminates seven of the 14 championship rounds will have
been completed, breaching the halfway point of a series that ends in
France in early October.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) is no stranger to Misano
after spending so many years racing in the GP paddock. In many ways
this may be the perfect place for him to start to rebuild after his
first experience of racing at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA
delivered him no points and a no-start in the re-run race two. In the
points standings Hiroshi is 16th, with 30.5 points.

The round after Misano will be at Motorland Aragon in Spain, but
before that the team will head to Assen for a test at the classic
circuit in the Netherlands, in order to continue the relentless pace
of development.

LOWES AND CLUZEL HEAD TO MISANO ON A HIGH

The 2012 FIM Supersport World Championship will continue with round
six taking place this coming weekend at Misano, not round seven as in
the Superbike class. The Supersport category was not on the calendar
at the recent Miller Motorsports Park round in the USA, as was the
plan at the start of the year, so recent Honda race winners Sam Lowes
(Bogdanka PTR Honda) and Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) have had almost a
month off to ready themselves for the San Marino round.

Lowes is both grateful to have had some time to allow his seriously
injured little finger to heal after a practice accident at the
previous Donington round, but also frustrated that he could not get
an earlier chance to keep his winning momentum going after his gritty
win. The English rider made his breakthrough first WSS career full
point score despite suffering illness and injury but hopes to be in
fine form for the Misano race. Sam is only five points from the
championship lead now, second overall.

Cluzel, also a race winner this season for Honda, at Monza in round
four, was pole man at Donington. A rookie in this class in 2012, but
a more experienced rider in the GP paddock in previous season, Cluzel
knows the Misano circuit well and is confident he can have another
good weekend and move even closer to the championship lead. He is
currently third, only 17 points from leading competitor Kenan
Sofuoglu (Kawasaki).

Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) is currently fifth in
the championship this year, but is looking forward to going for his
first podium since the opening round in Australia, and ideally his
first race win of the year. He was the victor at Misano last season,
when riding for a different manufacturer, so he knows his way around
the track near the Adriatic Sea as well as anyone in the field.

Honda riders fill half of the top ten places in the championship, and
the top seven at this point also features Imola podium rider, Ronan
Quarmby (PTR Honda) from South Africa. He is currently four points
from sixth place.

Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda) is 11th overall and also
permanently teamed with Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) after
the exit of one-time Lorini rider, Andrea Antonelli. Tamburini almost
took a podium at Imola, so is hoping for another front-running ride
to break into the top ten in the points. De Rosa is 26th currently,
having not started the season in this class.

Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) is another Honda rider with a best
of fourth so far, at Monza. His team-mate Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team
Toth Honda) started his season brightly, but has dropped away in
recent times, so he will be out to make more of an impact again at
Misano. Toth is 16th and Nemeth 20th. Valentine Debise (SMS Honda) is
currently 21st in the rankings, only one point behind Nemeth.

Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) and Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR
Honda) will be out to score points again, but Jessop is as yet unsure
if his recent injuries will allow him to compete properly at Misano.
He will go out with the intention of racing a full weekend in any case.

Polish rider Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR) returns to the fray
this weekend, after missing several races after seriously fracturing
his right leg at the Imola round.

Next round, for SBK and WSS classes, is at Motorland Aragon, Spain, on July 1

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
"The circuits we struggled at least year, the mean circuits, were
Donington, Miller and Misano and I have managed to step on the podium
of two of them now. I have got to be a little bit optimistic to be
honest, because the bike is in a good area now and we have not moved
too far away from the base setting that we have come to after the
season started. The atmosphere inside the team is good and the past
results over the last few races have given the boys some extra
motivation. While we know the bike is working well there are other
areas we need to work on. I am looking forward to getting back to
Misano because it is where I got my first Superbike win. The track,
the fans and countryside are amazing there, so I am just looking
forward to it."

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
"I know the racetrack at Misano, which is good for me. I have not
seen the weather prediction, but the weather is usually good in this
part of Italy at this time of year so I hope it is again. I am
looking forward to starting on Friday because unfortunately at the
last race I crashed at Miller and I could not end up in a good way.
This time I want to change my mind and start again from zero. I want
to build up a good feeling with the bike and the tyres and all other
things. Every time want to make a good result, but this time
especially, because of the not nice weekend in the United States."

Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
"It's been nice to have a couple of weeks off and recover after
Donington, which was a strong result. Misano was good to me last
year. I took my first World Supersport pole position there and got on
the podium in the race. It's a track that I like and it suits my
bike, so I'm really looking forward to it. My finger is a lot better.
It's not perfect, but it won't affect my riding. It's still a bit
dodgy but Clinica Mobile will sort me out and it will be good to go.
The championship is quite close and my aim for Misano, and for every
other race, is to get as many points as we can - but after the
victory at Donington Park I'd love to go out and do that again."

Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
"It has been a long time since we raced in WSS, too long, so I am
keen to get back to Misano and ride again. I did not have the chance
to test or ride on track since the last round at Donington, but I
have been keeping fit by running, riding my bicycle and also doing
some karting. I like Misano, and I have been there quite a few times,
but my favourite part is the three right hand corners on the fast
part. We have found rain quite a lot this year, so we will see how
the weather is - but it is usually really good at this time of year.
The action on track is as serious as at any other race, but the
ambience is a little like a holiday sometimes, because we are so
close to the seaside."

Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
"I've been doing heaps of cycling in the time we've had off since
Donington - more than usual, so I'm feeling pretty fit and I can't
wait to get back on the bike again this weekend at Misano. I'm hoping
I can be the sixth World Supersport winner this year because I won at
Misano last year and I've had some other good results there in the
past. I've been talking to the guys back at the workshop and I know
they've been working hard on engines and electronics. I'm hoping that
we can turn that into a podium this weekend and get our season started again."

Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
"At Donington we got a fair result in seventh as there were no DNFs
and some strong wild card riders. I have always struggled at Misano
in recent year, but definitely think with the PTR Honda and my
technicians we can get a good set up and have a strong result. If the
weather turns out the same as Monza then a podium is possible. If it
is dry then the top five is the target."

Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
"My collarbone is healing way ahead of any normal schedule thanks to
the specialist treatment I am getting. I will be riding at Misano,
but won't know how competitive I can be until I am on the bike. I
will leave as much resting time as possible before the event. I am
training on my bicycle to keep fit, but I do hate cycling. It will be
my first time at the circuit so I am getting a few Playstation laps
in right now."

Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
"I've been working very hard since Donington Park and training a lot
so I'm pretty confident we can have a good race at Misano. I never
raced there, but I've been watching a lot of videos and onboard
footage. The track looks really difficult to learn and technical, but
it has a fast part too at the end of the back straight, so I'm really
looking forward to going there and riding my Bogdanka PTR Honda.
After the last few races I'm looking for a strong weekend and some
championship points on Sunday."

Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR)
"After a long two months, I'm going to Misano ready to race again.
I'm still not a 100%, and will be visiting Clinica Mobile once I
arrive - but while I'm still using crutches while walking, this won't
affect me at all on a bike. I can't wait to ride again and while I'll
be taking it steady, I won't just ride around and I want to battle
for a point scoring position on Sunday."




More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR targets more podium success at Misano

PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel is looking to keep his recent run of podium finishes going when the sixth round of the World Supersport Championship visits Misano in Italy on June 10th.

Ronan Quarmby on his PTR Honda is excited by his prospects at a track that he has never gelled with before. The effervescent South African's enthusiasm and determination cannot be counted out and he has already shown he can get on the podium this year.

Riders PTR Honda's Martin Jessopp is recovering from a broken collarbone sustained at the North West 200 road race on 19th May and will be riding the track for the first time. There are practice and qualifying sessions on 8th-9th June before the race takes place at 1330 CET on 10th June.

Jules: "The last two races have been very good for me with a win and third place. I like Misano and want to keep up my podium challenge. I am still learning about my PTR Honda but it is now feeling more like my bike and we have a good understanding of what makes it work. I want to score more good points at Misano and will be doing my best."

Ronan: "At Donington we got a fair result in seventh as there were no DNFs and some strong wild card riders. I have always struggled at Misano in recent years but definitely think with the PTR Honda and my technicians we can get a good set up and have a strong result. If the weather turns out the same as Monza then a podium is possible. If it is dry then the top five is the target."

Martin: "My collarbone is healing way ahead of any normal schedule thanks to the specialist treatment I am getting. I will be riding at Misano but won't know how competitive I can be until I am on the bike. I will leave as much resting time as possible before the event. I am training on my bicycle to keep fit but I do hate cycling. It will be my first time at the circuit so I am getting a few Playstation laps in right now."

Simon Buckmaster, Team Manager: "Jules is now up to third in the Championship and on fantastic form. He knows Misano well from his time in GPs and we look forward to him challenging for the podium again. It was another good ride by Ronan at Donington and he is working well with his crew. He comes to Misano in a very positive frame of mind. Martin broke his collarbone but has had treatment and will be fit to ride and build on his promising start to the season."




More, from a press release issued by Bogdanka PTR Honda:

Lowes targets another podium

BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes heads to Misano in San Marino for the sixth round of the World Supersport Championship after his first victory at Donington Park. The Briton is second in the overall standings, just five points away from the lead, and targets another podium challenge.

His Bogdanka PTR Honda teammate, South African rookie Mathew Scholtz, is looking for a point scoring result on another new circuit having shown top ten potential and impressive speed over the last few races despite a couple of costly mistakes.

Misano will also see the return of Pawel Szkopek with the Polish Bogdanka Honda PTR rider now recovered from a right leg injury from Imola and aiming for a solid finish when the lights go off at 13:30CET on Sunday.

Sam Lowes: "It's been nice to have a couple of weeks off and recover after Donington, which was a strong result. Misano was good to me last year. I took my first World Supersport pole position there and got on the podium in the race. It's a track that I like and it suits my bike, so I'm really looking forward to it. My finger is a lot better. It's not perfect but it won't affect my riding. It's still a bit dodgy but Clinica Mobile will sort me out and it will be good to go. The championship is quite close and my aim for Misano, and for every other race, is to get as many points as we can but after the victory at Donington Park I'd love to go out and do that again."

Mathew Scholtz: "I've been working very hard since Donington Park and training a lot so I'm pretty confident we can have a good race at Misano. I never raced there, but I've been watching a lot of videos and onboard footage. The track looks really difficult to learn and technical but it has a fast part too at the end of the back straight, so I'm really looking forward to going there and riding my Bogdanka PTR Honda. After the last few races I'm looking for a strong weekend and some championship points on Sunday."

Pawel Szkopek: "After a long two months, I'm going to Misano ready to race again. I'm still not a 100%, and will be visiting Clinica Mobile once I arrive - but while I'm still using crutches while walking, this won't affect me at all on a bike. I can't wait to ride again and while I'll be taking it steady, I won't just ride around and I want to battle for a point scoring position on Sunday."

Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "It was fantastic to see Sam get his first win at Donington and he is second in the Championship. Winning has released a lot of pressure off Sam and we are confident he will be running at the front at Misano. Mathew continues to show impressive pace but unfortunately he crashed again at Donington and needs to keep his focus and the results will come."




More, from a press release issued by Effenbert Liberty Racing Team:

IN THE HEART OF PASSION

The WSBK Championship comes back in Italy for the third time, and it arrives in Misano, the engines capital of the Romagna Land, where passion, people cheer and the Ducati are, in the true sense of the word, master of the house. The Liberty Team will ride on friends corners, chasing with conviction a valuable result.

The Misano World Circuit, where it will be held the seventh round of the Superbike World Championship is not only the house of the Ducati, but also the most beloved theater by fans, the real ones, the ones in whose breast beats a desmodromic heart! The Romagna track, in fact, is very close to Borgo Panigale factory, and thanks to its shape fits well with the technical characteristics of the 1198R, Liberty team's bikes.

The team with Czech passport came back from America with only half-satisfaction, now is waiting for payback, by the sound of results, during the weekend of June 10th! The Stars and Stripes weekend, in fact, started well after the fantastic Smrž Superpole, but unluckily the Czech team suffered in both manches because of their Liberty riders didn't found the right feeling with the race tyres. It restarts from Misano to confirm all the good staff showed to date. The target is clear, qualify the Liberty twin-cylinder in the first positions and during the race to aim to the podium, and why not .. to the victory!

The overall standings after the race at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, suffered a setback, but the spirit and motivation of the Team are high and the desire for revenge is directly proportional to the talent of our riders. Revenge that has the flavour of the ransom for the last year. In 2011 in Misano it wasn't an exciting race day for the Liberty Team.

The Liberty riders in Race 1 were able to do a good start, and at the end of the first lap Smrž and Guintoli were fifth and seventh. Then the Czech trying to force the race pace, skidded and crashed down, Guintoli to avoid his team mate, lost some positions closing seventh under the checkered flag. In the second race, the French ended in seventh place, like in race 1, and Smrž crashed again.

The team in twelve months has grown both from technical and competitive point of view, increasing their shares in the dealing room of the production-based racing series. Smrž, Guintoli and Berger are excited to get on track. Now we have to collect those results for which the technical staff and the whole the Italian Czech crew worked 24 hours a day!


More info about The Misano Circuit

Misano is a historical track, which from about 30 years hosts MotoGp and Sbk races, and in the 2006 not only changed its name from Santa Monica International Circuit into World Circuit, but also the direction of travel (now clockwise), counting eight right-corners, among them the "curvone", and five on the left. In addition to the direction is also increased the length, now of 4180 meters with a width of less than fourteen meters. Misano's track is also ideal for "tifosi" thanks to the many grand standing and a large grass field. This 2012 edition will also launch the renewed dedication to Marco Simoncelli, the unlucky and much-loved rider of Romagna, died in 2011 at Sepang during the MotoGP race. The heroes of the Superbike will be the first riders of the world to pay homage to the Super Sic.