Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Sep 10, 2013

Sykes Leads eni FIM Superbike World Championship Heading To Istanbul, Turkey

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Tom Sykes (66) in action.
Turkey-bound for World Superbike Round 11

Rome (Italy), Tuesday 10 September 2013 - The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be racing this weekend, for the first time ever, at the Intercity Istanbul Park. Located in the Asian side of the largest city in Turkey, the track is 5,340 m long, with 8 left handers, 6 right turns and runs in anticlockwise direction.

New leader after the German Round Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) is the only rider in the top-5 of the standings who hasn’t raced before on the Turkish track, meaning he has to fill the gap of knowledge during the weekend, while trying to find the best set-up for his ZX-10R. Main title contender Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who is only one point behind the Brit, is still recuperating from the shoulder injury that has been bothering him since the second half of July.

Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) is really looking forward to the eleventh round of the season, as the Italian won twice in MotoGP at Intercity Istanbul Park, in 2005 and 2006 (despite starting from fourteenth on the grid that year). Melandri has high expectations for the upcoming event and hopes to narrow the gap on top of riders standings. After the impressive performance in Germany, his team mate Chaz Davies aims to keep the momentum going in order to finish the season on a positive note.

Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) was on track early last week at Jerez for a two-day private test to keep developing his factory RSV4. Following the mixed emotions of race day at Nurburgring, the Toomebridge-born rider will be targeting two good race results to regain third place in the standings and keep his title hopes alive, despite the 40-point gap from Sykes.

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) are speeding up their recovery to be on track next weekend, after the heavy crashes suffered at the Nurburgring nine days ago.

Leon Haslam will be waving the Pata Honda Team flag high as team mate Jonathan Rea will not tackle the event, due to the consequences of the crash in Race 1 at the Ring. Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) are targeting some encouraging race results that would make up for the difficulties experienced so far this year.

Standings – provisional (round 10 of 14)*: 1. Sykes 287; 2. Guintoli 286; 3. Melandri 257; 4. Laverty 247; 5. Davies 221; 6. Baz 180; 7. Rea 176; 8. Fabrizio 156; 9. Cluzel 123; 10. Giugliano 121; 11. Camier 114; 12. Badovini 107; 13. Neukirchner 84; 14. Checa 80; 15. Haslam 63; 16. Sandi 36; 17. Iannuzzo 18; 18. Clementi 18; 19. Aitchison 15; 20. Canepa 11; 21. Lundh 10; 22. Lai 8; 23. Reiterberger 7; 24. Allerton 6; 25. Smrz 4; 26. Stauffer 4; 27. Akiyoshi 2; 28. Haga 2. Manufacturers 1. Aprilia 369; 2. Kawasaki 341; 3. BMW 321; 4. Honda 201; 5. Suzuki 175; 6. Ducati 144; 7. Yamaha 4.

* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes

World Supersport

The Turkish Round might very well be a crucial one for the World Supersport title. Leader in the standings Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha), who has – ironically - a 54-point advantage over Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), could be crowned Champion in his rival’s home round.

The crash in the Nurburgring race compromised dramatically the chances of title defence for Sofuoglu, while the 5th win for Lowes has put the Brit in the best possible situation to secure what would be the first WSS title of his career.

Many other Supersport protagonists are hoping to shine in Turkey, starting from Sofuoglu’s team mate Fabien Foret and Pata Honda duo of Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti. The Italian has raced three times at the Intercity Istanbul Park before, in the 125cc World Championship. New recruit for the PTR Honda Team, Danny Webb, unlike most of his WSS peers, already knows the track, having raced there in 2007, as well as Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki), who’s hoping to repeat the impressive performance of the last round, that resulted in his first ever podium finish in WSS.

Italian Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) is aiming to be back racing up front after a difficult part of the season, while Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) is still looking for his first top-3 score.

Standings (round 10 out of 13): 1. Lowes 185; 2. Sofuoglu 131; 3. Foret 121; 4. Vd Mark 91; 5. Zanetti 86; 6. Scassa 69; 7. Kennedy 64; 8. Antonelli 55; 9. Marino 53; 10. Coghlan 51; 11. Rolfo 51; 12. Leonov 48; 13. Russo 38; 14. Morais 36; 15. Iddon 29; 16. Baldolini 24; 17. Salom 19; 18. Ivanov 18; 19. De Rosa 18; 20. Roccoli 18; 21. Tamburini 17; 22. Marconi 17; 23. Richards 6; 24. Scholtz 6; 25. Talmacsi 4; 26. Menghi 3; 27. Linortner 2. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 200; 2. Yamaha 193; 3. Honda 126; 4. MV Agusta 61; 5. Suzuki 26; 6. Triumph 6.

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Team Althea Racing – Intercity Istanbul Park SBK preview

The eleventh round of the Superbike World Championship will take place over the weekend of September 13th- 14th – 15th at the Intercity Istanbul Park in Turkey. The Istanbul Racing Circuit is a motor sports race track in Akfirat village east of Istanbul. It was inaugurated on 21th August 2005 and is adjacent to the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, surrounded by forests and fields. The Istanbul Park racing circuit was one of only five circuits running anticlockwise in the Formula One Championship. The circuit is 5.338 km long and covers over 2,215 million square meters. The main grandstand has a seating capacity of 25,000 spectators. In addition, natural viewing points and temporary stands can provide a total capacity of over 155,000. The circuit and its facilities were designed by the well-known racetrack architect Hermann Tilke.

Circuit characteristics:
Circuit length: 5.338 km
Pole position: left
Corners: 14

Two weeks after the Nurburgring races, team Althea Racing moves on to Turkey for the eleventh round of the World Superbike championship. This will be a new event for the Superbikes and also for the majority of the riders, who will have the chance to race on the beautiful Istanbul track for the first time. The weekend’s programme has been modified to allow the riders to learn the layout and gain confidence on track. Friday’s practice has therefore been doubled in length from 45 to 90 minutes while Sunday’s races will each take place an hour ahead of the usual schedule. With no references and no data it won’t be easy for the riders and technicians to identify the right setting for the Turkish track but team Althea knows its Aprilia RSV4 very well by now and will surely understand how to adapt the bike to a track that many consider to be both spectacular and technical.

Davide Giugliano: “The Istanbul track will be a new experience for many of the Superbike riders, myself included. It will be important to work well with my team in order to quickly identify the best set-up for my RSV4. I’ve seen many film clips of the Turkish track and I’m trying to memorize the layout. I can’t wait for Friday when I can finally get out on track. The results at Nurburgring were fairly positive and we’ll try to continue to work in that same direction so as to do even better.”