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Jul 28, 2011

The Final Round Of Previews Of This Coming Weekend's Races At Silverstone



British rider Alex Lowes and reigning IDM
champion Karl Muggeridge will represent the
official Castrol Honda Superbike World
Championship team at Silverstone this coming
weekend, after both team regulars Jonathan Rea
and Ruben Xaus were forced out by injury.

Lowes has already deputised for the Rea in the
Ten Kate operated team at the previous Brno
round, where he scored a point in race one, then
a DNF in race two. Alex had an opportunity to
test at Assen last week and put in almost 120
laps on day one before rain on day two reduced
the available track time, and therefore his final
lap count. Nevertheless, Lowes was delighted to
have the chance to get to know the full Castrol
Honda package better and now eagerly anticipates
getting back into race action at his home circuit.

Muggeridge, who was victorious in the Supersport
World Championship for the Ten Kate Honda team in
2004, and later became a Superbike rider for the
same team for two successive seasons. He is,
therefore, well-known to the current Ten Kate
outfit and is still active in the IDM
championship riding a Honda. He currently lies
second in the German Championship rankings after five rounds.

Jonathan Rea had been hoping against hope to be
fit to ride at his home race, but for Xaus
missing Silverstone was an even more unexpected
blow. Persistent pain in his back, despite an
initial all clear, drove him to seek further
medical attention. A fracture to his L3 vertebra
was diagnosed, but Ruben is expected to be back
in time for the tenth round of the championship, in Germany on September 4.

The 5.9Km long 'new' Silverstone track layout was
used for WSBK competition last season, with
Jonathan Rea taking his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
CBR1000RR to second place on two occasions. This
year the pits and paddock complex has been
relocated to a new home inside the Silverstone
'Wing' as the revitalisation of one of Britain's
most iconic racing venues reaches another level.

WSBK Rider Comments

Alex Lowes, Castrol Honda says: "I had a great
time at Brno, but it was all a massive learning
curve for me and the test at Assen last week was
the perfect chance to spend some more time on the
bike. I managed to pick up where I left off in
terms of adapting my style and racked up quite a
few laps. We changed a few things and got to test
some stuff to try to improve the feel of the bike
mid-corner. By the end of the second day it was
beginning to feel like my bike, so I was really
happy, and the last couple of runs were pretty
good. I think we did a decent job. Now I can
really look forward to Silverstone this weekend
I love the track and it'll be a home race for me,
so I'll work as hard as I can from Friday morning
and try to deliver two solid results for the
team. The latest Silverstone is a big improvement
on the old track we used in BSB racing. It has
some really nice fast corners and a more technical stadium section."

Karl Muggeridge, Castrol Honda says: "I was
actually on holiday with the family in Italy when
the call came through from Ronald (Ten Kate), but
I'm really happy to get this opportunity to join
the team again. I actually rode for the Castrol
Honda British Supersport team way back when, so
it's good to be back with that iconic racing name
again, too. The World Superbike paddock is a
place where I feel completely at home, but
there's definitely a big job ahead for the
weekend. I don't want to set any unrealistic
targets and I'm not going to Silverstone to
re-invent the wheel. I'll just aim to work hard
and ride strong all weekend and hopefully get a
couple of decent finishes in the races."

World Supersport Preview ROUND 8

British Riders To The Fore But Foret Plans Cross-Channel Plunder

Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) will have
to fight off several strong challenges from local
British riders at Silverstone to take his first
race win of the year. He was only 0.448 seconds
from victory at the previous round at Brno, but
it was his fellow Honda rider Gino Rea (Step
Racing Team Honda) who had the pleasure of taking
the first career WSS race win, and the first full
points score for a CBR600RR rider this year. Rea
is now eighth in the rankings and with many of
his early season issues with injury and niggling
technical points now seemingly solved, he is
looking to get further up the table this weekend.

Now third in the championship fight overall, on
the same score of 85 points as second place rider
Broc Parkes, Foret is the top ranked Honda rider
at present. The next nearest is Sam Lowes
(Parkalgar Honda) in sixth place. One of the
British brigade trying to score a home win at
Silverstone, Lowes is a British Supersport
Champion and is on a machine which has proved to
be podium capable from the outset of his first full season in this category.

Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Honda) was the
top ranked Honda rider for some time, but recent
bad luck (including a crash and breakdown at the
previous round in Brno) has placed him seventh,
after opening his 2011 score with three top five finishes in succession.

A rookie in 2011, Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten
Kate Honda) has shown flashes of potential, while
at the opposite end of the overall experience
spectrum, James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda), is
another rider who can justifiably dream of a
podium finish if things go to plan in practice
and qualifying. Ellison is 12th currently, Marino ninth.

Silverstone was a personal WSS career highlight
in 2010 for Portuguese competitor Miguel Praia
(Parkalgar Honda), a rider who is approaching the
latest British race in better shape than he has
been able to in some recent races. Thirteenth in
the rankings, Praia has to finish stronger than
eighth at Silverstone to record his best result of the year.

Polish rider Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
is 21st in the overall standings, with Alexander
Lundh (Cresto Guide Racing Team Honda) 16th and
Vladimir Ivanov (Step Racing Team Honda) 18th.
Imre Toth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) is 20th.

After Silverstone there is a month long break
until the next round for both Superbike and
Supersport classes, with action recommencing at the Nürburgring on September 4.

WSS Rider Comments

Fabien Foret says: "I am pretty happy to go to
Silverstone because it is my favourite track in
England and hopefully the weather will not be too
bad. We made a test at Assen to help us to make
the next half step up to the top of the podium. I
was expecting to do that in Brno, but because of
the red flag and a few other reasons I could not
get to the right place. I am going to focus on
having a good weekend, have fun and enjoy the
bike and try to do my best again. I have such a
good feeling on the bike now and I feel like I am
almost brand new. I feel even more sharp than at Brno so I am ready for it."

Sam Lowes says: "I just can't wait to get racing
and I feel really fit. I really enjoyed Donington
earlier this year and the huge amount of support
we received. I love Silverstone, I raced there
twice last year and won the race and British
Supersport Championship at the circuit, so it is
a good one for me. In my opinion this is the
first track all year that I can turn up at and be
on it right away. I just want to get there and be
on it and look for that first win."

Robbin Harms says: "We have built a new bike
because the last crash at Brno was pretty tough
and we built a new bike and a new chassis, which
means I am looking forward to Silverstone. The
spec is very much like the previous one, but
every time you build a new version you make
something new and maybe we can improve in some
places. I think the most recent Silverstone
layout is very good, especially because they used some parts of the old track."

Gino Rea says: "I am still smiling looking back
to our win at Brno and now I cannot wait to get
to Silverstone, especially if the good weather
continues here in the UK. I have great memories
of Silverstone last year because that is where I
got my first podium in this class in front of a
home crowd. Coming off the win I am going into
the next race injury free and full of positive thoughts. Let's get on with it!"

Florian Marino says: "We had a test at Assen and
we found quite a good base and good pace for
Silverstone. Brno was not too bad because I made
quite consistent lap times, closer to the guys in
front, and that was a big improvement on the
races before. Silverstone is one of my favourite
tracks. I feel better going to the race there
after the Assen test, having done 93 laps on the
first day and then 60 on the second, but it had started raining."

James Ellison: "Silverstone should be a good
track for us and it is a home round in Britain as
well. We are still working on the front-end set
up at the apex of the corners as right now I
cannot maintain the corner speed I want to. We
sometimes find a good setting and sometimes not.
We will go back and run the bike with standard
handlebars which is the way Eugene Laverty ran last year."

Miguel Praia says: "At Brno I was riding well and
happy about my pace, but I was not happy crashing
out when riding so well. I don't want that
happening again. I am looking forward to
Silverstone, I had my best ever race last year
and know the track pretty well. I am putting it
all together and want to make my best race ever. I am confident."

More, from a press release issued by Supersonic Racing Team:

This coming weekend we will have the ninth round of the World Superbike Championship on the Silverstone track.

The Silverstone circuit will host two SBK races and is located in England, not far from Northamptonshire. The track was build as a military airport and the first race of the Formula 1 world championship was held on the track (May 13, 1950) In 1975, the chicane was build to attempt the speed of the Woodcote corner and the Bridge curve was modified in 1987. In 1990 and 1991 important work was done to transform the Silverstone circuit, and become also a medium-slow track. In the 2010 season, the circuit was lengthened by 760 meters, while this year, the start grid has been moved from its original location between Woodcote and Copse curve, to Club and Abbey, including also a new pit lane and the new and refurbished paddock. Also available, a conference room (Wing Silverstone), new garage, a building for the race direction, a new media centre, new hospitality areas and a VIP area.

The Supersonic Team will arrive at Silverstone to confirm the good work done so far, but also to improve the results of the races that have never been as positive as those obtained in the tests. Danilo Soncini and his whole team will arrive very motivated in England and strong believes that they can achieve great results.

Maxime Berger: "I really like this track; I won last year in Superstock the second place just one second behind the winner. I hope that the climate is favourable, because I don't like racing in the rain, but even if it rains I will give my best as always. I am fine with my team and my Ducati and I only miss a bit of luck that gives me a great result in the race. In the tests we have already seen that very well and in the recent races we always entered into Superpole. I hope soon, to find the best settings for my 1198 to gain a good starting place on the grid and be able to fight for a result that can reward our sponsors, the team and myself."
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