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Sep 21, 2011

Updated: More Previews Of The Upcoming World Superbike, Supersport Races At Imola

James Ellison (77).
Davies one step closer to the title in World Supersport

Rome (Italy), Wednesday 21 September 2011 With three rounds remaining before the end of the 2011 season, the upcoming Imola races could prove to be crucial for the outcome of the titles in the categories that form part of the World Superbike event programme.

World Supersport

Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) is the man to watch in Supersport and is closest to winning a title this weekend. Barring any misfortunes, a lead of 59 points, with 75 still up for grabs, should give the British rider a big enough safety margin to become World Supersport champion. Davies, who has taken five wins in nine races, is intent on continuing the run of success that has taken him to the top for Giuliano Rovelli's team in this season.

Davies's task won't be made any easier by the fact that all of this year's top contenders will be out to make their mark as well, including Spain's David Salom (Kawasaki and Frenchman Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), second and third in the table. The last couple of races have also seen terrific form from the British contingent of Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) and James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda).

The Nurburgring race saw the return of Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) to the leading group, while Imola will also offer a chance to shine for Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) and Roberto Tamburini (Bike Service R.T. Yamaha).

Points (after 9 of 12 rounds): 1. Davies 171; 2. Salom 112; 3. Foret 111; 4. Parkes 104; 5. Scassa 96; 6. Lowes 89; 7. Rea 62; 8. Ellison 62; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 201; 2. Honda 169; 3. Kawasaki 145; 4. Triumph 24.

Superstock 1000

The win at the Nurburgring gave Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) a chance to increase his lead in the table over Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) who is now really the only man who can challenge his fellow Italian in the fight for the FIM Cup title.

An outside chance still remains for the other riders but Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati), Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) and Niccolò Canepa (Lazio MotorSport Ducati) are all at least 46 points behind, a gap that will be difficult to make up on the track.

With Superstock 1000 rapidly becoming an all-Italian affair, the other riders to watch on home ground will be Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati), Andrea Antonelli (Lorini Honda), Fabio Massei (Piellemoto BMW) and Marco Bussolotti (Pedercini Kawasaki), with Kawasaki men Bryan Staring (Pedercini) and Sheridan Morais (Lorenzini by Leoni) the foreign contenders.

Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Giugliano 140; 2. Zanetti 117: 3. Petrucci 94; 4. Barrier 85; 5. Canepa 80; 6. Baroni 57; 7. Antonelli 53; 8. Reiterberger 52; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 165; 2. BMW 142; 3. Kawasaki 66; 4. Honda 61; 5. Yamaha 16.

Superstock 600

The situation is almost entirely the opposite in Superstock 600, which has been dominated so far by Dutch, French, Australian and American youngsters. The only man to score two victories in the seven races is Michael van der Mark (Ten Kate Junior Honda) but he lies only fifth in the table such is the competitive nature of the series.

With a true winner probably emerging only at the final curve of the final round, Australian Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) currently enjoys top billing, but he is under attack from Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha) and American Joshua Day (Racedays Kawasaki) while Italian Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) could have the home advantage at Imola.

Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Metcher 101; 2. Lanusse 94; 3. Day 77; 4. Lombardi 77; 5. Vd Mark 76; 6. Duwelz 67; 7. Russo 63; 8. Egea 39; etc.

The weekend's programme will be completed with a return match for the Moriwaki 250 Trophy runners, following the first race held at Assen during the Dutch World Superbike Round. On that occasion Andrea Locatelli easily took the win from his compatriots and it will be difficult to see the Dutchmen taking revenge at Imola.

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

BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's James Ellison will be aiming high during this weekend's round 10 of the World Supersport Championship at Imola in Italy after his superb podium finish at the Nurburgring in Germany a fortnight ago.

His Polish teammate, Pawel Szkopek, back to full fitness after his crash at the Nurburgring, is also looking for a strong result on an Italian circuit he knows well having made his World Superbike debut there in 2004. The 10th race of the 12 round season starts on Sunday on 13:30CET.

James Ellison: "I love Imola. The last time I was there it was in 2003 and it's a fun track so I'm looking forward to going back there. We're leaving the bike exactly the same as in Germany. The last podium gave me a big boost and I'm really excited. The last few races were a bit difficult and I wasn't confident enough on the bike but things turned around in Germany and hopefully we can keep the momentum going."

Pawel Szkopek: "I'm fully fit and actually in a very good shape ahead of Imola and I can't wait to ride again on what's quite a special circuit for me. I won there in World Endurance back in 2003 and had my first World Superbike start a year later. I haven't been there for seven years but very little had changed since and what I like the most about Imola stayed the same; it's a very fast and flowing track, which suits my style, so I'm looking forward to a good weekend."

Simon Buckmaster: "James had a great result at the Nurburgring challenging Chaz Davies all the way for victory. After trying Sam's settings in the August break he has made a big step forward and we will be looking for him to challenge for the podium in the last three rounds of the series to end his season on a high. Pawel had another difficult race at the Nurburgring and crashed out near the end whilst 16th. He has the speed to be in the points all the time and needs to remain calm to obtain the results we all know he is capable of."

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

Nitro Nori Haga is ready to set Imola on fire. The PATA Racing Team rider is going to hit the italian track since friday showing himself on top after the last Nurburgring round, where during race 1 he's been able to hit the second podium of the season while he slipped in race 2. This weekend the biggest crowd is expected. The track is fitting the Japanese rider's features also seeing his third and second place he conquered last year. On top of that back in 2009, he gained a first and a second position. Imola's famous track is named after Enzo and Dino Ferrari and is 5 km long and Superbike is back there in 2009 after three season of absence.

Noriyuki Haga Aprilia RSV4R #41 "I''m going to do my best trying to be a protagonist. Overall I own that to my supporters. We got to keep on following our Nurburgring path where I finally went back at my standard-levels."

Marco Borciani team manager "We have great expectations for this weekend. Imola's a track with high chances for overtakings and it goes all at our advantage. We want to confirm ourselves after the good round in Nurburgring".

More, from a press release issued by Paul Bird Motorsport:

Sykes Looking To Repeat German Success

The iconic Imola circuit hosts the 11th round of the World Superbike Championship this weekend with Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team riders Joan Lascorz and recent Nurburgring race winner Tom Sykes ready for action once more.

Yorkshireman Sykes and Spaniard Lascorz will arrive following a positive recent test at the Misano circuit while third team member Chris Vermeulen will miss the [Imola] race as he is still not at full fitness.

Sykes was second fastest on race tyres and fastest of all on qualifiers at Misano so he arrives at Imola full of confidence following his and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R's maiden win at the Nurburgring last time out.

Sykes' impressive weekend in Germany has seen him move up to 11th in the overall rankings with Lascorz only a few points behind in 13th for the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport Team. Both riders have the final three rounds and six remaining points scoring races in which to lift themselves higher in the overall rankings.

Tom Sykes: "We had a great weekend in Germany and we could not have wished for anything else so massive thanks to all my crew and Kawasaki. To get that win under our belt was a fantastic feeling and we can build on that now. The test at Misano was positive so I am hoping to continue that at Imola for this weekend. Imola is a difficult track and hopefully we can be even stronger than last year and if that is the case we could well taste champagne again."

Joan Lascorz: "Our recent tests went well at Misano and we tried some new settings on the machine. They helped me in some areas of the chassis performance so I was happy with that. We will go to Imola to be more consistent and get a good grid position in Superpole. Imola can be a very good track for us but we will have to work well to make sure we get away with the leading riders so we can go for the best finish possible in each race."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "It doesn't get any better than winning and we hope to continue where we left off at Nurburgring. Both the team and the riders will be giving 100% as normal and it is our intention to finish the season in style. Imola should be a good track for us and after a positive test last week; I know confidence is high in the team."

The opening race gets underway on Sunday 25th September at 12.00 CET with race two at 15.30 CET and British viewers can catch the action live on British Eurosport.

For further information on the Kawasaki Racing Team visit

More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:


Imola (Italy), Wednesday 21st September 2011: the Althea Racing team heads to the historic Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari in Imola for this weekend's eleventh round of the World Superbike Championship, and the eighth round of the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup.

Three weeks ago at the Nurburgring in Germany, Carlos triumphed in race 1 before battling to stay upright in the heavy rain of race 2. He arrives at Ducati's home track with a 74 point lead over Melandri in second and a 96 point lead over Biaggi, third.

On his last trip to Imola late last season, Checa scored a fantastic double win on board the 1198, his only double of the 2010 season. Expectations are high as he returns this weekend.

Carlos Checa will share the garage with a team-mate this weekend, as Federico Sandi, riding with team Althea in the Italian national SBK championship this season, takes up the chance to wildcard at Imola.

Over in the STK 1000 category, Althea Racing's Davide Giugliano will fight to extend his 23 point championship lead, while his team-mate Ravenna-born Lorenzo Baroni will be looking to put in the performance of his season at his "home" track.

Carlos Checa
"This is a track that we know well and where we've had some good results, especially last year of course. We will need to see how the tyres behave on the new track surface that is the only unknown but I'm feeling very prepared for the weekend. We are looking to the championship of course but at the same time it's important to concentrate on each individual race, doing our best and always giving 100%. We're feeling confident."

Checa's Superbike form at Imola:
2010: Race 1- winner, Race 2 - winner
2009: Race 1 DNF, Race 2 10th

Federico Sandi
"I'm really happy to have the chance to ride at Imola this weekend and want to thank Genesio Bevilacqua for this opportunity. I hope to get on with the Pirelli tyres as I've never used them with this bike (we race with Michelin in the Italian championship). I will do my best to make two solid races and would like to close both within the points zone if at all possible. I have some experience at this track and I like the layout as it's a fairly complicated circuit. I can't wait to get out there and race!"