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Jun 16, 2011

Updated: The Final Round Of Previews Of This Coming Weekend's Races At Motorland Aragon

Max Biaggi (1).
Motorland programme comes complete with Supersport and Superstock

Alcaniz (Spain) The new Motorland Aragon circuit this weekend will also be the venue for numerous hard-fought rematches as the Supersport, Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 championships get into full swing following their exciting races at Misano Adriatico.

World Supersport

After his exclusion from Misano, Italian rider Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) is back on the track in Spain, aiming to make up the 15 points gap between himself and Broc Parkes (Kawasaki The Australian, thanks to a superb win at Misano, his first in three years, has now moved into the lead of the table, overhauling both Scassa and his team-mate Chaz Davies. Spain's David Salom (Kawasaki will be appearing in front of his home crowd, while the Honda riders will also not want to lose track of their front-running rivals; in particular Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), after a second place at Misano that moved him two places up in the table to fourth, is just 29 points behind the leader.

Points (after 5 rounds of 12): 1. Parkes 85; 2. Davies 80; 3. Scassa 70; 4. Foret 56; 5. Salom 55; 6. Harms 51; 7. Lowes 43; 8. Marino 31; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 110; 2. Honda 88; 3. Kawasaki 85; 4. Triumph 14.

Superstock 1000

In the Superstock 1000 class there could be another Ducati capable of fighting for the top positions starting from Aragon, as 2007 champion Niccolò Canepa switches from the Go Eleven Kawasaki squad to an SS Lazio Motorsport Ducati 1098R. The best performance by the 23 year-old from Genoa this year was last Sunday's fifth place at Misano with his former machine. In Italy a second win in three races went to Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Berni Racing Ducati), who also follows him in the Cup standings. Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock), who won at Monza, is the first non-Ducati runner and after his third place last Sunday will be aiming to make the most of his engine power on the long Aragon straight, while team-mate Sylvain Barrier is also one to watch in Spain.

Points (after 3 rounds of 10): 1. Giugliano 70; 2. Petrucci 53; 3. Zanetti 48; 4. Barrier 29; 5. Magnoni 26; 6. Canepa 24; 7. Massei 20; 8. Antonelli 18. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 70; 2. BMW 57; 3. Kawasaki 31; 4. Honda 26; 5. Yamaha 4.

Superstock 600

Misano Adriatico also saw the first Italian win of the season in the UEM European Superstock 600 Championship, thanks to Giuliano Gregorini (RCGM Yamaha) who took the flag easily ahead of Australian Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha), now second overall. The current points leader is Frenchman Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France), third at Misano. Two men still looking for good results are Riccardo Russo (Trasimeno Yamaha) and 15-year-old Francesco Cocco (Martini Corse Yamaha), as well as the American contingent of Austin DeHaven (Trasimeno Yamaha) and Joshua Day (Racedays Kawasaki).

Points (after 3 of 10 rounds): 1. Lanusse 61; 2. Metcher 36; 3. Gregorini 35; 4. Lombardi 33; 5. Van Der Mark 31; 6. Day 23; 7. Duwelz 22; 8. Russo 20; etc.

The weekend programme will be completed with the third round of the European Ninja Cup for youngsters on identical Kawasaki 250 machines, following the opening two rounds at Assen and Monza.

More, from a press release issued by Team Alstare Suzuki:

2011 Superbike World Championship
Preview: Round 7, Motorland Aragon, Spain - 19th June


Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio goes to Motorland Aragon this weekend battered and bruised but fortunately without any broken bones after last week's highside in Misano. At the time, he was diagnosed with a suspected fracture to his right scaphoid, but yesterday's visit to his specialist revealed no broken bones. Although this is good news, it remains to be seen how strong his arm will be this coming weekend.

Motorland Aragon is a new addition to the calendar and is a demanding 5.345 kilometre, anticlockwise track featuring some interesting changes of elevation. Although it is new to the championship, many of the teams tested there at the end of last season.

The good news is that nothing is broken. But obviously I have given my right arm a big knock and it is pretty sore. Because of the pain, I was unable to manage my throttle control in the second race last weekend. Physically, I just couldn't get on the gas like normal and that prevented me from making a better result. Considering the condition of my right arm and my bad grid position, the result was not so bad.
This weekend is going to be a tough one, for sure. I will not know how my arm is going to be until I get out in the first practice. We all tested here last year and I remember it being quite a challenging circuit and it is going to give my arm a big workout. There is a very long, back straight, where the fastest bikes will maybe hit 200 mph (321 kph) followed by a lot of braking for the slowest corner on the track. We go from flat out in sixth gear all the way down to first gear and it is the longest time spent on the brakes anywhere in the series. That's going to put a lot of pressure on my arms, but I am determined not to let it affect my performance. What I want to do is end Saturday's Superpole with a good grid position. It's something that I have not managed so far, but it would be very interesting to see what kind of results I could get, if I started races on the first or second row, instead of somewhere down the grid.

More, from a press release issued from Aprilia:



Noale, 15th June 2011 - World Superbike arrives at the halfway mark with the seventh round on the Spanish Motorland Aragon Circuit. A brand new track for the factory derivative bikes if we don't count the tests at the beginning of the year: on that occasion the reigning World Champion, Max Biaggi, made no secret of his appreciation for a spectacular and technical circuit. Rather long (more than 5,300 metres), the Spanish track puts the riders' ability to find the right pace to the test, alternating steep ups and downs with turns which must be well attacked and interpreted. These are skills which are certainly not lacking in the five time world champion. If anything, Max's physical condition is a concern after his fall during the practice sessions at Misano. The painful fracture of the astragalus cartilage (talus bone in the foot) did not keep Biaggi from a test of courage and pride which earned him two spots on the podium. But the impending Spanish round allowed no time for rest.

"I certainly won't be at 100 % - explains Max - but I would say that I managed quite well at Misano and I will certainly not pull back now. I only hope that I can work with the team without too many problems and hindrances: if we want to keep the championship open we have no choice. I like the circuit. From the first tests I saw that we can really make a difference here and I think that it is a track where the RSV4 can also express itself well. If we are able to have some clear ideas when race time arrives then we will surely be able to make a play for it".

Leon Camier on the other hand, is coming from an odd weekend where he had a positive, but difficult comeback to sixth place in Race 1 after a disastrous Superpole. Race 2, however, ended with a crash which prevented him from restarting after the red flag, a bitter disappointment for Leon who was counting on doing well. It will be extremely important for him to earn a good spot on the starting grid, his true Achilles' heel up to this point in the season.

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

Round 7- Aragon Preview

The Spanish circuit of Motorland Alcaniz in Aragon is completely new to the World Superbike Championship as it replaced the traditional Valencia. Last year,on this brand new circuit, was run the MotoGP Grand Prix but here superbikes attend its premiere. The Superbike teams with their riders, headed straight from Misano further to the south, where this weekend will take place the 7th World Superbike race of this year´s Championship and will start the second half of it.

The circuit itself is 5345 m. long, the straight measuring 630 m. It has 10 left and eight right turns.

The agreement between the WSBK promoter Infront Motor Sports and the management of the circuit Motorland Aragon is closed for three years, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Superbikes are not as popular in Spain as MotoGP, but WSBK races are run here practically since almost the beginning of the championship and so far there have been races at five different circuits.The first race on Spanish soil took place in 1990 in Jerez, a year later the Superbikes raced in Jarama. In 1992 they went to Spain twice, in Jarama and in the newly built Albacete.The Superbikes stayed there continuously until 1999. Since 2000,Valencia became part of the calendar until last year, when the majority owner of the circuit changed and decided not to renew the contract.

Although there have never been any Superbike race here, all the leading teams have been here to test. The last one to stay for two-day private test has been the Australian Chris Vermeulen with the factory Kawasaki ,but also both of our riders will have at disposal datas from orivate testing as they have been here at the end of january of this year to - see picture.

The situation in the championship:
After twelve race the Spanish rider Carlos Checa is the sovereign leader with 245 points. The Althea Ducati rider this year already won 8 times, 3 of which were "ždoubles".

In 2nd place is the defending champion Max Biaggi on Aprilia with 173 points (-72 points) who , this year , still did not win a race!

3rd and 4th place are both for the Yamaha factory riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty, who have so far collected respectively 150 and 123 points, 5th place for the world champion runner-up Leon Haslam on BMW.

In 6th place there is another Brit, Leon Camier on Aprilia (101 points), 7th Michel Fabrizio on Suzuki (95) - which has reportedly broken his right wrist and
8th is Jonathan Rea Honda (94), who crashed heavily in the warm-up at a speed of 230 km / h and broke his right hand and left collarbone. In Aragon, Jonathan Rea will be missing.

The 9th and 10th positions are for the two riders Effenbert Liberty, Jakub Smrz (83points) and Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli (72points). While the Czech rider Jakub Smrz certainly has every reason to forget the unlucky Misano, his French colleague would like to extend his very good series as, in the last 7 races he scored 6 times finishing Top 10 and only Carlos Checa can show a better series than him !

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

A few days after the two races at Misano, and the excellent results on the Misano home track, the Supersonic Team will travel now to Spain. La Ciudad del Motor de Aragón, also known as Motorland Aragón is located about 5 km west from the centre of Alcaniz in the Spanish Aragon. The circuit was designed by the well known German architect Hermann Tilke. The track is part of an area, dedicated to sports and technology. You can find on Aragon also cross, carting, supermoto and rally. The track is used anti-clockwise and has 9 left-handers and 8 right, a total length of 5.078 kilometres. The long main straight is the widest part of the Spanish track, 15 meters. It has an altitude of 50 m between the highest and the lowest part (7.2%). The team structures and the "hospitality" have access to a main area of "‹"‹50,000 square meters wide.

Aragon is a new track for many riders; some teams went to try the track at the end of last season. Also the Supersonic Team went two days of testing Aragon Motorland, but it was winter and cold weather and it did not allow testing very well. Anyway, the morale is high, Maxime Berger and crew will do everything to do well and make more points in the World Championship.

Maxime Berger: "I know the Aragon track a little, because we went to Aragon last winter with the team and we did a two days test, but the low temperatures were really hard. We came from the Misano weekend, which was positive, we entered in Superpole and we got our best result of the season. As always, we need some luck to stay permanently in the top ten. But we are working hard with the team to get this result. Aragon will be important to gain experience and points for my ranking in the World Championship Superbike.

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

Ruben Xaus wins the first 'race' at Motorland Aragon!

Alcaniz (Spain), Thursday June 16, 2011 - The weekend's event programme at the Spanish Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship got underway this afternoon with an entertaining race "¦to see who could slice the local 'jamón de Teruel' ham specialty in the best possible way! The riders convened for this tough but delicate task were Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, Ruben Xaus, Michel Fabrizio, Eugene Laverty, Troy Corser, Chris Vermeulen and David Salom.

After receiving the necessary instructions and putting on aprons and steel mesh gloves to protect their left arms, the riders took turns in slicing away on five ham joints specially brought to the Paddock Show for the occasion. Some riders like Michel Fabrizio and Ruben Xaus demonstrated a certain ability to thinly cut while others were perhaps doing it for the first time.

At the end the excellent Spanish 'jamón' was freely distributed amongst the riders, media and team managers involved. The quickest slicer proved to be Ruben Xaus, to the joy of his two daughters cheering him on!

Afterwards the riders took part in the traditional press conference in which points leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) declared: "We arrive at this round in a perfect position, the feeling with the bike is excellent and we're leading the world championship. I'll try and get a couple more great results in front of my home crowd."

For his part, Carlos's closest rival Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia), declared that the treatment on his swollen leg had worked well and he was going to give his all to beat Checa. "I feel better than what I thought I would after receiving some treatment at home when I returned from Misano. This track is really different and I like it. I think I've got a good chance and I'll try and make the most of the occasion ".

More, from a press release issued by Hannspree Ten Kate Honda:

Fabien Foret and Florian Marino are in Spain this weekend (17-19 June) for round six of the World Supersport championship at Motorland Aragon, approximately two and a half hours to the west of Barcelona.

The new multi-purpose motorsport facility features an undulating 5.345km track which the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders will be racing on for the first time, with temperatures expected to be in the mid-thirties all weekend.

Both come fresh from Misano in Italy where Frenchman Foret scored his third successive podium finish to move up to fourth in the championship standings after no-scores in the opening two rounds.

For Marino, Misano was a tougher test and the 18-year-old from Cannes in France is keen to get back on track and focus on a better front-end feeling with his Honda CBR600RR.

Fabien Foret:

From what I can see it's a big new track, very interesting, very technical. There are many blind spots on the circuit some where you can't see the entry point and some where you can't see the exit! It will probably be quite hard to go fast early on and may take until the race on Sunday to go well here. But it's always nice to ride a new track because you don't bring any bad habits from the past. So it's cool, really, like when you get a new car! It's exciting and I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Florian Marino:

I like this track very much, and it's nice to have some hot weather. After Misano I was very disappointed with the result because I never really got a good feeling with the bike all weekend. I know my team has worked hard to see how we can improve, especially the front, and I will try my hardest tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend to give them good feedback to make their job easier.

Ronald ten Kate tea m manager:

Misano was the third straight podium for Fabien and it puts him back in contention for the championship. His ride last weekend was truly amazing and we're hoping it can be even better at Aragon this weekend. For young Florian, we definitely need to find a better front-end feeling for him so that he can be fighting for top positions again like in previous rounds.
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