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Aug 27, 2013

Wild Card Rider Matej Smrz Bringing Yamaha Back To World Superbike Grid, At Nurburgring

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Marco Melandri (33) on a YZF-R1 in 2011, the last season Yamaha fielded an official entry in the Superbike World Championship.
Nurburgring the stage for Round 10 of the season

Rome (Italy) – The iconic Nurburgring will host the tenth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend. The German venue marked its return to the series in 2008 with a partly modified layout, featuring a new slow section after Turn 1.

Following two solid race results at Silverstone, despite still poor physical conditions, championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) agreed not to undergo surgery for his injured shoulder (at least until the end of the season), spending his holiday time doing physiotherapy and exercises, instead. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who is now 13 points behind his French rival after a difficult race day on home soil, is looking forward to bounce back on the track that saw him grab his maiden win two years ago, at the end of a rain-hampered Race 2.

Guintoli’s team mate Eugene Laverty is aiming to keep the momentum up as the double podium at Silverstone helped him to narrow the gap to the front and climb to third position in the provisional standings. The Nurburgring is indeed a favourable track for the Irishman, who was second in both races last year. Works BMW riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies are hoping to turn the page on their disappointing last event and have radically different memories of last year’s round. The Italian, who entered the German event as the man to beat, lost the lead by crashing out in both races, while Davies achieved his first ever WSBK win (Race 2).

The two riders who managed to climb on the top step of the podium in UK, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), are aiming to build on their recent results and be competitive until the end of the season. Rea is currently the only rider able to win twice at the Ring (2009, Race 1 and 2010, Race 2).

Boosted by their Silverstone podium finishes, Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) hope to be in the mix for the top-3 once again, while Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) is still waiting for a breakthrough in his so far frustrating 2013 season. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Team Ducati) will tackle his and his team’s home Round with confidence. In 2008, the German rider managed to secure the pole start for the two races, and finished both races in third place.

Aussie Mark Aitchison will replace Alex Lundh, at Team Pedercini Kawasaki for the second time this year. The Swedish rider didn't manage to get back to full fitness for the German event, and will hope to make his return at Istanbul for the eleventh round.

IDM riders Markus Reiterberger (Team VanZon Remeha BMW) and Matej Smrz (Yamaha Motor Deutschland) will join the party at the Nurburgring. Smrz, the Czech rider, younger brother of former WSBK rider Jakub Smrz, will bring an R1 back to the series after almost two years of absence (last time out was Portimao 2011).

Standings - provisional (round 9 of 14)*: 1. Guintoli 262; 2. Sykes 249; 3. Laverty 226; 4. Melandri 221; 5. Davies 180; 6. Baz 180; 7. Rea 176; 8. Fabrizio 138; 9. Camier 114; 10. Cluzel 113; 11. Giugliano 100; 12. Badovini 91; 13. Neukirchner 77; 14. Checa 68; 15. Haslam 51; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 336; 2. Kawasaki 303; 3. BMW 276; 4. Honda 189; 5. Suzuki 165; 6. Ducati 128.

* 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 final lap clash between Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) at Silverstone was the sign of how much the World Supersport title means to both contenders, who are more than ready to resume their challenge for victory at Nurburgring . The Brit leads the way with a 29 point margin over the three-time champion, but still aims to get his front wheel ahead of the rival, who edged him out in the last two races. Sofuoglu, on the other hand - as he admitted last week during a press conference held at Intercity Istanbul Park - has no other choice but to go for the win in every race, knowing that even that couldn’t be enough for the final victory, with only four events left.

The UK round saw a great display of competitiveness by the two ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse riders Roberto Rolfo and Christian Iddon, even though they both had the worst of the thrilling 4-way battle up to the chequered flag, finishing 5th and 6th behind Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and Scotsman Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki).

Sheridan Morais’ split with PTR Honda and his new ride with Go Eleven Kawasaki opened the door for the WSS debut of former Moto3 rider Danny Webb, who can’t wait to start this new chapter of his career. Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) will be again on track as One Event rider to try and fight for the podium after the unfortunate collision during the British race with Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), that halted his charge. Another South African, Ronan Quarmby, will finish the season with Prorace Honda as substitute rider for Gabor Talmacsi after the good performance showed at Silverstone, in what was his return to the series.

2011 Superstock 600 European Champion Jed Metcher will make a one-off return to WSS with Team Suzuki Mayer, the squad which he’s currently contesting the IDM Supersport with. Several other riders from the German Championship will also be on track: Leon Bovee (DTC KME Racing), Roman Stamm (Kawasaki Schnock Team Shell Advance), Stefan Kerschbaumer (Langenscheidt Racing by Fast Bike Service Yamaha) and Pepijn Bijsterbosch (Racing Team Bijsterbosch Yamaha).

Standings (round 9 of 13): 1. Lowes 160; 2. Sofuoglu 131; 3. Foret 101; 4. Vd Mark 80; 5. Zanetti 73; 6. Scassa 66; 7. Kennedy 56; 8. Antonelli 55; 9. Rolfo 50; 10. Leonov 48; 11. Marino 47; 12. Morais 36; 13. Coghlan 35; 14. Russo 28; 15. Iddon 25; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 180; 2. Yamaha 168; 3. Honda 113; 4. MV Agusta 57; 5. Suzuki 21; 6. Triumph 6.
Superstock 1000

The clean sweep by Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Goldbet) in the double race weekend at Silverstone allowed the reigning Champion to extend his lead in the standings to 36 points over Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati) and 55 points over Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) and Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), with just three races left in the season.

While the Frenchman is in the best position entering the German Round, Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Ducati) desperately needs a good result at the Nurburgring to make up for the DNF of the second UK race, that affected his title hopes.

Standings (round 7 of 10): 1. Barrier 145; 2. Canepa 109; 3. Guarnoni 90; 4. Mercado 90; 5. La Marra 85; 6. Savadori 73; 7. Jezek 61; 8. Andreozzi 43; 9. Lussiana 43; 10. Bussoletti 43; etc. Manufacturers: 1. BMW 156; 2. Ducati 130; 3. Kawasaki 123; 4. Honda 23; 5. Suzuki 5.

Superstock 600

The results of the last round have completely changed the Championship situation as STK600 enters the eight round of the season. The battle for the title is still wide open and sees the top-4 between 16 points of each other, with Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda) leading the way ahead of rising Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki), who scored an amazing maiden win in the series in the UK doubleheader and is now only 8 points behind the Swiss rider.

Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) and former Championship leader Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Racing Yamaha) are still in contention for the victory: the Belgian had a nightmare weekend on English soil, as he had to sit out the second race after a collision with Chesaux cut him off contention and led to some minor injuries in the first one.

Standings (round 7 of 10): 1. Chesaux 100; 2. Gamarino 92; 3. Morbidelli 89; 4. Duwelz 84; 5. Nocco 75; 6. Coveña 75; 7. Mulhauser 59; 8. Salvadori 57; 9. Nestorovic 54; 10. Morrentino 44; 11. Casalotti 38; 12. Schmitter 30; 13. Vitali 26; 14. Tessels 24; 15. Tuuli 23; etc.
European Junior Cup

Jake Lewis (Jake Lewis Racing) will try and defend his lead as the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda, approaches its sixth round out of eight in the season. The young Kiwi won last race at Silverstone after a thrilling and exciting battle, while main rivals for the title, Robin Anne (Anne Formation) and Guillaume Raymond (Activbike), finished in fifth and eighth place respectively.

Standings (round 5 of 8): 1. Lewis 66; 2. Raymond 56; 3. Anne 56; 4. Canducci 55; 5. Fernandez 46; 6. Flitcroft 45; 7. Bodis 36; 8. Sebestyen 35; 9. Orellana 31; 10. Manfredi 30; 11. Pittet 29; 12. Fernandez 28; 13. Levy 27; 14. Bendsneijder 25; 15. Rusmiputro 21; etc.