WorldSBK: Championship Resumes This Coming Weekend At Catalunya

WorldSBK: Championship Resumes This Coming Weekend At Catalunya

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

Destination Barcelona: WorldSBK gears up for its 450th Round

What to look out for in Barcelona

World SBK

The Supported Test, held on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th, provided the WorldSBK grid with the opportunity to prepare for the Pirelli Catalunya Round.

It was Ducati’s Nicolo Bulega who dominated the Supported Test, having been fastest on both days of action.

Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes arrived in Barcelona leading the standings, closely followed by Rookie Nicolo Bulega.

The current Championship leader, Alex Lowes, is yet to clinch his first victory at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, the home race for Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK.

Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) boasts mastery of the Catalan track with six wins to his name. His teammate, Nicolo Bulega, aims to maintain his strong season start and translate his efforts from the Supported Test into success.

After grappling with injury-related challenges at the Australian Round, Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) seeks to regain his pre-season form with the Yamaha YZF R1 at a circuit where he has secured two podium finishes. Teammate Andrea Locatelli, currently third in the standings, is determined to bounce back with a strong result after a technical issue prevented him from contending for victory in Race 2 of the Australian Round.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) is poised to debut at the Catalan venue with BMW. He had a successful Supported Test prior to the Round, which suggests that he will be among the fastest during the event. Meanwhile, teammate Michael van Der Mark has previously clinched a victory at this track with a different manufacturer. Together, they will focus on adapting their BMW M 1000 RR to the circuit and aim for a strong performance.

Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) have both also tasted victory at this circuit. While Team HRC’s duo, Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona, the latter returning from injury sustained at Phillip Island, are focused on enhancing their performance for their home round.

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Six different winners came out of 12 races run here so far: in 2022 Alvaro Bautista went from zero wins to the track record of three, doubling up last year, ending up at six. The only other rider to have more than one win here is Jonathan Rea at two.


Yari Montella leads Championship charge into Pirelli Catalunya Round

What to look out for in Barcelona

Following his double win at Phillip Island, Yari Montella heads into the Pirelli Catalunya Round as the Supersport World Championship points leader, aiming to improve upon last year’s finishes at Barcelona, where he ended outside the top 10.

Marcel Schroetter will be a strong contender at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya, building on his solid Australian campaign and impressive podium records at the Spanish circuit.

All eyes will be on Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team), a double race winner, as he enters Barcelona. Having secured all three of his victories in Australia, Montella will be eager to affirm his status as a title contender with another strong performance in Barcelona. MV Agusta had a commendable weekend at the 2023 Catalunya Round, clinching a victory and achieving three podium finishes throughout the event. Following his impressive showing in the season’s opening round, where he secured two podium finishes, Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) is one to watch out for.

The Racing WorldSSP Team, with a previous race win in Barcelona, holds the potential for another solid result, particularly with Adrian Huertas, who finished on the podium in the preceding race. Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing), starting his 2024 season with a second-place finish in Race 1, will be eager to rebound from his DNF in Race 2 at Phillip Island. Having finished on the podium in 2023, he remains a contender for victory. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) also boasts a podium finish at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2022 and is determined to demonstrate his return to competitiveness after missing most of the 2023 season due to injury.

Charging into competition: WorldSSP300 set for 2024 season kickoff

The 2024 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship season ushers in a period of intense competition as riders prepare for fierce battles and thrilling races on the global stage, starting with the Pirelli Catalunya Round at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya. With competitors hailing from renowned manufacturers such as Kawasaki, Yamaha, KTM, and Kove, each showcasing their distinct strengths and innovations, anticipation builds for an exhilarating showdown on the track in the upcoming WorldSSP300 season.

Grid updates

Reigning champion Jeffrey Buis (Freudenberg KTM-PALIGO Racing) sets out on a mission to defend his title after securing back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2023, making him the only two-time champion in the category. Transitioning to KTM, Buis seeks to etch his legacy deeper into WorldSSP300 history amidst a field of formidable competitors.

Mirko Gennai (MTM Kawasaki) emerges as one of the main competitors to Jeffrey Buis’s reign. Joining Buis’ former team, MTM Kawasaki, alongside Loris Veneman, Gennai brings his four-time race-winning prowess to the Championship, aiming to challenge the reigning champion’s dominance. Among the returning contenders are race winners from the 2023 season, including Matteo Vannucci (Pata Yamaha AG Motorsport Italia), Aldi Satya Mahendra (Team BrCorse), and Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (DEZA-BOX 77 Racing Team). While Bruno Ieraci (Team ProDina Kawasaki) also clinched victories as a wildcard entrant in the previous season, he returns full-time to the championship, as does Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki).

New regulations

In line with WorldSSP, the WorldSSP300 category experiences notable shifts in scheduling, with a significant change being the determination of grids for Race 2 based on the fastest laps recorded in Race 1. Additionally, the Tissot Superpole sessions occur on Friday following a morning Free Practice session.

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