WorldSBK: Riders Address Silly Season Rumors At Autodrom Most

WorldSBK: Riders Address Silly Season Rumors At Autodrom Most

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

Outspoken ahead of Most

The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is just days away from the summer break but 2024 is stealing the show on Thursday. From major rumours surrounding some of the biggest names, to pre-round form and objectives for the weekend, WorldSBK’s media day had all the juicy bits, and we’ve put them all in one place.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “Toprak’s seat is the big one to be filled… everything’s ongoing, but it’s all rumours right now”

Speaking ahead of the round about rumours linking him to a shock switch from Kawasaki to Yamaha for 2024, Jonathan Rea addressed the reports, albeit by not mentioning his current existing deal with Kawasaki for next year: “I’m quite excited! I feel like I have some unfinished business at Most as I’ve never won a race here! We’ve had some good momentum at Donington Park and Imola, so I feel more comfortable with the bike, so let’s hope I can fight in the front group. Like in the last few races, the target has to be the podium, to head into summer in a healthy condition and then we’ll be looking towards the last part of the season. 400 starts makes me feel quite old but it’s something else! At this time of the year, there’s always rumours and stories and I guess Toprak’s seat is the big one to be filled. From my side, nothing really to say on my future; I will sit down with my wife, kids and family to understand it. I’m sure everything is ongoing, but it’s all rumours right now.”

Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “There was a little bit of a miscommunication… an opportunity at Kawasaki isn’t something I’ve looked into”

Speaking about the announcement that eventually never came and instead having to make an announcement the following week about his future, Scott Redding addressed the hot potato again: “There was a little bit of a miscommunication, actually. Not too much to say after that. I thought there would’ve been something. In the end, there was no news, so I had a little bit of peace and quiet for the rest of the weekend! An opportunity at Kawasaki isn’t something I’ve looked into because it came out of nowhere. Is it rumours again? Is there something behind it? It’s not really my business. My job is to focus on what I’m doing here at the moment. We know this year has been a little bit more difficult for us, even at our strong circuits. I feel like here is somewhere we can have a good weekend. With the tyres, it’s new for everybody, so it could help us a little bit more.”

Andrea Dosoli (Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager): “A long list of riders, we’re not in a rush”

Yamaha Motor Europe’s Road Racing Manager Andrea Dosoli spoke about Yamaha’s increase in revs, as well as the 2024 line-up, keeping quiet on the latter: “About the RPM, the rules gave us the possibility to ask for concessions and we’ve took this opportunity and chosen the 250rpm. It’s something that our riders will use if needed. We’re monitoring all available riders and it will take time before we make a decision. We’ll comment on this only when we have our rider line-up defined. It’s a long list of riders. We’re not in a rush.”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “We’re talking… we’ll see what’s going on”

Sticking with 2024 talk, Michael Ruben Rinaldi didn’t say too much, perhaps alluding to a potential change: “After Imola, my focus was to get in the best shape again and that’s what I did. I trained in the proper way, did a lot of physio, and on Monday I went to train with a Panigale V4 R at Mugello to understand how I was on the bike. Physically, I’m better than Imola. The news will be after Most. At the moment, I cannot say anything because we are still talking. Before the next round in September, I will have an update. We are talking. Our goal is to keep racing with a good package, and we will see what’s going on. For now, I’m focused on this weekend, and, after that, we will focus on next year.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK): “This year is completely different!”

Toprak Razgatlioglu is looking forward to Most, where he’s the most successful rider: “I’m very happy to come back to Most because I enjoy this track a lot. Last year, I took two wins here. This year is completely different because everyone is very fast. It looks like the weather is a bit strange this weekend. Maybe it rains, maybe it doesn’t. It’s not possible to say before the race but Alvaro is very strong here. I’m still trying to fight with him again. Last year, he was riding very well and this year he’s riding much better; I think he’s stronger than last year. I think the 2021 stoppie was 214 or 216 metres, something like that! But, also, 200 metres is enough. Last year, I didn’t try for the stoppie, maybe we’ll do it again!”

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “The Championship is long… it’s not over!”

After a fall last time out at Imola, Championship leader Alvaro Bautista spoke of the dynamic ahead of Most: “This Championship is so good because we have a lot of points to play for each weekend. It’s nice because you think the Championship is long and, for sure, it’s not over. I’m not thinking about the Championship or the points. I’m just trying to take it race by race. I’m trying to do my best. It doesn’t matter about the points. I want to be the best rider I can be. The tyres are harder than last year at Most so it’s even more difficult. We have the same tyres as Phillip Island but they are different tracks because the speed is so high and you force the tyres a lot. In those tracks where you don’t need to stop the bike too much and accelerate from low speed, it’s easier to use the hard compound because you have high corner speed.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “About my future… I’ll know this weekend but I can’t say!”

Aiming to bounce back, Iker Lecuona is aiming for a strong Czech Round, whilst also looking ahead to his future: “This year, we’ve struggled a lot. We’ve started the weekends with a lot of problems on the bike, we always need to change the base. We can’t find the base to use at every track. We need to work a lot more than the other riders. This tells us something on the bike is not correct. I still don’t know about my future. I can’t say until the moment we have everything closed but, from my side, I hope this weekend I’ll know a little bit more. Right now, honestly, I don’t know. I’ll know this weekend, but I can’t say! It depends on the project. Next week, I have a chance to go again but with LCR this time. MotoGP™ is the top, I’ve always said this.”

Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO): “I would like to stay in WorldSBK”

A home-hero is in the house this weekend, as Oliver Konig plans to deliver something special: “I’m so excited because it’s one of my favourite tracks. I don’t have one favourite turn or sector. I like the braking into the first corner. I’m not good like Toprak! His stoppie from two years ago is legendary. I like this turn. Right now, we don’t know anything 100%. We are trying to find the best solution for me for 2024. I would like to stay in WorldSBK.”

Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): I’ve still got nothing to worry about with my future!”

Michael van der Mark is more than happy to be back in action: “Finally, I’m back on the grid! I’m really excited! I wanted to come back earlier but we had to be smart and have a little bit of patience. I wanted to do a race before the summer break; I don’t think we have any expectation. We just want to do this race and get back up to speed. Missing four rounds is tough as you’ll be missing some sharpness. I need to stay calm, enjoy riding the bike and go step by step. In the summer break, we have a test and we’ll be ready for Magny-Cours. I’ve still got nothing to worry about with my future!”

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