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Jun 17, 2014 - 05:42 PM
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Preview World Superbike-Supersport, Riviera Di Rimini, Misano
Posted by: newsla on Jun 17, 2014 - 05:38 PM
Tidbits
Preview World Superbike-Supersport, Riviera Di Rimini, Misano


Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) enter the seventh round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this coming weekend hoping to emulate some of their previous podium showings at the Italian seaside circuit.

 

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Rea has been a multiple race winner and a championship leader on his CBR1000RR SP this year already and his first ever win in the Superbike World Championship took place at Misano in 2009. Jonathan won the second race of the day by a thrilling 0.063 seconds and Rea has gone on to win a further 13 races in the SBK class, all on Honda machinery. In all, Jonathan has a total of 38 podium finishes to his credit in this class of racing.

In the current championship fight Rea is now in third place, 22 points from the leading rider Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) and only nine points behind second place competitor Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia). Rea has scored three race wins this year on the latest model CBR1000RR , part of a total of five podiums in 2014.

A tougher season for Rea’s team-mate Haslam has seen his personal best finish a fifth place at Assen but in terms of his Misano record Leon has proved his abilities in recent years, with two podium finishes on two different types of machinery. Haslam is a three-time WSBK race winner and has no fewer than 28 podium finishes on his record.

Although the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli has been used many times in the history of the Superbike World Championship, the series did not visit this venue in 2013, which will mean some familiarisation for the Pata Honda riders before the two 21-lap races take place on Sunday. The regular 2014 European raceday schedule will come back into use at Misano, with two 21-lap races taking place at 10.30 and 13.10 respectively, local time.

Misano is a unique venue in many ways, not least because it now runs races in the reverse direction to its original design. At 4.226km long is one of the shortest and most intense layouts of the year, with a main straight only 510m long and 16 corners in all, most of which are relatively tight and slow. The entire track is contained in a very compact space and hard work for the riders will be assured in what are expected to be high ambient and track temperatures on the Adriatic coast of Italy in mid-June. This long time WSB circuit – like Phillip Island, Aragon, Assen and others – is used by both MotoGP and WSB series in 2014.

After the Misano race weekend is completed – and the championship moves firmly into its second half - the next round will take place in Portugal, at the Portimao circuit, with raceday on Sunday 6th July.

BACK TO BUSINESS FOR HONDA RIDERS AT AN OLD WSS FAVOURITE

The FIM Supersport World Championship has made many visits to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in the past but with no race there last year both Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) will have their first taste of WSS racing at Misano this coming weekend, in the seventh round of the championship.

Van der Mark made himself an even more convincing championship leader at the previous round in Sepang, winning his third race of the year and taking a 33 point lead over second place finisher Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta).

Michael, the 2012 Superstock 600 European Champion for Honda, now enters the second half of the WSS season full of confidence, starting at a circuit he knows well from his Superstock exploits in previous visits. He was the Misano race winner in his championship-winning year, before he moved up to the WSS series in 2013.

Zanetti’s breakthrough first win in the WSS class came at the last Italian circuit to host a WSS race, Imola, in early May. The Italian rider has experienced a technical DNF and a fifth place since then but as a proven race winner he will be going for gold again this weekend.

Numerous other Hondas riders are more than capable of making an impact in the results at Misano, none more so than local rider Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda). A podium finisher in Australia, Raffaele has scored points at every round so far, putting himself seventh in the overall standings.

Team Lorini Honda rider Marco Bussolotti returns to a true home round for team and rider, with his early season scores featuring a best of seventh at Imola. Hometown advantage is expected to play another a part in Marco’s push to get into the top ten. He is 11th overall right now, ten points behind tenth place rider Roberto Tamburini (Kawasaki).

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) has been improving all through his first full WSS season and took a personal best at the previous round at Sepang. His sixth place in Malaysia is something he hopes to improve on at Misano, particularly as it is another circuit he knows well. Sitting 14th in the championship Ratthapark will be out to narrow the gap to the very top riders in a class he had his first taste of at the start of 2014.

With his early season injury woes now behind him Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) is out to take personal best finishes in the second half of the season. Sometimes running at a very strong pace in races, Kennedy seemingly only has to find more good fortune in the early laps or in qualifying to convert his race pace into podiums. The Irish rider feels confident he can learn the compact Misano circuit well enough to compete before the single session of WSS qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Nacho Calero (CIA Insurance Honda) hopes to take his second bundle of points at Misano, while Fraser Rogers (Com Plus SMS Racing Honda) is in a similar position, having only scored in one round of the six run so far.

On the completion of the WSS race at Misano, to be held at 11.40 local time on Sunday morning, the teams will head across southern Europe to the magnificent modernist circuit of Portimao on Portugal’s Algarve coast. As has become the norm in the most recent rounds, there is a two-weekend gap between the WSS events at Misano and Portimao.

The WSS class does not subsequently travel with the Superbike category to Laguna Seca round in America, one weekend after Portimao.

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
“Misano is a circuit I really enjoy racing at and I also enjoy that whole area. For that reason we are going out a day early to relax and spend some time on the beaches before we get back to business on Friday. It has been a tough couple of rounds with the bike set-up, trying to get the maximum potential out of it. Entering the corners had been difficult at Sepang. Hopefully we have learned something from there that we can put into practice this weekend. We also won’t have to contend with two long straights like we did in Sepang. We are getting on top of things and have found a way forward after the race in Malaysia. We have typically had good memories and sometimes not so good memories of Misano. I got injured in 2011 but I also had my first ever SBK win there. I think the layout suits my CBR and although it is hard to see our full potential before we even get there we will be aiming for podiums this weekend. We have won races this year already so we know we can do it. The bike worked well at Imola straight away but in the last few rounds we have had to re invent the bike set-up a little. I think it makes no real difference that the championship did not race at Misano in 2013, as the first practice session is a feeler session for everyone anyway.”

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
“I like Misano and I’ve been on the podium there a couple of times so I know I can go well there. The track should suit the CBR much better than Sepang and although there are still a few issues that need sorting I think we can be positive going into the race weekend. My shoulder was quite sore after the two races in Malaysia so I went for a scan when I got home. It’s an old injury that I aggravated when I crashed at Imola and, while it doesn’t affect my riding, it will need a bit of managing over the next few races.”

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
"We missed Misano in World Supersport last year but I won there in 2012 on my Superstock 600 CBR, after a good battle. It’s a track that I really like - I enjoy riding there and I like the area around the circuit too. It can get quite hot in Misano but, after the heat in Malaysia, it may be more of a problem for the tyres than for the riders. We were able to increase the championship lead in Malaysia so we need to focus on keeping momentum at this halfway point of the season. We have a fantastic base setting this season that gives me a really good feeling with the bike. It’s working almost everywhere and it gives me great confidence for this Misano weekend and I’m really looking forward to riding there again.”

Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
“I have a really good feeling as we prepare for Misano. It’s my second home race and, although I have had some good results at this track in my career, I preferred it when it went in the other direction. In the last races I have had the pace to challenge for the podium but the results have not come my way. The temperature in Misano may be hot again so we must find a way to manage the tyre better for the end of the race. Whatever happens I am motivated to fight again this weekend and I want to be fighting for another win.”

Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda)
“We are starting the second half of the season and I know exactly what I need to do to challenge for the podium again. I have good race pace but need to qualify on the front rows. I will work with my CIA Insurance Honda team to improve qualifying at my home round of Misano, I want to get into the top six and fight for the podium.”

Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda)
"I hope that Misano will be a little more simple than some other circuits I have raced at for the first time this year but I have been learning the layout on the Xbox, like I did for Sepang. I think after learning Sepang so quickly then we should be fine after the first session at Misano - if we get a good set up for the bike and are not chasing our tails with gearing. We have shown good potential this year but luck has not really been on our side. I hope for the second half of the year we can turn that around and score some of the best points I have ever scored. I feel we can do it and I want a podium by the end of this year.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda)
"For me Misano is good track. The weather will also be good, by that I mean warm, and I think we can have good weekend like in Sepang. I need to understand Misano with the WSS Honda because I never rode there with this bike. I think will be no problem. We need to find a good chassis balance again but we had good information from Sepang and I am happy with the chassis setup in general. I think we can take a good start this time and try to reduce the gap to the top guys.”

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