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Countdown is on for Laguna Seca WSBK return
Rome (Italy), Tuesday 24 September 2013 - The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be back this weekend to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, for the twelfth round of the season. The last time the 3.601m spectacular and challenging Californian track hosted a round of the series was on July 10th 2004, with former WSBK regular Chris Vermeulen who stole the show by winning both races - onboard the Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR.
The US Round will feature a revised schedule compared to the usual two-race format on Sunday: Race 1 will be contested on Saturday afternoon (after the morning's Tissot-Superpole), while the second and final race of the weekend will take place the following day.
With the title chase being a 4-way battle, Championship contenders Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), second and fourth in the standings respectively, will try and take advantage of their track knowledge, having previously raced there in MotoGP.
Points leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) - having a "one-off " team mate in WSS regular David Salom, substitute rider in USA for Loris Baz - is eager to get to grips with the iconic "Corkscrew" corner, likewise Istanbul's double race winner Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), who managed to narrow the gap to the top from 40 to 26 points in the last event.
Blake Young will replace injured Leon Camier in the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Team: the rider from Wisconsin is at his second-ever participation to a WSBK round - first one was in 2009 at Donington Park, with Alstare Suzuki.
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) is the only current WSBK rider who raced before at Laguna in a World Superbike event (2004). Michel Fabrizio and him are hoping for some good results for the Dutch team at the North-American venue.
New recruit for Team Red Devils Aprilia Toni Elias is looking for another strong performance, after the successful debut in WSBK during the last round, while Niccolò Canepa will step in for Carlos Checa to join Ayrton Badovini in the Team Ducati Alstare. Canepa already raced this year with the Belgian squad at Donington Park.
Local riders Roger Hayden - former WSBK rider with Team Pedercini Kawasaki (2010) - and Danny Eslick will be wildcards for the event, onboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000 of Michael Jordan Motorsports Team. Moreover, Aussie Glenn Allerton (Next Gen Motorsports BMW) will be again on track as one-event participant, after the Season Opener at Phillip Island.
Standings (Round 11 of 14) : 1. Sykes 323; 2. Guintoli 315; 3. Laverty 297; 4. Melandri 290; 5. Davies 239; 6. Baz 180; 7. Rea 176; 8. Fabrizio 168; 9. Cluzel 141; 10. Giugliano 139; 11. Camier 114; 12. Badovini 107; 13. Neukirchner 84; 14. Checa 80; 15. Haslam 78; 16. Sandi 45; 17. Iannuzzo 25; 18. Elias 21; 19. Aitchison 20; 20. Clementi 18; 21. Canepa 11; 22. Lundh 10; 23. Lai 8; 24. Reiterberger 7; 25. Allerton 6; 26. Uprak 5; 27. Smrz 4; 28. Stauffer 4; 29. Ercelik 3; 30. Akiyoshi 2; 31. Haga 2. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 419; 2. Kawasaki 377; 3. BMW 354; 4. Honda 216; 5. Suzuki 193; 6. Ducati 144; 7. Yamaha 4.
Pata Honda heads to California
The Pata Honda team and its current rider line-up of Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio are preparing for round 12 of the 2013 World Superbike championship this weekend (27-29 September) at Laguna Seca in the USA.
The 3.610km circuit is situated a couple of hours south of San Francisco near the Pacific coastal town of Monterey. While Laguna Seca has been a regular venue for the MotoGP world championship, it has not hosted a World Superbike round since 2004, when Australian rider Chris Vermeulen took both race wins on his Ten Kate-prepared Honda Fireblade.
In a specially-revised schedule for this American round, race one will be run on Saturday with race two going on Sunday, both at the local time of 14.00 (23.00 CET), with the Superpole sessions to determine final grid positions running on Saturday morning.
Of the two Pata Honda SBK riders, only Leon Haslam has raced at Laguna Seca before but both will be determined to fine-tune their Honda CBR1000RR machines for optimum performance over the weekend.
It was good to have a few days at home before the whole family set off for America on Monday. I'm really looking forward to going back to Laguna Seca where I raced once in 2004, my first year in World Superbikes. I remember it being an awesome place but my memories of the actual races are a little hazy. I know I broke my wrist in the second race, so that part of the weekend wasn't so nice. What I do know is that Honda won both races with Chris Vermeulen, although the bikes were a bit different then - no electronics for a start. But that's an area where we've made some progress lately and, although we had one or two other issues in Istanbul, we continued to make forward steps at that last round. The guys have got a good plan for the final three races of the season so I hope we can continue the progress at Laguna.
I'm still disappointed by the results that we were able to achieve at Istanbul because I think they could have been better. However, I am going to Laguna Seca with a big motivation. Although I have never raced at this circuit before I can hope for a good performance because of the experience that I was able to gain on the CBR in Turkey. I have been in contact with my crew chief, Chris Pike, and we have a clear idea about the direction we need to take in America so I am looking forward to riding at this iconic circuit.
Team Althea Racing - Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway SBK preview
The twelfth round of the Superbike World Championship will take place over the weekend of September 27th - 28th - 29th at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway in the United States. After nine years the World Superbike Championship returns to Laguna Seca. The last race was held in 2004.
The track was built in 1957. In 1974, the property was deeded over to the Monterey County Parks Department and continues to be part of the park system to this day. The first race, held on 9 November 1957, was won by Pete Lovely driving a Ferrari. In the intervening years, the track has hosted USRRC, Can-Am, Trans-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA GT, Champ Car, American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am, Superbike World Championship and MotoGP motorcycle races and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The track itself has undergone significant changes over the past two decades to meet evolving safety homologation requirements of the FIM and FIA. Changes include the addition of the entire infield area in 1988 extending the track from its original 1.9-mile length to its current 2.238-mile length. The original media center was demolished in 2006 and replaced by the Red Bull Energy Center, a modern entertainment facility with commanding views of the facility.
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY CONTINUES FOR SYLVAIN GUINTOLI, LYING SECOND IN THE STANDINGS AND MOTIVATED AFTER HIS PODIUM AT ISTANBUL.
EUGENE LAVERTY, WINNER IN TURKEY, IS KEEN TO CONTINUE HIS POSITIVE STREAK AND THE RUN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
Noale, 24 September 2013 - After Istanbul the next round will be the second one of the 2013 World Superbike season held at a first-time location, at least in terms of recent years. For the factory derivative bikes this will actually be a return since the California track hosted World Superbike every year from 1995 to 2004. Aprilia, the current Manufacturer Championship leader, has also already taken on Laguna Seca in its previous SBK adventure, taking a win in 2000 with Troy Corser.
The track's 3610 metres are well known to the fans for being quite spectacular, particularly at the Corkscrew, which has often set the scene for epic battles.
For the Aprilia riders the USA round is crucial. Both battling hard for the rider championship, Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty will need to set their sights on winning the three rounds left in the season. The French rider, lying second in the championship standings, finally got a taste of the podium again at Istanbul after the shoulder injury that affected the second part of his season. The final sprint doesn't promise to be an easy one for him, starting with this weekend on a track like Laguna Seca which is so physically demanding.
Sylvain Guintoli: "Istanbul was a difficult race day and my shoulder was in a very bad shape after the races. I gave everything and more and manage to get back on the podium, but to win the title I need better results. Laguna is a very physical track so I know I will suffer but, as they say here, no pain no gain!".
The final stretch of the season for Eugene Laverty is off to a brilliant start. Coming from the double win at Istanbul, his first astride the Aprilia RSV4, the lad from Northern Ireland is in top condition for the final assault on the title. The 26 points that separate him from Sykes and the lead make this no simple matter, especially on a track that is completely new to Eugene. But without mincing his words, Laverty has his sights set on repeating the performance at Istanbul or, at the very least, making up points on his direct rivals for the final victory.
Eugene Laverty: "I've only ever seen Laguna Seca on television. It appears to be quite a technical track and it will be important to do my homework ahead of the race weekend. We're coming off the back of two very strong races in Istanbul and this gives me confidence going into the next round. A repeat performance of our double victory will be difficult but it won't stop us from trying! There are still four riders in the title fight so we're set for an exciting end to the season".
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Laguna Seca - Preview
Contained media data:
USA - Laguna Seca.
27th - 29th September 2013
12th of 14 race weekends
Munich/Milan, 23rd September 2013. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team is heading to the west coast of the United States of America. This weekend (27th to 29th September), the famous "Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca" near Monterey hosts the 12th round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The last visit of the series to the Californian circuit dates back to 2004, but for both BMW factory riders, Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR), it is familiar terrain. Marco knows Laguna Seca very well from his years in MotoGP. He took part at the Laguna US Grand Prix six times, twice finishing on the podium. Chaz raced there several times with the American AMA and in 2007, he made his MotoGP debut at Laguna Seca.
In the Riders' classification of the 2013 Superbike World Championship, Marco is currently fourth with 290 points and a gap of 33 points to the top. Chaz is fifth with 239 points. Together, Marco and Chaz have already claimed six victories and a total of 15 podium finishes on their BMW S 1000 RRs this year. In the Manufacturers' classification, BMW is third with 354 points.
This weekend's schedule has been significantly changed, with the first race already being contested on Saturday. The weekend starts as usual with the free practice on Friday midday, but then both qualifying practices are held on Friday afternoon. After another free practice, the Superpole qualifying takes place on Saturday morning. Race one starts on Saturday afternoon at 14:00 local time. Sunday starts with the warm-up session in the late morning, with race two scheduled for 14:00 local time.
Laguna Seca from the rider's point of view:
"I have good memories of Laguna Seca. I rode there when I was in MotoGP and I was twice on the podium. Laguna is one of the best tracks on the calendar. I'm very happy that the World Superbike organisers decided to come back to this circuit. Our bike should work well on this track. We only need to check the grip level the asphalt offers once we are there and work hard to achieve the best possible result. I feel really good and am preparing with training for the next rounds. This final part of the season will be demanding but I want to give my best."
"Laguna Seca has been consistently a very good circuit for me. For some reason I find the rhythm quite easily at that track. I have done quite a few laps there in AMA so maybe I have a little bit of an advantage this year. It is a very good circuit and along with Portimão, I would rate it as one of my favourite tracks. It has the challenge of the ?Corkscrew' which is very steep and I think very exciting to watch. It is one of the most physical circuits I have ever raced on. You don't get any time to rest and you really need to know how to handle the bike because the circuit is just built into the terrain - there were no computers used or any designers! It is just some tarmac in the hills following the natural landscape, which is nice. Our target for this weekend is as always, a double podium. Regarding the championship I now believe that I don't have a chance, though there are still enough points left to grab. Anyway from here until the end of the season it is all about podiums and wins, and this is what we aim for."
Laguna Seca from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
"After some years we finally return to Laguna Seca, the ?temple' of American motorcycling. Superbike racing is linked to America, where this category was born between the late ?70s and early ?80s. Motorcycling champions such as Freddie Spencer, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts started their careers in Superbikes. Laguna Seca is a fascinating and very technical track. Unique sections like the Corkscrew have been and probably will help decide the results of the races. In addition, the American circuit is very short. This means that the gaps between the riders will be very small. Both our riders like the circuit and know it very well. This makes us quite confident for the races and also with regard to the championship, which is still open."
Laguna Seca from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
"The next event will be very important for us. The championship is still open but if we really want to fight for it we must go to Laguna with a clear target: doing better than our competitors. And honestly we are capable of doing so! It is another new racetrack for BMW so the preparation will be very important. We will use a similar approach to Istanbul, running a few simulations and counting on Chaz' and Marco's prior experience on this track.
We expect a bumpy surface but with better grip than we experienced in Turkey. The layout is very special. It is tight and short with cambered and blind turns, such as the entry to the famous ?Corkscrew' or the fast left hand first corner, where the rider's skill can make all the difference. The chassis and the electronic settings will be key factors. We will experience for the first time an unusual schedule with a very busy Friday and the races spread across Saturday and Sunday. This change will have an impact on the team's working system and on the riders' physical and mental approach. We also have to consider the particular weather we could find: fog in the morning and sun in the afternoon. For the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team it is a new challenge that we are more than ready to face."