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Imola WSBK Previews
Tuesday, May 06, 2014

All lanes lead to Imola. Fans pack in for the '02 event which settled the WSBK title between Edwards and Bayliss.
image by dean adams

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Sykes leads the WSBK standings as the series heads to Imola

Barcelona (Spain), Tuesday 6 May 2013 - The eni FIM Superbike World Championship is about to return to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari of Imola for what will be the fourth event of the 2014 season. The historical venue, located in the city, 40km southeast of Bologna, entered the World Superbike calendar in 2001 and has so far hosted the series 11 times. In 2009 a new, slow-speed chicane named "Nuova Variante Bassa" was added to the circuit layout just before the finish line.

Last year Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) had one of his three dominant weekends in his title-winning season: the Huddersfield born rider secured pole position and won both races, setting the new outright best lap and lap record in the process. The reigning World Superbike Champion and current points leader is the only rider to start from Pole Position on more than one occasion at the Italian track - in 2010 (maiden career pole), 2012 and 2013.

After winning his second race of the season last time out at Assen (race one), Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) now lies second in the standings, twelve points shy of the leader and three points ahead of compatriot Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team). Both riders have never won on the Italian track, unlike Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike), who climbed on the top step of the podium at Imola in 2011 (race one).

The Ulsterman is looking forward to the Italian round, hoping to keep the momentum going after some solid performances in the first three outings of 2014 and his maiden race victory of the year scored in the second Dutch race a fortnight ago.

With the riders in the top four within 19 points of each other, the rest of the field is already falling a significant distance behind. Fifth place Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team), still looking for his first win astride the factory RSV4, has a 39 point gap from the top, with Ducati Superbike Team duo Davide Giugliano (49) and Chaz Davies (61), as well as Voltcom Crescent Suzuki's Eugene Laverty (62), further behind.

Following his double DNF at Assen, Laverty hopes to return to his early season form, whilst the goal for Laverty's team mate Alex Lowes is to build on his maiden WSBK podium, achieved on Dutch soil.

The battle for the title in the EVO class continues at Imola with Niccol˛ Canepa (Althea Racing Team) looking strong after finishing twice on top at Assen. David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) will take the charge to the Italian, hoping his injured right hand will not affect his on-track performance. Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team) will again replace the Sylvain Barrier, whilst current Italian Superbike champion Ivan Goi will make a wildcard appearance aboard the Barni Racing Team's EVO-spec 1199 Panigale R.

Team Hero EBR will race with an upgraded machine, with Bimota Alstare and MV Agusta RC - Yakhnich Motorsport) looking for solid results as the action resumes.

Standings (Round 3 of 13): 1. Sykes 108; 2. Guintoli 96; 3. Baz 93; 4. Rea 89; 5. Melandri 69; 6. Giugliano 59; 7. Davies 47; 8. Laverty 46; 9. Haslam44; 10. Lowes 36; 11. Elias 34; 12. Canepa 28; 13. Salom 27; 14. Scassa 11; 15. Camier 11; 16. Morais 10; 17. Foret 9; 18. Allerton 6; 19. Bos 5;20. Corti 5; 21. Guarnoni 5; 22. Fabrizio 2. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 114; 2. Aprilia 106; 3. Honda 89; 4. Suzuki 76; 5. Ducati 73; 6. BMW 17; 7. MV Agusta 5.

World Supersport

Imola is the next stop for one of the closest World Supersport seasons in recent years. The title race sees a consistent Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) leading the way, four points ahead of Assen race winner Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike). Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha), third, and Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC - Yakhnich Motorsport), fourth, are only 5 and 8 points shy of the leader respectively, with CIA Insurance Honda's Raffaele De Rosa (15) and San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki's Roberto Tamburini (20) in fifth and sixth place, followed by three time WSS Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki).

The Turk has endured so far a difficult early part of the season, crashing out of the opening race and, forced to an early retirement in the last encounter at Assen, due to a technical problem. Sofuoglu did win in Aragon (his only finish of 2014 so far) and can be confident that last year he was victorious in the Supersport race at Imola, edging out Sam Lowes by half a second at the finish line.

Former WSS full timer and podium finisher Alex Baldolini (ATK Racing) will make his return to the series this weekend, as the Italian rider will contest the first of five rounds aboard a privately entered MV Agusta F3 675.

Standings (Round 3 of 12): 1. Marino 49; 2. Vd Mark 45; 3. Coghlan 44; 4. Cluzel 41; 5. De Rosa 34; 6. Tamburini 29; 7. Sofuoglu 25; 8. Zanetti 24; 9. Rolfo 19; 10. Wahr 16; 11. Gamarino 13; 12. Leonov 12; 13. Russo 10; 14. Gowland 9; 15. Jacobsen 9; 16. Menghi 9; 17. Wilairot 9; 18. Bussolotti 7; 19. Kennedy 5; 20. Cove˝a 4; 21. Schmitter 3; 22. Calero 3; 23. Rogers 1. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 61; 2. Kawasaki 58; 3. MV Agusta 49; 4. Yamaha 44; 5. Triumph 9.

Superstock 1000

Despite a fifth place in the wet STK1000 race at Assen, Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Team Ducati) still holds on to first place as the 2024 series approaches the third round. The Argentinean rider is followed closely by Team Pedercini Kawasaki's Lorenzo Savadori and MTM Racing Team Kawasaki's and Dutch round winner Kevin Valk, second and third with only 3 and 4 points to make up respectively.

The other Barni Racing rider Ondrej Jezek, third last year at Imola behind winner Barrier and second placed Canepa, made up for the lost ground he suffered in the opening round by crossing the line second in the Dutch encounter. The Czech rider is now fifth overall behind Frenchman Matthieu Lussiana (Team Garnier by ASPI Kawasaki) but ahead of David McFadden (MRS Kawasaki), Kyle Smith (Agro-On Wil Racedays Honda) and Romain Lanusse (Team Pedercini Kawasaki).

Several one-off entrants will also add some extra flavour to the Italian round.

Standings (Round 2 of 7): 1. Mercado 36; 2. Savadori 33; 3. Valk 32; 4. Lussiana 26; 5. Jezek 20; 6. McFadden 18; 7. Smith 16; 8. Lanusse 15; 9. Bergman 13; 10. D'Annunzio 13; 11. Day 10; 12. Grotzkyj G. 9; 13. Massei 8; 14. Nemeth 7; 15. Walraven 6; 16. Pagaud 6; 17. Schacht 5; 18. Castellarin 4; 19. Suchet 2; 20. Ayer 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 45; 2. Ducati 45; 3. Honda 21; 4. BMW 13; 5. Suzuki

Superstock 600

The FIM Europe Superstock 600 riders are ready for another exciting event of the season at Imola, with the title race that sees Finland's Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing Team) heading the field after his maiden victory in the series a fortnight ago at Assen.

Two thirds in the opening two races of the season have allowed Wayne Tessels (Wayne Racing Team Suzuki) to elevate himself to second place in the standings, whilst San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki duo Marco Faccani and Andrea Tucci, who dominated the first encounter at Aragon, are now tied with 31 points in third and fourth place, respectively.

Former EJC entrant Kevin Manfredi (Agro-On Wil Racedays Honda), who was second at the flag at Assen, currently lies fifth, 11 points behind the leader.

Two wildcard entrants are going to further increase the already significant number of local riders contesting the Italian Round - Massimiliano Spedale (GRADARACORSE Racing Team Yamaha) and Roberto Mercandelli (MC World Yamaha) could surprise the regulars this time out.

Standings (Round 2 of 7): 1. Tuuli 38; 2. Tessels 32; 3. Faccani 31; 4. Tucci 31; 5. Manfredi 27; 6. Mikhalchik 18; 7. Duwelz 18; 8. Salvadori 18; 9. Hartog 13; 10. Lahti 10; 11. Casalotti 9; 12. Nestorovic 7; 13. Gobbi 5; 14. Lewis 5; 15. Zeelen 5; 16. Rinaldi 4; 17. Marchal 4; 18. Canducci 3; 19. Pittet 2.


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Ducati

The Ducati Superbike Team all set to race on home turf at Imola this weekend

Borgo Panigale (Italy), Tuesday 6 May 2014 - The Ducati Superbike Team is looking forward to racing at its home track this coming weekend, and riders Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies will be seeking the best possible results at the Imola circuit in Italy.

The Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola will host this weekend's fourth round of the 2014 Superbike World championship. The Imola circuit is Ducati's home track, located just 50 kilometres from the Borgo Panigale factory. The Ducati Superbike team will therefore be able to count on all-important local support during the weekend's event.

During last season's Imola race weekend, Giugliano led during the opening stages of race one, battling all the way to the line and achieving final second position, the best result of his Superbike career thus far. Davies meanwhile finished the 2013 Imola races in fifth and sixth position.

At this year's most recent event, which took place at the Dutch track of Assen ten days ago, Giugliano scored his first podium of the 2014 season, a third place finish in a very difficult and wet race 2 while Davies closed the day's races in seventh and eighth position.

Giugliano and Davies are lying sixth and seventh respectively in the general standings ahead of Round 4. Ducati is in fifth position in the manufacturer's classification.


Quotes ahead of the event:

Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34
"The Italian round is extremely important for both myself as an Italian rider and for the team. It's a track where I always enjoy myself and feel comfortable riding. Similarly to Assen, Imola could be one of those tracks where we can make the most of our Panigale's great potential. We'll see what we can do but let's say that we are heading there in a positive frame of mind. We need to remain focused though in order to be prepared for any eventuality."

Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7
"Imola's always been a fairly good track for me and I like the layout for the most part, except perhaps the final chicane. We still have a lot of work to do in order to refine my Panigale but I'm feeling optimistic as we head to Imola. It's my first Italian round as a Ducati rider so I'm sure we'll enjoy lots of support from the fans and the Ducatisti, there's always a good crowd at Italian events. It would be nice to pay the fans back with some strong results in Sunday's races..."


Circuit Information

Country: Italy
Name: Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola
Length of circuit: 4.936 km
Pole Position: left
Race distance: 19 laps/93.784 km

LAP RECORDS: Best lap - Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'47.274 (2013). Superpole - Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'45.981 (2013).

2013 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Giugliano (Aprilia); 3. Laverty (Aprilia). Race 2 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Rea (Honda); 3. Guintoli (Aprilia)


Rider Information

Davide Giugliano
Bike: Ducati 1199 Panigale
Race number: 34
Age: 24 (Born 28/10/1989, Rome, Italy)
Number of SBK races: 61
Number of wins: 0
Number of podiums: 5

Giugliano's SBK track record at Imola:
2013: Race 1 - 2nd, Race 2 - DNF
2012: Race 1 - DNF, Race 2 - DNF

Chaz Davies
Bike: Ducati 1199 Panigale
Race number: 7
Age: 27 (Born 10/02/1987 in Knighton, Wales)
Number of SBK races: 57
Number of wins: 4
Number of podiums: 10

Davies' SBK track record at Imola:
2013: Race 1 - 6th, Race 2 - 5th
2012: Race 1 - DNF, Race 2 - 14th

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Althea Aprilia WSBK

Althea Racing Team - Imola SBK preview
The fourth round of the World Superbike Championship will take place at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy, over the weekend of the 9th, 10th, 11th May 2014. The Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari is an auto and motorcycle racing circuit near the Italian town of Imola, 40 km east of Bologna and 80 km east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello.
The circuit and its adjoining facilities underwent renovation and upgrading works that started in November 2006 and were completed in September 2007. The works were overseen by Hermann Tilke, a well-known German architect specialized in the construction of racing circuits. The circuit is named after Ferrari's late founder Enzo and his son Dino died respectively in the 1988s and 1950s.. Unlike many circuits, Imola actually runs in an anti-clockwise direction

Niccolò Canepa: "I am taking on the Imola round challenge more motivated than ever. The two victories at Assen and the first place in the EVO standings have given an enormous strength to me and the team. Imola is one of the historic circuits of Italian motorcycling. I feel at ease on this track having achieved good results in the past. My goal is to be of course top of my class and to defend the lead in the standings. At Imola there will be many fans of mine and I will try not to disappoint them".

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ENDS

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