Three more press release previews from the World Superbike teams prior to this weekend's Miller Motorsports Park round, from Althea Ducati, Alstare Suzuki and Kawasaki. The Kawasaki release contains details of Chris Vermeulen's decision to withdraw from the Miller round of WSBK round, and allow more time for the elbow he damaged at Monza to heal. Here are the releases:
CARLOS CHECA (ALTHEA RACING) KEEN TO RETURN TO FAVOURITE TRACK MILLER FOR WORLD SBK ROUND 5
Miller Motorsports Park (USA), Wednesday 25th May 2011: The Althea Racing team departs for Salt Lake City tomorrow for the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship, to take place on Monday 1st June at the Miller Motorsports Park.
As in recent years the USA round takes place on the American "Memorial Day" holiday and is the second of just two non-European events to feature on the 2011 SBK calendar.
One of Carlos' preferred tracks, the Spanish rider scored a double win at Miller Motorsports Park in 2008 and would surely have done the same again last year had it not been for technical difficulties. With four wins over the eight races run so far this season, Checa and his team are confident that Salt Lake City can be the setting for two strong race results.
"Miller is a track that suits me very well; it is perhaps the best track for me and my riding style. I'd say that, seeing how both I and my bike are performing right now, that we will be able to adapt well to the track this year. We'll see which tyres are made available and work to find the best combination – I'm feeling confident. We have to finish what we were unable to finish last year."
Checa's Superbike form at Miller:
2010: Race 1- DNF, Race 2 - DNF
2009: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – DNF
2008: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner
Country: USA Name: Miller Motorsports Park Length of circuit: 4.907 km Pole Position: right Race distance: 21 laps = 103.047 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Checa (Ducati) 1'48.045 (2010). Superpole – Checa (Ducati) 1'47.081 (2010).
2010 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Haslam (Suzuki); 3. Haga (Ducati). Race 2 – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Camier (Aprilia); 3. Crutchlow (Yamaha)
ALSTARE SUZUKI READY FOR MILLER WSB
Team Suzuki Press Office - May 25.
Team Alstare Suzuki World Superbike rider Michel Fabrizio heads to America this week for round five of the series with increased confidence following his podium in the last round at Monza.
This will be the fourth time that Miller Motorsport Park in Salt Lake City, Utah has hosted a WSBK event and this year's race once again takes place on a Monday, Memorial Day, and a Public Holiday.
In the past three years, Fabrizio has done well at the 4.907 kilometre circuit and has taken four podiums. The track is situated at high altitude, which saps engine performance, and so Team Alstare Suzuki engineers have to make sure that their GSX-R1000s are performing as strongly as possible.
"The first time we went out on the track here, I thought there was something wrong with my bike, because it seemed slow. But we all soon realised that it was because we were so high up and the engine performance was affected. It's the same for everybody of course and now we are much more used to it.
The track is quite technical and there are a variety of curves to keep you on your toes.
"Last year was not so good for me, but the year before that I got a second and a third place. It's a very tough season this year and our team has been working very hard to give me a competitive bike and that's why I was so happy to get on the podium at Monza - I felt that we deserved it.
"It's always a mixed blessing being in a one-rider team because although you get a lot of attention, there is nobody to exchange information with. For sure, if there were two riders in the team, we would probably progress more quickly. But that's not the case, so we all just have to get down to it and do the best we can. After the last round, I am thinking that more podiums are possible and it would be great to get one - or maybe two!"
Official Kawasaki Superbike Duo Head To Utah
WSBK, Salt Lake City, USA, 24 May 2011
Two of the three official Kawasaki riders in the WSBK championship will take part in the fifth round at MMP but Chris Vermeulen will instead make preparations for a return at the following race.
Lascorz has been offered the opportunity between the previous round in Italy and the MMP race weekend to test the latest developments on the awesome new Ninja ZX-10R in Japan, at the Autopolis circuit in the extreme west of the country. He will then make the trip to the USA in time for race weekend, which uniquely runs from Saturday to Monday at this venue. Raceday at MMP held on the national Memorial Day holiday, when America honours its servicemen and women.
For Sykes the Miller Motorsports Park circuit is one of his favourites on the 13 round campaign trail. The track offers up a tough challenge as it is located at such a high altitude compared to most others and the machine has to hold some angle of lean for the vast majority of the 4.907km lap. Sykes is currently 13th in the overall rankings, with Lascorz one point and one place behind.
Vermeulen will continue his recuperation in Europe during the MMP weekend, but he will test at Aragon in early June to get some welcome track time on his Ninja ZX-10R machine outside of the pressures of a regular race weekend. This special test will show how his recently injured left elbow has healed up since the previous round at Monza as well as giving Chris the chance to try our different machine settings and learn a circuit he has never been to before. Aragon is KRT's designated test track, and the venue for the seventh round of the championship.
Pedercini Team Kawasaki Superbike riders Roby Rolfo and Mark Aitchison will also travel to America looking for more points scoring success. Roby is 17th in the standings, Mark 18th.
There will be no Supersport World Championship race at Miller, but Kawasaki Provec Motocard.com riders Broc Parkes and David Salom will return to action alongside all the other riders in the main classes at Misano on June 12.
Tom Sykes: "Personally, I really look forward to this race, it is a beautiful part of the world and it is massive bonus to go racing there. We struggled there last year but we have a new bike this year and I am positive about that. I am hoping we can go there and certainly improve on last year but also improve on our previous results this year and move forward again. Hopefully we can make our hard work at the previous rounds count in America. The challenges for the rider there are the time zone change and the massive increase in altitude. You lose a bit of power from the bike at the high altitude but what you need is a bike set-up which turns and holds a good line at Miller. There is little of this circuit where you are completely upright. It sounds obvious but the more time we get on the bike the better we will be."
Joan Lascorz: "The idea of testing in Japan is to try some new ideas and give some feedback. I have my crew chief with me and I hope we can give good input into the development program. Our bike is so young and has more potential than we have been able to demonstrate so far. The track at Miller is exciting. The altitude means there is less power, but that is the same for everybody. The track has some fast corners that I like very much, so let us see if we can make it an easy bike to change direction with and then we can go as fast as the best ones. The team, Kawasaki, my crew chief and I are all learning the set-up steps we should avoid and the steps that give us something positive. Is not been easy for me to be competitive immediately, with no winter test, a new bike and new staff to work with, but I'm quite sure we are working with passion and motivation to improve race by race. We are preparing the base for a great future winning bike."
Chris Vermeulen: "It is disappointing to not race in America but my injuries are still healing. The good thing is they are improving. The decision was taken with the team and Kawasaki to miss the race and concentrate on testing. That's not only for myself to get some time under my belt away from the racing, but also to get more information about the bike. That means I should hopefully come back strong at Misano which is a track I know quite well. I have never ridden at Aragon before so it will be good to get some track time in and learn the track before we go there after Misano."