Press release previews from the teams and organizer ahead of this weekend's World Superbike round at Portimao, in Portugal:
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Portimao - Preview
7th – 9th June 2013
6th of 15 race weekends
Munich/Milan, 3rd June 2013. This weekend (7th to 9th June), the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team will be in action in the south of the Iberian peninsula. The “Autódromo Internacional do Algarve” near Portimão (POR) will host the sixth round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship. The first third of the season is already completed. After five rounds, factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) have claimed a total of seven podium finishes on their BMW S 1000 RRs, including three victories.
In the Riders’ classification, Marco is currently fourth with 127 points. Chaz follows directly behind, being fifth with 112 points. In the Manufacturers’ classification, BMW is third with 175 points, with a gap of 33 points to the lead. Last week, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team conducted two days of testing at Spanish “Motorland Aragón”. In preparation for the next rounds, Marco and Chaz tried several new settings and updated components.
After a four week break, the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup resumes at Portimão, contesting its fourth round of the season. The BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team and riders Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) are eager to celebrate more successes with the brand new BMW HP4. After they were involved in a heavy crash at the previous round in Monza (ITA), both riders are fully fit and ready for the Portimão weekend.
Portimão from the rider’s point of view:
“Portimão is a pretty technical track, similar to Assen and Donington. There are some very slow turns and some very fast corners. It is undulating with some blind crests. In general Portimão has a quite unique layout and consequently, it is not easy to find a good set-up. In addition, the track is very bumpy so we need to improve a bit more to be competitive. As it is very difficult to overtake there, it will be important for us to have a good qualifying.”
“Portimão is a great circuit. Because of its character, it is one of my favourite tracks. It is difficult to find the right set-up but I always enjoy riding there and I have been competitive there in the past. It is fun as it has a lot of elevation changes, and some of them are quite steep. I am looking forward to the weekend. The first priority is not to encounter some of the issues we had at the last couple of races. Then my plan is to qualify well and to push for a podium.”
Portimão from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“After the Donington races we had two positive days of testing at Spanish Aragón last week. Even if we were a little bit hampered by the weather conditions, Marco and Chaz could test new solutions which will be useful at this next race weekend in Portimão. The Portuguese track is very technical, with uphill and downhill sections. For our riders it will be important to start the round with a good base in order to be able to continue their work over the weekend with confidence. We are sure that from the two days of testing we found the solutions we were looking for. Now we are focused on the next races.”
Portimão from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“The whole team is looking forward to the next races in Portimão. It is a track where in the past we have shown a good speed but for a series of unlucky circumstances we did not claim the expected results. It is a very busy time for all our guys. After Donington, we went to Aragón for an important test where we could work on the main issues we had experienced in England. We have partly fixed or better understood them so we now want to see the results of this work in Portimão. Our competitors are becoming stronger and stronger so we must keep our heads down and work harder in order to improve the performance of our machine. Only in this way we will be able to maintain the competitiveness of our package and give our riders the chance to win races.
The Portuguese racetrack with its elevation changes and several uphill and downhill sections requires a lot of work, not only on finding the right chassis setting but also the right riding dynamic strategies. We need to find the best compromise between handling and stability, trying to keep our performance as consistent as possible. We expect that our RR will suit the characteristic of this racetrack as it has done in the past.”
Portimão from Pirelli’s point of view:
Since this is the first time the FIM World Superbike Championship will be held at Portimão in the month of June, Pirelli will be bringing various solutions, some of which were already used at Phillip Island and Monza, in SC0 and SC1 compounds which best adapt to operating in the heat. The Superbike class riders will be able to count on four slick solutions for the front and four for the rear, in addition to the qualifier, intermediate and wet solutions. On the front the standard SC1 (R426) in soft compound (already brought to the first five rounds and ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks) will be joined by three SC2 compound solutions: the R982, which is the standard SC2 which has been brought to all the rounds this year, excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread, the R1220, a development solutions that was already brought to both Phillip Island and Monza and the alternative to the standard SC2 solution which is a bit less robust and the R753, another development solution in alternative to the standard SC2, also brought to Phillip Island and Monza, even more robust than the R1220 and therefore better able to withstand the aggressive nature of the asphalt and more suited for riders who are hard on the brakes.
On the rear there will be two SC0 and two SC1 solutions. The standard SC0, (R1261) is confirmed as one of the best options in case of high temperatures. In fact, it is ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures because it provides maximum contact area on smooth asphalt and maximum traction development at high temperatures, in addition to its greater performance stability under thermal decline. As an alternative to the standard tyre the riders will be able to opt for the S502, an SC0 development in soft compound that should guarantee greater performance stability, especially in the event of high temperatures. On the other hand, the SC1 are both development solutions: the R1255, a medium blend that was already brought to Phillip Island, should be more robust and consistent than the standard solutions usually used and capable of better dissipating the heat. The S514, which made its debut at Monza, uses the same compound as the standard SC1 solution but it has a reinforced central strip and was designed with different internal materials in order to maintain particularly low operating temperatures. At Portimão, precisely because of the probability of high temperatures which could cause blistering, the same Superpole tyre (S516) with a reinforced central section compound already used in Monza will be present.
Portimão is a coastal town on the Algarve in the south of Portugal with a population of 50,000. It is located almost 300 kilometres south of the capital of Lisbon and about 70 kilometres west of Faro. Tourists love the picturesque region with its many beaches, impressive cliffs, golf courses and many other leisure opportunities. Portimão also enjoys a good reputation when it comes to motor racing. Its unique layout makes the “Autódromo Internacional do Algarve” popular among automobile drivers and motorcyclists alike. The circuit belongs to the “Algarve Motor Park”, which is also home to a kart track and a racing driver school.
It is located in the hilly countryside around Portimão and was inaugurated in the autumn of 2008 with the season finale of the Superbike World Championship. Many other motorbike and automobile championships also stage races there. The challenging layout and generally good weather conditions also make Portimão a popular test circuit.
Some riders regard Portimão as one of the nicest tracks in the world. Uphill and downhill sections, changes in direction and gradient, crests, some complex sections, a lot of long, quick corners and a winding infield make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike. The riders must show plenty of courage to react aggressively, while riding ability and fitness are crucial. The teams must find the right compromise in the set-up of the bike. Good steering response is essential when accelerating out of the corners. In addition, the front wheels of the powerful superbikes can easily lose contact with the ground as they race over the crests. One key point is the final turn: here, it is important to take enough speed out of the corner and onto the start-finish straight, which is almost one kilometre in length.
Team SBK Ducati Alstare prepare for Portugal, and Round 6 of the 2013 World SBK Championship
Portimão (Portugal), Tuesday 4th June 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare and riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini prepare to travel towards the ‘Autódromo Internacional do Algarve’ in Portimão, Portugal for the sixth round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship taking place this coming weekend.
Just over a week since round 5 at Donington Park in the UK, both Checa and Badovini are enthusiastic about returning to the Portuguese track in what will hopefully be sunny conditions. Carlos is continuing with intensive physiotherapy in order to be as prepared as possible for the next races. His left shoulder is responding well to treatment and the Spaniard is working extremely hard to get back in shape.
The 2011 World Champion has reached the Portimão rostrum on more than one occasion in recent years, both as a race winner and as a runner-up, and always enjoys racing at this particular circuit. Ayrton, having finished race one at Donington in eleventh position while unfortunately suffering a fall in the second, is focusing on scoring two solid results come Sunday. The Italian’s best result to date at the Portuguese track was a sixth place finish in 2011.
“My aim is to regain strength and prepare as well as possible for this weekend’s races. At Donington I was probably around a 6 out of 10 but now I feel like an 8. I’m going to the gym and continuing with physiotherapy every day here in Spain and am in contact with the Clinica Mobile who will help me with treatments throughout the race weekend. We’ll have to see how I am once I complete race distance but the Portimão track should be less of a problem than Donington, one of the most physical layouts. To be honest I thought I could have done race 2 at Donington but I thank Francis and Ernesto for having made me see that it was best to sit it out – it was the right decision because my shoulder’s had time to regain strength and stability. I’d like recovery to be quicker but I understand that, now I’m 40, maybe it takes a little longer. I hope I can soon put this behind me and concentrate instead on my technical growth with the bike.”
Checa’s Superbike form at Portimão:
2012: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 5th
2011: Race 1- winner, Race 2 – 4th
2010: Race 1 - 4th, Race 2 – 4th
2009: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – DNF
2008: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 7th
“Portimão’s a track that I really like although I’ve never been particularly fast there during races, only during winter testing. I’m feeling confident anyway. We should be able to make the most of some decent weather there in June and technically-speaking the track shouldn’t be so difficult for us and the Panigale, actually it might even help us out. I’m feeling very motivated and look forward to the weekend, perhaps it might even mark a turning point for us.”
Badovini’s Superbike form at Portimão:
2012: Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 6th
2011: Race 1- 13th, Race 2 – 9th
2008: Race 1 - 11th, Race 2 – 16th
Name: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Length of circuit: 4.445 km
Pole Position: left
Race distance: 22 laps/101.024 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'42.774 (2010). Superpole – Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'41.415 (2012).
2012 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Checa (Ducati); 3. Guintoli (Ducati). Race 2 – 1. Laverty (Aprilia); 2. Rea (Honda); 3. Biaggi (Aprilia)
THE APRILIA RACING TEAM TAKES ON THE AUTÓDROMO DO ALGARVE.
RANKING LEADER SYLVAIN GUINTOLI MAKES HIS DÉBUT ON THE PORTUGUESE CIRCUIT ASTRIDE THE RSV4 AFTER HIS DOUBLE PODIUM IN DONINGTON.
EUGENE LAVERTY IS ANXIOUS TO CONFIRM HIS FEELING WITH PORTIMÃO WHERE HE TOOK HIS FIRST VICTORY WITH APRILIA IN 2012.
Noale, 4 June 2012 – The excitement of the World Superbike Championship continues, with the Aprilia Racing Team playing a key role. After confirming the dual leadership in the rider and manufacturer standings once again during the Donington weekend, the team from Veneto is now aiming for a solid performance on the Autódromo do Algarve at Portimão, a track where the Aprilia RSV4 has always done well.
For ranking leader Sylvain Guintoli, coming from the English double podium, this is a perfect opportunity to tighten his hold on the top position in the rider standings. Eugene Laverty, on the other hand, returns to a track which holds many connections for him: this was the venue of his first test astride the RSV4 in October 2011 as well as the circuit where he then rode the Aprilia 4 cylinder to his first victory last season.
Acknowledged by all as one of the most demanding and spectacular circuits on the calendar, the 4,692 metre track is characterised by its continuous variations in slope. Over the last few seasons it has proven to adapt well to the characteristics of the RSV4, which has always come away the winner or finished toward the top. This weekend's races will certainly confirm the even playing field that has been demonstrated throughout the first part of the championship and both Guintoli and Laverty are looking forward to being in the game.
Sylvain Guintoli: "Portimao is a beautiful track and one of my favourites. After being back on the podiums in Donington, I am looking forward to be able to use the strength of the RSV4 factory on a wider and bigger track".
Eugene Laverty: "Portimao is perhaps my favourite circuit on the calendar and so I'm looking forward it. We've had a really strong season so far and I'll be aiming for another victory this weekend. It will be important to finish on the podium in both races as my title rivals are very consistent".
FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI SET FOR PORTIMAO WSB
Team Suzuki Press Office - June 4.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki is heading for the south of Portugal as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship makes the next stop on its tour at Portimao for round six of the series.
Leon Camier is travelling to the Portuguese circuit looking to put the disappointment he suffered last time out at Donington firmly behind him. The Englishman is now fully fit and is aiming at getting back to basics at a circuit that saw him cruelly robbed of a very possible podium last season. Camier was challenging for third as the final lap approached in 2012, but a technical issue forced him to retire at the start of the last lap. With the thought of what might have been still firmly in his mind, and the desire to make amends for his crashes at Donington, Camier is clearly focused on the job ahead.
Jules Cluzel is returning to a circuit that saw him take third on the grid last season in the Supersport class, but he bettered that on race-day by taking victory in the 600cc category - his penultimate win of the season. The Frenchman has been producing solid performances on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in his first season in the Superbike class and will be looking to find more speed in Portugal.
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the most modern tracks on the World Superbike calendar. Situated in the Algarve region of Southern Portugal, it was completed in 2008 and opened officially when it hosted the finale of the WSB championship that year. The layout of the 4,592m circuit is situated in hilly landscape and features many sections that rise and fall over the configuration. A number of changes in direction throughout the 15 corners, allied with some complex sections, a lot of long corners and a winding infield, make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike.
The sixth round of the World Superbike season will get underway on Friday with the first practice and qualifying sessions. Saturday morning will see Camier and Cluzel in a second qualifying session that will reduce the field to just 15-riders, who will then progress to Superpole. Sunday's two races will be 22-laps long and will start at 12.00hrs local time (12.00hrs BST) and 15.30hrs local time (15.30hrs BST).
"I can't wait to get back on the bike and hopefully make amends for what happened at Donington last weekend. I have been training hard and that's all been going good, so I know my fitness is up there; now we need to bounce back and put the last race behind us. We'll be looking to build the weekend up as it goes along and aim to get the FIXI Crescent Suzuki in to a strong position for race-day. We need to get back to our strengths and start pushing for some good results. I was unlucky at Portimao last year because I was with Max Biaggi all the way and if I hadn't had to retire I think I could have got third. I really like the Portimao track and my race-pace has always been pretty good there - we now need to get the bike feeling right, make sure I stay consistent; and see what we can produce."
"We will try and work in the same way that we did at Donington, but this time we really hope we can have some nice weather on Friday. This will help us to work on the bike and the set-up and get a good base for qualifying. It would be really nice to get a full weekend on the bike, because the more time I spend on the Suzuki GSX-R the better it is for me. I went very well at Portimao last year; it was my first time at the track and I was able to win the race, but this year it will be much tougher and it's a very physical circuit so I will have to concentrate a lot. I am really excited about going there though and wish that it was Friday already!"
Pata Honda heads south to Portugal
The Pata Honda team is heading to Portugal for this weekend’s (7-9 June) sixth-round World Superbike races at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on the southern Portuguese coast.
The challenging and undulating 4.592km circuit, which lies 80km west of Faro, was completed in 2008, just in time for Jonathan Rea’s World Superbike debut and a wildcard appearance for his current Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam, and it holds good memories for both riders.
Rea has taken no fewer than five podium finishes at Portimao since that SBK debut and started the 2011 races from pole position. The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland will be keen to get back on the rostrum this weekend after electronics problems dashed his podium hopes last time out at Donington Park in the UK.
Haslam, who celebrated his 30th birthday last Friday, has enjoyed three Portimao podium finishes, but the Portuguese round represents another step towards full fitness for the Derbyshire resident, who broke his left leg at Assen in The Netherlands in April.
Despite battling through the Donington Park qualifying and Superpole sessions, Haslam reluctantly withdrew from the two races, unable to exert enough pressure through the left footpeg of his Pata Honda CBR1000RR to ride it the way he wished.
It took me a while to get over the disappointment of Donington but I’ve been throwing myself into the TT on the Isle of Man. I’ve been playing on trials bikes and watching the races and Honda invited me to the Joey Dunlop memorial dinner last Saturday. I usually look forward to the weather in Portugal, but it’s been awesome on the Isle of Man this week, where 17 degrees feels like 25, but I really love the Portimao circuit and the surrounding area. It’s one of the highlights of the season for me and the undulations throw everything at the rider in a proper test. When the bike’s been good this year, it’s been really good, but unfortunately the electronics have been a bit of a thorn in our side and that was the case again at Donington. I’m looking forward to this weekend though, and hoping that the guys will be on top of everything to allow us to realise some of the bike’s potential.
It was tough to miss out on Donington but it was the right call. Even though I made Superpole, I wasn’t able to ride the bike how I wanted in order to do the lap time. To do two 23-lap races would’ve been really tough, but I know that the leg will be better at Portimao. I’ve been getting more physio and trying to build up the quad muscle in my left leg, which has wasted a bit after not doing much for over a month. I came out to Portugal a couple of days early to get some sun and the weather hasn’t disappointed, but Portimao is another physical circuit. Donington is tough because of the heavy braking, but all the ups and downs at Portimao mean you really have to muscle the bike around. With the next round at Imola, I’ve probably got the three most physical circuits on the calendar for my comeback! I enjoy Portimao though, and got my first Superbike podium for Honda as a wildcard back in 2008, so I’m looking forward to see how we get o n.
ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse: In Portugal for another top weekend
After the great race at Donington Park, 37 years after Giacomo Agostini’s podium in Nurburgring, ParkinGO brings the MV F3 675 to Portugal at the International Circuit do Algarve in Portimao, trying to match the great results done in England.
Roberto Rolfo is ready to do another excellent race; Christian Iddon will continue his rookie world championship at a known track, trying to forget the bad luck suffered at the last race, crashing when he was in fourth position.
Both riders and the team are ready for another challenge. The main goal is to get as much information as possible and try new solutions.
The excellent result obtained at the fifth race of the championship is not enough to pay the support of the sponsors and fans that the ParkinGO MV Agusta Team is getting since the start of this adventure
SBK Stk600 - San Carlo Team Italia in "attack mode" in Portimao
After a good race on home soil, Nocco and Morbidelli are back on track for the fourth round of the European championship.
The Portuguese track, among the most difficult ones on calendar with its elevation changes, will put through a serious test the riders' skills. Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki ZX-6R#81) is required to confirm the progress shown in the past two races, where he was 12th in Assen and 5th on the wet in Monza.
Franco Morbidelli (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki ZX-6R#12), who was fifth on this track last year, can take advantage of his previous experience. Among the fastest riders in qualifiers and always with points thus far, the Italian is just 10 points off the provisional Top 3 in the rankings and hopes to cut this gap.
Cristiano Migliorati (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We are well prepared for this round, which takes place in the most difficult track on calendar in my opinion. Both riders are in good physical and mental shape, and the team prepared the bikes to express their full potential. Nocco is fast to adapt, but this new track will be difficult for him: he will have to work well during qualifiers to get a good result during the race. Morbidellli has more experience on this track, which could be a key for him. Doriano Romboni will watch from the side to help with the gearbox and lines. We hope to get both riders in the Top 5."
Supersport World Championship
After Donington, Riccardo Russo is back on track with a vengeance for the sixth round of the season. Despite conquering points, the Italian riding for Puccetti Racing Kawasaki did not fight at the top but still managed to improve in the general standings ahead of a race on a track he particularly likes.
Althea Racing Team – Portimao SBK preview
The sixth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place at the “Autodromo Internacional do Algarve” in Portimao, Portugal over the weekend of June 7/8/9. Designed to be one of the best and most modern circuits in Europe, the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve benefits from the best conditions of safety and comfort both for drivers and the public. There are 64 different possible layouts of the circuit, including those that have already been approved by the FIA for Formula 1 and by the FIM for the World Superbike Championship races. The natural relief of the terrain enabled the creation of a unique circuit, with accentuated undulations, making driving a pleasure, since the curves and straights follow each other at an exciting rhythm with accentuated declines. For the public this characteristic is spectacular, allowing a wide view from any stand.
After Davide Giugliano’s convincing performance during the Donington race weekend just two weeks ago, team Althea Racing is optimistic about the Portimao round, and plans to confirm the progress made so far in this season’s championship. On the Portuguese track, that suits the characteristics of the Aprilia RSV4, Genesio Bevilacqua’s team will work hard to achieve the best possible results while Giugliano hopes to gain valuable points with which to improve his position in the championship standings.
Davide Giugliano: “The Portimao round is one of my favourites because I really like the track and it’s always nice to spend a few days in the Algarve. I hope that Portugal will bring us favourable conditions and some hot weather at last. After the two Donington races we are even more convinced about our capabilities and possibilities. I hope to be in the leading group at Portimao, making the most of my RSV4’s great potential. I’m not setting a specific objective, other than to give it my all and achieve good results, for me and my team.”
HONDA RACING INFORMATION
FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 06 SUNDAY JUNE 09 PORTIMAO, PORTUGAL
TWO MORE CHANCES FOR REA TO SHINE UNDER THE PORTUGUESE SUN
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had his first Superbike ride for his Dutch based team at the Portimao round of the 2008 FIM Superbike World Championship and he returns there for the sixth round of the championship keen to get his first 2013 season race win on the board.
Jonathan has already scored a second place at Assen on his 2013 specification CBR1000RR but at Portimao in the recent past he has secured no fewer than six podiums. He is yet to win a race at the 4.592km venue, located in the hills behind the most popular holiday resorts on the Algarve coast, and would love to score his first victory of 2013 there to start his march back up the championship points table from his current seventh place.
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had recovered sufficiently from his broken left leg to try and race at his home round of Donington in late May but he was not quite ready to face two full Superbike contests. Haslam has now regained a lot more mobility and bend in his left knee after his tibia and fibula break at Assen in late April and he feels he should be able to race for good points scoring positions at this forthcoming round.
Leon is also rider who knows how to get to the podium at Portimao, as he first did on a CBR1000RR way back in a privateer season in 2008.
The Portimao track is a superbly designed venue albeit contained in a limited amount of space. Since it first opened it has provided a tough challenge for all riders, simply because of its many dramatic dips and elevations, with multiple blind corner entries and short straights that ensure the riders of a modern-day SBK machines get virtually no breathing space between corners. Even the main straight, approached at a fast pace, has a rise that becomes almost a jump at the beginning and then onto a downhill approach to the first corner.
After the Portimao weekend is completed the SBK circus heads to Italy for the second time in 2013, for a visit to another hilly and physical racetrack, Imola. The classic Italian venue hosts the seventh round on June 30.
ROLLERCOASTER RIDE COMING UP FOR HONDA’S WSS RIDERS
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and his team-mate Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) are currently fourth and fifth respectively in the FIM Supersport World Championship standings with the Portuguese event about to take place on Sunday 9 June.
As each Pata Honda rider is a rookie in this class taking their CBR600RR machines to the limit around the unique ‘rollercoaster’ of the 4.592km track in the hills above the Algarve will be a thrilling new experience. They have each raced at Portimao before, Van der Mark on a Superstock 600 Honda, on which he won both of the most recent races in Portugal. Zanetti has also ridden at Portimao in recent seasons, on large capacity Superstock and Superbike machines.
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) is another class rookie who has shown pace and ability in 2013, having scored his personal best of sixth last time out at Donington. He has tested at Portimao, although in changeable and wet conditions last winter, so at least he will know which way the incredibly undulating and sinuous track goes when he goes out for the first practice session on Friday.
Portimao is no mystery to Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) as he took a podium place there in Superstock 1000 racing in 2011. After struggling with recent injury he is looking to Portimao as a place to improve on his previous best result in 2013, sixth.
Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) is two places behind Morais in the championship table, 16th, and now looking for more top ten finishes to realize his ambitions in this class of racing.
It is a similar story for former 125cc GP Champion Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) as he continues to unlock the secrets of WSS competition. He has raced at Portimao before and understands how much preparation needs to go into this intense circuit, which features so many blind corner entries and elevation changes. Currently Gabor is 23rd overall, thanks to his first points score with 12th place at the previous round.
Championship points in the last two races, including a 13th place at Donington last time out, have shown Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) the way forward as he now sits in 24th place in the points standings.
David Linortner (Team Honda PTR) is another rider in the points scoring tally for Honda, but Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda), Eduard Blokhin (Rivamoto Honda), Nacho Calero Perez (Honda PTR) and Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) have all yet to score, such is the strength in depth of WSS competition in 2013.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
"It took me a while to get over the disappointment of Donington but I’ve thrown myself into the TT on the Isle of Man. I’ve been playing on trials bikes and watching the races and Honda invited me to the Joey Dunlop memorial dinner on Saturday. I usually look forward to the weather in Portugal, but it’s been awesome on the Isle of Man this week, where 17 degrees feels like 25. I really love the Portimao circuit. It’s one of the highlights of the season for me and the undulations throw everything at the rider in a proper test. When the bike’s been good this year, it’s been really good, but unfortunately the electronics have been a bit of a thorn in our side and that was the case at Donington. I’m looking forward to this weekend though, and hoping that the guys will be on top of everything to allow us to realise some of the bike’s potential."
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
"I biggest thing is that the movement and bend of my left knee has got a lot better since Donington so we are working on the strength of my leg now. Three or four weeks of not using the muscles means that they go pretty quickly so I have been working hard with my physio trying to get the strength back. The lack of bend in my leg and the strength of my muscles were the two things that held me back from riding in the races at Donington, but both of those things have been improved. Portimao is a track that is very demanding so it is going to be a big test. The three tracks I have tried to come back for – Donington, Portimao and Imola – are the three hardest on the calendar in a physical sense so If I can come back at any of them then I know I will be fine for any of the up and coming races. My knee hurt the whole weekend at Donington and all the doctors have advised me to rest it. I had probably been overworking it, trying to get fit for my home race last time out. So now I am not overdoing it and hopefully I can rest it in the run up to Portugal. I can then go session-by-session rather than try and do too much too soon.”
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
"I am ready for the Portimao race and I have to be confident and happy after the last two races at Monza and Donington because we have taken a good direction in the set-up of the bike. So I will take a positive feeling to Portimao even though it is not my favourite track. I will push 100% and try to get a good result because after Portimao we arrive at another favourite track of mine, Imola. Now I am in fourth place in the championship so it will be necessary to aim for top fives places in all the races. It is important to work with the team to continue to improve the bike’s performance as well because the other bikes are also fast, but we have a good potential with the Honda and I have a good team around me. Because of this I am not feeling a lot of pressure. The last two races have been held on very different tracks, Monza and Donington, but it went well at both of them. I think the base set-up will be strong for all the other tracks from now on."
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
"My foot injury is getting better, but slowly, so maybe I am doing too much with it. That said it is not too bad. Portimao is a track I really like and in the last two years in Superstock 600 I had good results. After the disappointment of Monza and Donington we need another good result and I think we can do it now. We just want a normal weekend and I hope that the team and I can work together to earn many points. The package and the base of the bike is really good, we just need to find that last little part every time, which has been proving difficult sometimes. If you look at all the qualifying sessions we have a good race pace but we need to find that little extra in qualifying. If we lose Friday practice time to weather conditions we lose a lot of track time we really need, especially in my first WSS season.”
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda)
"I am busy with my preparations and training for the next track at Portimao. I do know this track because we had a test here at the beginning of the year but it was mainly wet for two days. It is a strange track really, big time, because the hills on it are crazy! A super track though. It is very physical round there so I am expecting a tough race but I have been training extra hard to overcome the arm pump I suffered at Donington. It would be nice to have a dry Friday and not a wet Friday for once. There have been a lot of wet first days so far and that leaves us on the back foot a bit compared to teams who have data from all the tracks last year."
Luca Marconi (PTR Honda)
"I took a standard Honda CBR600RR to Adria, a short track near my home, to do some track training in readiness for the Portuguese race weekend. I made 120 laps on Monday and I feel ready to race now. Portimao is like a motocross track with asphalt; it is so up and down. I just want to achieve a good result again after the no-score at Donington. The team and I will do our best to achieve this."
Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda)
"I am planning a little bit of relaxation before the race at Portimao because the place is very nice but I will need all the kilometres I can get at that track when I arrive there because I only rode it for the first time last year. It is very hard because it is so up and down. My goal this time is to get into the top ten. I am ready for this so why not? The most important thing about this track is to know where you are because then it is easy to prepare for the corners. If you do not have the reference points worked out you will be lost. It will be important to cycle around it, run around it, walk around it a lot, to check all these points for each corner. It is a very exciting track and the only negative thing is that the bike is always doing a wheelie so you have to think about this to stop it doing it too much and losing you time.”
WSBK ready for Portimao rollercoaster
Rome (Italy), Monday 3 June 2013 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the magnificent shores of Algarve for Round 6, that will take place the upcoming weekend at Portimao's Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. The Portuguese track made its debut onto the WSBK scene in 2008 – not long after its completion - and it has been a permanent fixture of the calendar since then.
The track is a riders’ favourite thanks to the challenging, fast and undulating layout that gives a unique character and offers great racing. The "man on a mission" Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who ended up last year 1st and 3rd – after securing the top slot on the grid in the Tissot-Superpole – he’s now looking forward to building on the momentum he gained after dominating the European Round at Donington Park.
Double podium finisher in UK Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) still holds the lead in Riders Standings, despite not climbing onto the top step of the podium from the very first race of the season at Phillip Island. He was 3rd at the end of Race 1 last year and in 2011, after being edged out twice from second place by Carlos Checa. Team mate Eugene Laverty scored last time out at Portimao a late first – and only one – race win of his maiden season with Aprilia.
Following a weather-hampered two-day test at Aragon last week, BMW official riders will aim for strong results after the mixed feelings of the past event. Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies – who won 3 out of 10 races so far in the season – are currently 46 and 61 points behind the leader and desperately looking to make up ground at Portimao. In 2012 Melandri had a nightmare weekend, ruining his World Title chase as he crashed out of Race 1 – injuring his back - and was forced to withdraw from the following one.
While Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had to sit out of the last two races due to his left leg injury – despite his efforts to be on track in front of his home crowd – fellow Brit Jonathan Rea tried everything he could to resurrect the flagging fortunes of the Team in 2013 and he is now looking forward to trying his very best again on the venue that saw his first WSBK appearance in 2008. Haslam, on the other hand, is continuing his rehabilitation hoping to be fit enough to race this weekend.
Team Ducati Alstare is back to a two-rider line-up after Niccolò Canepa's one-off ride at Donington. Carlos Checa is still dealing with the osseus edema on the head of his left humerus, that forced him to withdraw from Donington second race, and is about to face another physically demanding track. The Spaniard’s only victory on the Portuguese track dates back to 2011 (Race 1).
Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) had one of the best performances of the past season last year at Portimao in Race 2, when he fought hard against former team mate Max Biaggi for 3rd place until a technical problem ruled him out of the race, on the penultimate lap. Although last year’s unfortunate events, Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) has fond memories of the track that hosted his World Superbike debut in 2011, straight after his coronation as FIM Superstock 1000 Cup Champion.
Standings - provisional* (round 5 of 15): 1. Guintoli 173; 2. Sykes 169; 3. Laverty 149; 4. Melandri 127; 5. Davies 112; 6. Baz 95; 7. Rea 89; 8. Fabrizio 86; 9. Giugliano 72; 10. Cluzel 55; 11. Camier 49; 12. Neukirchner 45; 13. Badovini 37; 14. Checa 33; 15. Haslam 29; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 208; 2. Kawasaki 180; 3. BMW 175; 4. Honda 96; 5. Suzuki 82; 6. Ducati 65.
* Possible updated results could be defined by the International Disciplinary Court which is dealing with the appeal lodged by Aprilia Racing Team and rider Sylvain Guintoli, following the decision taken by the FIM Stewards in Monza (Italian Round, last 12 May) to cancel the drop of position sanction (from third to fourth place in race 2) imposed by the Race Direction on rider Tom Sykes.
There is no better place than Portimao for Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), currently ranked 2nd in the points, to try and stop Sam Lowes’ impressive momentum. The Reigning Champion was victorious in three of the four races he’s tackled on the Portuguese track, even in 2008 when he marked his return to the series by taking Jonathan Rea’s place for the Season Finale.
It won’t be an easy task for the three-time Supersport Champion, as Lowes has won the last three races and now leads the Riders Standings with a 30 points margin. The Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha rider put up an outstanding performance last time out at Donington Park dominating the whole weekend in flawless fashion.
Mahi Racing Team India’s Fabien Foret aims to bounce back following some difficult results in the last two rounds. The French veteran scored his only rostrum finish at Portimao last year, third at the chequered flag behind race winner Jules Cluzel and 2013 team mate Sofuoglu.
After injuring himself during a motocross training session before his home race at Aragon and missing four rounds, Spaniard David Salom (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) will make his comeback at Portimao to join team mate Luca Scassa.
Miguel Praia will be lining up for Team Honda Lorini, to take the seat left empty by the return of Alex Baldolini to Team Suriano, for a one-off on his home track. The former Supersport regular rider, who is racing full-time in Brazil, hopes to quickly get to grips with the 600cc Honda of the Italian squad.
Standings (round 5 of 14): 1. Lowes 95; 2. Sofuoglu 65; 3. Foret 61; 4. Zanetti 53; 5. Vd Mark 49; 6. Scassa 45; 7. Rolfo 38; 8. Antonelli 37; 9. Kennedy 34; 10. Marino 31; 11. Russo 28; 12. Coghlan 22; 13. Leonov 21; 14. Morais 19; 15. Ivanov 18. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 110; 2. Yamaha 103; 3. Honda 78; 4. MV Agusta 38; 5. Suzuki 9; 6. Triumph 6.
This year’s FIM Superstock 1000 Cup is proving to be extremely challenging, as the top-4 in the standings is within 8 points of each other and there have been three different race winners out of the three rounds held so far – all on different machinery.
Championship leader Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati) is looking forward to taking his first victory of the season – the last one was in 2007 at Brands Hatch - following the excellent results of his One Event participation at Donington Park, with Team Ducati Alstare, in the Superbike class.
The 23 year old Italian will have to defend his position by team mate Eddi La Marra and Frenchmen duo of defending Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) and Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki). Latest race winner Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) will aim for a repeat performance to keep his title chances alive.
Standings (round 3 of 10): 1. Canepa 52; 2. La Marra 49; 3. Barrier 45; 4. Guarnoni 44; 5. Mercado 36; 6. Savadori 33; 7. Lanusse 29; 8. Jezek 24; 9. Bussolotti 19; 10. Lussiana 15; 11. Bergman 15; 12. Magnoni 11; 13. Ferrer 7; 14. Gildenhuys 6; 15. Andreozzi 6. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 61; 2. BMW 56; 3. Kawasaki 54; 4. Honda 6; 5. Suzuki 5.
After seeing his winning streak coming to an end on the soaked wet Monza track three weeks ago, Gauthier Duwelz (MTM-MVR Racing Yamaha) hopes to reinstate himself as the man to beat in 2013 Superstock 600 European Championship. Last year the Belgian talent was edged out from 3rd place at Portimao by team mate Adrian Nestorovic, as the Australian rode to his first ever STK600 podium finish. Supersport debutant at Donington Park Tony Covena (Nito Racing Kawasaki) is looking forward to mixing up at the front too, as well as Italian round winner Nicola Morrentino (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) and Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda).
Standings (round 3 of 10): 1. Duwelz 57; 2. Chesaux 40; 3. Coveña 39; 4. Morrentino 33; 5. Nestorovic 31; 6. Morbidelli 29; 7. Mulhauser 24; 8. Salvadori 22; 9. Gamarino 20; 10. Tessels 19; 11. Tuuli 17; 12. Tatasciore 16; 13. Nocco 15; 14. Casalotti 15; 15. Schmitter 13; etc.