2014 Jerez World Superbike And World Supersport Preview Press Releases

Press releases from the series organizer and World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's Jerez round of WSBK:

WSBK action resumes at Jerez for Round 10

Barcelona (Spain), Monday 1 September 2014 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship returns to Jerez for the tenth round of the season. This is the second year in a row that the series heads to the Andalusian circuit, and the third time overall after a trip down to the south of Spain in 1990.

The track layout consists of a great mix of low, mid-speed and fast corners which, combined with relatively short straights, make the Spanish venue an exciting and challenging one that brings out the best in the riders and provides great racing.

Despite not being the circuit to host the season finale this year, as in 2013, the Spanish Round will once again play a key role in the title race. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) heads to Jerez in a confident mood with excellent memories from last season, having proudly raised his first World Superbike Championship trophy at the end of a stellar year.

The 29 year old Briton currently sits on top of the standings with a significant 44 point lead over Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who needs to make up some ground in order to keep his title hopes alive. Both riders are looking forward to step atop the podium for the first time at Jerez, as Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) won both of last year’s encounters on factory Aprilia machinery.

Laverty and his current teammate Alex Lowes showed great speed aboard their respective bikes in the three-day private test last April at Jerez, likewise Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) who, despite the 64 point gap to the top, is still mathematically in contention for the ultimate prize and is also well positioned for the runner-up spot.

It is the same situation for Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) as he is only 8 points behind Rea and 28 points away from second place. The young Frenchman is still looking for his first win of the year after claiming eight podium finishes (seven of which were second places).

Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) hopes the summer break will not affect his momentum, as the experienced Italian rider came out victorious in Race 1 at Laguna Seca last month before crashing out while in the lead of the second encounter in the USA.

The former 250cc World Champion had a difficult time last year at Jerez dealing with an ankle injury sustained in a domestic accident. Melandri was close to winning the first race before Laverty made a spectacular pass on the outside at the final turn. The then BMW rider opted to sit out the second race due to the pain coming from his ankle joint.

Ducati Superbike Team’s Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies are aiming high at Jerez, a track that should suit the improved 1199 Panigale R well. Both riders scored top-10 finishes last year at the Spanish track on different machinery, but were not in contention for the podium.

After missing out the US Round due to the injuries suffered a week before at Portimão, Claudio Corti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will return to action at Jerez, where he has previously raced in both the MotoGP and Moto2 championships.

Team Hero EBR and their riding duo of Geoff May and Aaron Yates are looking forward to another new challenge, hoping to make a step forward and score their first championship points.

Despite the recent right-hand surgery he underwent at the end of July, David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team – EVO) will take part in his home round to defend his 37 point lead from Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Team Ducati) in the EVO class. On paper the circuit characteristics may further level an already well balanced EVO field, meaning the battle for top honours of the category should be as close as ever.

Joining the fight once again will be Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia - EVO) as the Frenchman has recovered well from the heavy crash he had at Laguna Seca.

Standings (Round 9 of 12): 1. Sykes 325; 2. Guintoli 281; 3. Rea 261; 4. Baz 253; 5. Melandri 217; 6. Davies 159; 7. Giugliano 153; 8. Elias 137; 9. Laverty 134; 10. Haslam 133; 11. Lowes 119; 12. Salom 88; 13. Canepa 51; 14. Camier 37; 15. Guarnoni 33; 16. Barrier 21; 17. Andreozzi 17; 18. Morais 17; 19. Scassa 16; 20. Foret 14; 21. Corti 13; 22. Staring 12; 23. Allerton 6; 24. Bos 5; 25. Goi 5; 26. Russo 5; 27. Pegram 2; 28. Toth 2; 29. Fabrizio 2; 30. Rizmayer 1; 31. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 342; 2. Aprilia 318; 3. Honda 261; 4. Ducati 220; 5. Suzuki 200; 6. BMW 58; 7. MV Agusta 20; 8. EBR 2.

World Supersport

Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) has a serious chance of clinching his first ever World Supersport title at Jerez providing his only rival left, Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), does not score at least three points more than him. The 21 year old from Gouda in the Netherlands has a 53 point lead over the Frenchman, with three races left in the season and 75 points still to be awarded.

Cluzel has a hard challenge ahead of him, as he needs to win at every cost and, at the same time, trying to avoid a DNF that would rule him out of contention for the ultimate prize. There will be a new home for the three time WSS champion Kenan Sofuoglu, who will race with the San Carlo Puccetti Racing Team for the remaining rounds of the year after the decision made by the Mahi Racing Team India to pull out from the championship.

Several other riders are looking for a strong finish at Jerez to get some momentum in the final part of the year and end up the season on a high note. Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), Sofuoglu, Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport), Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha), PJ Jacobsen (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda) and Roberto Rolfo (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) are all quite close to each other point wise, meaning every single result can change their positions quite considerably.

Vladimir Leonov has joined forces with fellow Russian Team Rivamoto and he will return to action in World Supersport after missing out the last three races due to Yakhnich Motorsport’s withdrawal from the series.

Former WSS regular rider and European Junior Cup champion Matt Davies will make a comeback to the series with the AARK Racing Team, who are also returning to WSS, switching from Triumph to Honda.

Local rider and current CEV Superstock 600 leader Ferran Casas Pendon will make his World Supersport debut with Team Torrento Yamaha, the same squad he is racing with in the Spanish Championship.

Standings (Round 8 of 11): 1. vd Mark 160; 2. Cluzel 107; 3. Marino 93; 4. Sofuoglu 83; 5. Zanetti 80; 6. Coghlan 77; 7. Jacobsen 67; 8. De Rosa 67; 9. Rolfo 62; 10. Tamburini 48; 11. Kennedy 43; 12. Wilairot 35; 13. Bussolotti 30; 14. Wahr 26; 15. Russo 25; 16. Gamarino 22; 17. Menghi 20; 18. Nocco 20; 19. Leonov 15; 20. Gowland 9; 21. Roccoli 8; 22. Zaidi 7; 23. Coveña 7; 24. Schmitter 3; 25. Calero 3; 26. Debise 2; 27. Rogers 1. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 181; 2. Kawasaki 135; 3. MV Agusta 121; 4. Yamaha 87; 5. Triumph 9.

Superstock 1000

Victory in Portugal for Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), his second win in a row, elevated the Italian rider into the FIM Superstock Cup lead by a narrow margin of just 4 points after the leader since the opening race Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) could only manage ninth last time out.

With 50 points still on the table 10 riders can still mathematically win the 2014 series and as we have seen in previous years this is Superstock racing and anything can happen.

Ondrej Jezek (Barni Racing Ducati) has been the unfortunate victim of bad luck on more than one occasion but having taken a win at Imola will know that if lady luck is smiling he can feature at the sharp end. The Czech rider currently lies fourth behind Matthieu Lussiana (Team Garnier by ASPI Kawasaki)

Fabio Massei (EAB Racing Ducati) continues to string together a consistent season that has seen the Italian twice on the podium. The young rider from Rome, Italy, will be joined by former STK600 champion and WSS rider Jed Metcher, who will make his debut in the series by replacing Alex Schacht.

Kyle Smith (Agro-On Wil Racedays Honda), who speaks fluent Spanish could well have some local support in Jerez. Having already tasted the podium Prosecco in Aragon will be aiming for a repeat performance of his Jerez outing last year where he dominated the STK600 race on his Honda.

Standings (Round 5 of 7): 1. Savadori 83; 2. Mercado 79; 3. Lussiana 59; 4. Jezek 58; 5. Massei 54; 6. McFadden 54; 7. Lanusse 45; 8. Valk 44; 9. D'Annunzio 39; 10. Smith 35; 11. Day 32; 12. Nemeth 28; 13. Muresan 15; 14. Bergman 13; 15. Grotzkyj G. 10; 16. Pagaud 10; 17. Suchet 8; 18. Schacht 8; 19. Walraven 6; 20. Calia 4; 21. Castellarin 4; 22. Sandi 3; 23. Alviz 2; 24. Egea 2; 25. Moser 2; 26. Butti 1; 27. Alarcos 1; 28. Ayer 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 108; 2. Ducati 100; 3. Honda 51; 4. BMW 40; 5. Suzuki 6; 6. Aprilia 4.

Superstock 600

Marco Faccani has one hand on the European Superstock 600cc crown after a front running season in which he has already secured 4 wins. Riding for the 2013 champions (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki), Faccani has been in the running from the opening race and with a commanding 34 point advantage over Dutchman Wayne Tessels (Wayne’s Racing Team Suzuki) can secure the title when the championship resumes in Jerez.

With Faccani having the luxury of being able to finish 3rd behind Tessels, should the Suzuki rider win and still be crowned Champion, it will be interesting to see how the youngster approaches the race in Jerez.

The only other rider with a mathematical chance of winning the overall series is Finland’s Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing Yamaha). The likeable youngster powered to a debut win at Assen, before mounting a strong podium challenge in Imola, but a crash and technical problem in the last two races leave him with a mountain to climb – 48 points down on Faccani.

Faccani’s team mate Andrea Tucci has shown glimpses of speed and will be looking to end the season on a high as will former EJC riders Ilya Mikhalchik (Go Eleven Kawasaki), and Richard Bodis (Talmacsi Racing Honda) who were just off the podium in Portugal.

Kevin Manfredi has been the top Honda finisher in 2014 but whilst his outright speed is not in question he has had a tendency to throw it up the road on more than one occasion.

Italian riders Stefano Casalotti (VFT Racing), who was on the podium at Imola and Luca Salvadori (Team 10 Lap Kawasaki) who, despite flashes of front running capability won’t feature in the overall top 3 as 2014 comes to a close but could well feature strongly as they look to end their seasons on a high note.

Standings (Round 5 of 7): 1. Faccani 106; 2. Tessels 72; 3. Tuuli 58; 4. Tucci 55; 5. Caricasulo 46; 6. Salvadori 42; 7. Mikhalchik 40; 8. Manfredi 35; 9. Casalotti 27; 10. Duwelz 23; 11. Lahti 22; 12. Rinaldi 19; 13. Nestorovic 19; 14. Stirpe 16; 15. Zaccone 16; 16. Hartog 13; 17. Puffe 12; 18. Bodis 11; 19. Sabatino 11; 20. Morrentino 10; 21. Marchal 10; 22. Rouse 5; 23. Mercandelli 5; 24. Gobbi 5; 25. Lewis 5; 26. Pittet 5; 27. Zeelen 5; 28. Canducci 3; 29. Monti 2; 30. De Gruttola 1; 31. Patronen 1.

European Junior Cup

As the PATA European Junior Cup powered by Honda gears up for the final two races of the season only two riders, both from Spain, can mathematically take this year’s crown.

Last year’s runner up Augusto Fernandez (Wil Sport) has so far dominated the 2014 series, although he has been kept honest by compatriot Javier Orellana (Europ Food S.L.). Between them the flying Spaniards have won 5 of the 6 races with the other race in Aragon, being won by another Spaniard Marc Miralles.

Turning our attention back to this year’s EJC battle, whilst the overall championship fight may be between only 2, the fight for the remaining leaderboard places is a hotly contested affair with almost half of the field still in with a shout of 3rd.

Standings (Round 6 of 8): 1. Fernandez 129; 2. Orellana 102; 3. Licciardi 64; 4. Fernandez 63; 5. Miralles 62; 6. Hubner 51; 7. Perez 50; 8. Harland 47; 9. Soomer 42; 10. Grassia 35; etc.

Ambitions High For KRT Riders As Season Restarts

After a long summer break the FIM Superbike World Championship gets underway once again, at a home venue for most of the backroom staff of the Kawasaki Racing Team this coming weekend, at Jerez in Spain. Tom Sykes and Loris Baz in the full SBK class, and David Salom in the SBK Evo class, are all determined to make the most of the first round of the championship to be held since the middle of July.

In the SBK championship fight Sykes is a clear and convincing leader, with eight wins to his credit and an advantage of 44 points over his closest challenger. Memories of winning the Superbike title on his Ninja ZX-10R in the final round of the 2013 season at Jerez are still vivid for Tom and all his team. These positive thoughts will add to Tom’s already high levels of motivation to succeed again on track when the first practice sessions get underway at the 4.423km long Jerez circuit on Friday 5 September.

For Baz the 2014 season has seen him grow once again to become top-level competitor. After two unusual results in America, in ninth and sixth places, he is expected to be back at his best at a circuit the team has tested at earlier this year. Loris is sitting fourth in the championship, with the tall French rider aiming to move back up the overall ranking in the final three rounds of the 2014 series.

In the Evo class, a new category for 2014, Salom and the Ninja ZX-10R have been the combination to beat all year. Now 12th overall in the combined rankings, Salom leads the Evo championship by an impressive 37 points, with only three rounds remaining.

On Wednesday 3 September the team will unveil a special paint scheme on their machines for the Spanish race, during an autograph session with the riders in Malaga. The new graphics will feature more prominent Motocard.com logos on the flanks of the Ninja ZX-10R for this round.

The Jerez circuit is a popular one for all on the campaign trail, a regular stop-off for the MotoGP class but re-used for the first time in Superbike since the 1990 season. It is also highly rated as a test track, particularly by the KRT squad, with good winter test results during the last visit of the SBK team – results that the team intends to turn into strong performances on raceday.

Since the last round in America there has been an official test session, albeit way back on 20 and 21 July at Portimao in Portugal.

After the Jerez weekend on 5-7 September the final 2014 FIM Superbike World Championship calendar will now feature rounds in Magny Cours in France (3-5 October) and the season finale at Losail in Qatar (31 October to 2 November).

Tom Sykes: “The emotions involved in going back to Jerez are massive. I had never won a championship before last year and then I dived in at the deep and with the Superbike World Championship title! It was even completed at Jerez, a home round for my Spanish team. I have spent a lot of time there in winter testing as well so it has a truly special feeling for me and there are so many magical memories from there. It is a really nice racetrack, really enjoyable and I cannot wait to get back there on my Ninja ZX-10R. We have improved the bike a little bit during a test at Portimao, after America, so I am looking forward to putting those changes into practice in Jerez. The Spanish fans were great there last year, very enthusiastic, so I am really looking forward to going back there.”

Loris Baz: “It’s cool to be back on the Ninja ZX-10R at Jerez. I love the track and we set some strong lap times there in the winter tests. I found a lot of improvements in my confidence in those tests so now I am really looking forward to going to Jerez again to race. We only have three rounds left this season, which is not the best for me to move up the table, but I will do the best I can to come back as hard as possible. We have been strong in all the races this year, apart from America, and I am confident I will be fast again in Spain. In the recent Portimao test, after Laguna Seca, I regained a good feeling with the bike and we tried a few more parts that improved our race settings. I am sure we will feel these when we get to Jerez in a few days.”

David Salom: “I had an operation on my injured hand and wrist after the last round and I have worked very hard with the doctors and physiotherapists to be as ready for Jerez as I can be. I rode a small bike last week and it felt OK. Now I just need more time to recover and more exercise to find full strength in my hand. It already feels better than it has all season because the only pain I have now is from the operation, not my previous injury. Jerez is a special track for me and I will lots of my family there so I want to have a good weekend for many reasons.”

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki returns to Spanish action after the summer break

The arrival of September heralds the final phase of the 2014 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season as Voltcom Crescent Suzuki travels to Jerez in Spain for round 10 this week.

With the two-month break in proceedings coming to a close and the confirmation that just three rounds are left outstanding this season, Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes are eager to get back on-board their Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000’s at the 4,423m Spanish circuit they initially tested their machines at in early April.

Frustrated with his fourth place finish last time out at Laguna Seca, Laverty is determined to challenge the front runners in the remaining six races while teammate Lowes, having spent the past eight weeks recovering from his spectacular Corkscrew crash, is looking to return to form strongly at the Jerez track.

Located in the southwest province of Cadiz, within the autonomous Andalucían region of southern Spain, the Circuito de Jerez has hosted motorcycle racing since 1986. Its 13 corners provide a variety of fast and slow combinations and direction changes presenting a technical and challenging workout for both rider and machine while its overall fast and flowing layout delivers dramatic racing for the ardent spectators.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki commences track action on Friday 5th September with two free practice sessions scheduled at 11:45hrs local time (10:45BST) and 15:30hrs (14:30BST). Saturday’s Superpole qualifying will take place at 15:00hrs (14:00BST) with Sunday’s race action at 10:30hrs (09:30BST) and 13:10hrs (12:10BST) respectively.

Eugene Laverty:

"Jerez can't come soon enough following an incredibly long break. Jerez is a flowing circuit and I feel that it will suit the GSX-R well. I'm hoping for high temperatures to play into our hands as our bike works better in hot conditions. My Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team have continued to work hard during the summer break so I expect to find significant improvements during the final part of the season."

Alex Lowes:

“I’m really looking forward to getting back to racing after the summer break and I’ve spent the past few weeks training and focusing on my fitness since returning from Laguna. Jerez is a track I have some knowledge of thanks to our earlier testing so I’m aiming to get straight down to work with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki on Friday so we can finish the season strongly."

The Ducati Superbike Team returns after the summer break and prepares to do battle in Jerez this weekend

Borgo Panigale (Italy), Tuesday 2 September 2014 - The Ducati Superbike Team is all set to return to the racetracks and battle it out at the Spanish circuit of Jerez, where round 10 of the 2014 Superbike World championship is taking place this coming weekend after a six week summer break.

The Jerez track, officially inaugurated in 1985 and located just a few kilometres from the city of Jerez de la Frontera, hosted the final Superbike event of last season’s championship, with riders Davies and Giugliano scoring respective bests of fifth and sixth position in the weekend’s races. A track that both the Ducati riders enjoy, the squad hopes to be able to fight for the positions that count come race day. Earlier this season, the Ducati Superbike Team spent time testing at the Spanish circuit, and the promising results seen there auger well for the upcoming race weekend.

During the latest ninth round of the 2014 championship, which took place in late July at the American circuit of Laguna Seca, Giugliano obtained a fourth place finish in race 1, but unfortunately crashed out of race 2 after making a strong start. Davies, having performed well throughout the practice and qualifying sessions, suffered a crash in race 1 that unfortunately left him unfit to compete in race 2. As the team heads into this tenth championship round, factory riders Davies and Giugliano, keen to get back to racing after the summer break, lie sixth and seventh respectively in the overall standings and are determined to accumulate as many points as possible in the final rounds of the 2014 season.

The Ducati Superbike team will also enjoy the company of a special guest this weekend. Carlos Checa, 2011 World Superbike Champion, will attend the race event in his capacity as Ducati brand ambassador. As well as being on hand to meet with fans, Checa will also take to the track to make a lap of honour in front of the Spanish public on Sunday morning.

Comments ahead of the event:

Chaz Davies – Ducati Superbike Team #7

“We had a very busy period just before the break, with testing, WDW and so on and so it’s definitely been nice to have a break, get into training, and do all those things that you don’t get chance to do during the season. I’ve even completed some advanced motorcycling training on the road, as part of a UK Department for Transport initiative to promote road safety. Anyway, I feel like I’ve really had a chance to recharge the batteries for the last three rounds. In terms of this coming weekend, Jerez has always been a little tough for me; I’ve never got the kind of results I really wanted. Saying that, I think the Panigale suits the track quite well and we were able to find a good set-up during testing earlier this season, so we have a solid base from which to start. We’ll definitely be doing our best.”

Davide Giugliano – Ducati Superbike Team #34

“It’s always good to get back on the bike after such a long break. It’ll be great to get back to work but it was also useful to have this chance to rest up, having had several events back to back right before the holiday. So I’ve made the most of these weeks and have spent time training but also relaxing a bit, at the coast and in the mountains. Looking ahead to Jerez, I really enjoy racing there and during the test sessions that we completed at the Spanish track a few months ago we were pretty fast which gives me confidence. I need to get back on my Ducati and use the first session to get back into a rhythm, and then hopefully we can continue on from where we left off before the break, making the most of these final three rounds and doing as well as we possibly can.”

Superstock 600 - Key race for San Carlo Team Italia in Jerez

Marco Faccani heads to Andalusia with a 34-point advantage. Andrea Tucci chases the Top-3 in the championship

After a long summer break, San Carlo Team Italia is set to tackle the second-to-last race of the European Superstock 600 Championship this weekend in Jerez de la Frontera. A key moment for the Italian Federation’s team, ready to take advantage of a first “match point” to secure the continental title, which would be the second in a row, in advance.

Thanks to an impressive roll comprised of four victories, three of which consecutive, out of five rounds, Marco Faccani (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #5) can head to the track with a considerable 34-point lead over Wayne Tessels. Despite the chance to become champion with one round still to go, the young Italian will not make any calculations in Spain, but rather attack with confidence after coming to grips with the circuit last year, when he impressed as a wild-card in the Supersport race.

Andrea Tucci (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #44) can also count on previous experiences in Andalusia, as last year he secured a top-1o finish as a wild-card after clinching the CIV Superstock 600 title. Having made constant progress in Portimão, Tucci has a chance to further express his talent in Jerez and climb back to the top-3 in the rankings, being only three points away from it.

Cristiano Migliorati (Sporting Director - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)

"We’re happy to race again after a long break. The Jerez track evokes positive memories for all of us, such as the title clinched with Franco Morbidelli last year and Alessandro Nocco’s second place. We have important data on the track, which is essential to race at the top during the weekend, and our riders also know its secrets as they raced there last year. We’re both eager to compete and calm, which is crucial to work at our best and make the most of our potential. We’ll hold a meeting to define our strategy then use Friday as a shakedown to try and attack on race day. Despite Faccani’s advantage, our attitude won’t change: our goal is to obtain the best possible result with both riders".

Supersport World Championship

Together with the European Stock600 Championship, the Supersport World Championship hits its final and decisive phase in Jerez. On the Kawasakis prepared by San Carlo Puccetti Racing, the two representatives of the “San Carlo Talenti Azzurri FMI” project, Roberto Tamburini (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #5) and Alessandro Nocco (Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #10), will aim at a prestigious result to confirm the constant progress shown during the season so far.

Pata Honda returns to Superbike action in Spain

The World Superbike championship makes a welcome return to the 2014 calendar this weekend (5-7 September) with Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam preparing for tenth round action at Jerez in Spain.

The last round of the series took place at Laguna Seca in the USA in mid-July but both Pata Honda riders took part in the legendary Suzuka 8-hours endurance race in Japan on 27 July.

Rea currently sits in third place in the overall championship standings, 64 points behind series leader Tom Sykes. With the recent cancellation of the scheduled South African round, only six races remain in the 2014 season but the 27-year-old Pata Honda rider from Northern Ireland is determined to maximise his points haul on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine.

Haslam is in good form after winning the Suzuka 8-hours for the second successive year, teaming up once more with Pata Honda colleague Michael van der Mark and Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi. The 30-year-old British rider will be seeking a return to the podium in this weekend’s Jerez races.

Jonathan Rea - championship position 3rd

I missed the Jerez race last year through injury but I was able to test afterwards and I first rode at the circuit on a 125 Honda in 2003. I really enjoy riding it and we’ve done a lot of testing there. It seems a difficult track to get right but the CBR has developed a lot since we were last there so I’m looking forward to going back. The guys at the workshop have been busy since Laguna and we’ve got a new engine specification to try this weekend. We managed a podium last time out at a track that was new to me so we’ll be aiming to maintain that form. I’m excited to be riding again because it’s been an abnormally long summer break. I imagine there’ll be a long queue of riders desperate to get out first for free practice on Friday!

Leon Haslam - championship position 10th

It seems like we’ve been away for a long time but it’s only just over a month since Suzuka and it was fantastic to win there again. I’ve also just done one of my dad’s race schools at Donington Park so I took the opportunity to do a few extra laps on the school CBR and went faster than I’ve gone round there, so I’m itching to go again at Jerez and feeling positive. We’ve made some steps forward in the last few races and we’ve got three more rounds to get the maximum of the CBR and get the results we deserve. That should be enough for me to fight for the podium so that’s where we’ll be aiming this weekend.

Van der Mark targets World Supersport prize at Jerez

After an extended summer break, the Pata Honda World Supersport team is heading to the Jerez circuit in Spain for round nine of the 2014 series this weekend (5-7 September) with Michael van der Mark in a strong championship position.

With a 53-point lead over his nearest rival and a maximum of 75 points available from the remaining three races following the recent cancellation of the South African round scheduled for 19 October, the 21-year-old Dutch rider knows he is in control.

The World Supersport championship has not had a round since 6 July when van der Mark won at Portimao in Portugal but he and his Pata Honda team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti at least got the opportunity to race for Honda at the prestigious Suzuka 8-hour race in Japan at the end of July.

For van der Mark it was a second successive victory in the prestigious endurance event with his MuSashi Harc-Pro Honda team-mates Takumi Takahashi and Pata Honda World Superbike rider Leon Haslam. Zanetti also took part at Suzuka alongside another Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea.

Zanetti, 27, sits in fifth position overall in the World Supersport championship with a victory at Imola earlier this season to his credit. However, the Italian is determined to maximise his points haul in the remaining rounds to boost his championship standing.

Michael van der Mark - championship position: 1st

To be honest, this summer break has been a little bit too long but it was great to have the opportunity to return to Suzuka at the end of July and win the 8-hour race again with Leon (Haslam) and Takumi (Takahashi). I had a little holiday in the sun after that and I’ve been training hard to get ready for racing again. It will be a little strange to get back on the smaller CBR again after riding the Fireblade in Japan, but I am really looking forward to riding it again. I will approach this weekend in exactly the same way as normal, which is to try and win. I will have the championship in my mind as always though and just try to do the best that I can.

Lorenzo Zanetti - championship position: 5th

The Suzuka 8-hour was a great experience for me, even if the result was not so good for the team that Jonathan (Rea) and I were riding for. But I am looking forward to getting back to racing this weekend – it has been a strange season with long breaks between some races, but I know what I must do this weekend in Jerez. I have to fight for the podium to improve my championship position. One podium from the season is not enough – OK it was a win in Imola, but I need to finish these last three races in a good position to get into the top three of the championship.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

It will be good to get back to racing at last and, with only two races remaining after this weekend, Michael is understandably keen to finish the job in Jerez. He is in a strong position, of course, but our approach will be exactly the same as earlier in the season when our job has simply been to prepare the CBR so that it can fight for the podium Sunday’s race and let Michael do the rest. I believe that Lorenzo can fight for the podium too and target for a top three finish in the championship.



Noale, 3 September 2014 – After a rather long summer break the World Superbike engines roar to life once again, ready to take to the track in Jerez for the tenth round of the season. The abbreviated calendar, with the cancellation of the Russian and South African rounds, makes the battle even more heated for the Aprilia Racing Team.

Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri are determined to finish out the 2014 season with a bang. They will be able to cont on the experience they have accumulated at Jerez, the test track from the Italian team, and on the great harmony they have demonstrated with their RSV4s in recent rounds.

Sylvain Guintoli, lying second in the rider championship standings, stayed fit during the break after the Portimão tests, taking advantage of the time to exercise his reflexes at Mallory Park astride a factory RSV4. For the French rider the goal is to battle in every race from here to the end of the championship, picking up as many points as possible: “Long summer break but the focus is 100% on performing at best in Jerez. Every race and every point will be fought for, even more now that South Africa has been cancelled. We can still do it”.

New father Marco Melandri also found a way to keep the sporting tension honed, having fun on a street RSV4 at Castelletto and Adria. A protagonist in recent races, the champion from Ravenna is keen to continue fighting for victory even if Jerez promises to be a heated battle: “We are finally getting back on the track. The break was definitely too long! This is going to be a heated weekend considering the temperatures and two very taxing races. Jerez is one of my favourite tracks. I can't wait to feel that rush of adrenaline at the start. After winning the last round at Laguna Seca I'm sure that I'll be confident and when I'm on my RSV4 I really have a lot of fun”.

Racedays Honda eager for Spanish success

The Racedays Honda Superstock team returns to sixth-round action at Jerez in Spain this weekend (5-7 September), eager to improve on its success last time out at Portimao in Portugal fully two months ago.

It’s been a long summer break but the team’s two FIM Superstock 1000 Cup riders Kyle Smith from the UK and American Josh Day were able to test at Jerez last week in order to prepare their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SPs for the hot conditions expected.

Smith finished in fourth place last time out in Portugal and won last season’s European Superstock 600 championship race at Jerez on the team’s Honda CBR600RR. The Yorkshireman is based in Alicante and knows the Spanish circuit well.

Meanwhile, the three-man Racedays Honda European Superstock 600 team is equally keen to make its mark in Jerez after a frustrating and eventful raceday at Portimao.

Italian Kevin Manfredi has recovered fully from injuries sustained in a first corner crash at the Portuguese circuit, a crash from which New Zealand team-mate Jake Lewis was forced to take evading action, thereby ruining his own race.

However, the two regulars are joined once more by 18-year-old British rider Chrissy Rouse who made a good impression with an 11th place finish on his debut in Portugal.

Gerry Bryce, Racedays Honda team principal:

We’re really looking forward to the Jerez races and Chrissy and Jake were able to test last weekend on the CBR600RRs so they’re both set up and ready to go. Kevin didn’t test but he’s very much a racer, as we’ve seen in the past; he’s over his injuries and raring to go. We won the Stock 600 race with Kyle [Smith] last year and I see no reason why another podium shouldn’t be on the cards. Kyle and Josh [Day] also tested here for Superstock 1000 but conditions were pretty tricky, with track temperatures of around 56 degrees. It was quite slippery and made for some rodeo riding but Kyle has won here before and is feeling pretty comfortable. Both riders come here on the back of strong performances at Portimao – I think fourth and fifth were pretty much the best results for the bike in a long time. The SP is proving to be a really strong package now, the riders are on it and we’re getting better every race. Can we have a nother four rounds please?!

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