Press releases from teams and the organizers previewing the penultimate round of WorldSBK, where titles in both World Superbikes and World Supersport are at stake:
The Hunt for Rea is on
Sykes and Davies still in with a fighting chance
In four days time WorldSBK heads to the famous sherry producing region in the heartland of Andalusia for Round 12 of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Located some 10km north east of the town Jerez de la Frontera, the Circuito de Jerez is a famous Spanish battleground that has seen champions fight for glory countless times in WorldSBK and MotoGP.
Last year saw Jonathan Rea take his first WorldSBK crown in Race 1 at the iconic Spanish circuit, while Kawasaki wrapped up the Manufacturers Title. This year it could all happen again as the Northern Irishman enters the Round 48 points ahead of his Kawasaki Racing Teammate Tom Sykes. All Rea needs is two extra points to seal the deal and celebrate his second World Championship.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies heads to Spain with his third double of the season under his belt and a mathematical chance to still win the title. Last year the Welshman made podium appearances in both races at Jerez, with a second in Race 1 and a victory in Race 2. If his winning consistency seen in the last few rounds is anything to go by, fans will be expecting to see his Ducati on the podium once again.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes goes to Jerez as the first title winner of 2016- after taking out the TISSOT-Superpole Award- but that’s not enough for the 31 year old; Sykes will be doing everything he can to prevent his teammate Jonathan Rea from being crowned Champion at the Gaerne Spanish Round. The Brit fought hard in Round 11 at Magny-Cours to close in on Rea’s Championship lead, with fans witnessing an epic Kawasaki battle in Race 2. Sykes won Race 1 at Jerez last year and will be honing in on that to repeat the feat once again.
After a long fought out battle with MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Leon Camier, who briefly led Race 1 at Magny-Cours, Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark came out on top. A fast and tactical tyre change saw the Dutchman rejoin the race at lightning speed to come home in second and he will be looking to repeat his fortunes in Jerez where he finished third last year.
There is still no news about what Sylvain Guintoli’s future holds, but one thing is certain, the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team rider will be looking to be Yamaha’s first podium finisher at Jerez since the Japanese manufacturer made its return to the Championship this year.
IodaRacing’s Lorenzo Savadori put Aprilia in the headlines in France when he led Race 1 in drying conditions on wet tyres. Although he couldn’t follow through with the win, victory will be on his mind heading to the next Round.
A second place in last year’s Race 2 sees Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres aim for home glory in 2016. Will Torres take the top honours on Spanish soil or will fans see Davies’ Ducati dominate as he did last time out? And most importantly, will Rea be crowned World Champion again this weekend?
All of our questions will be answered at the penultimate Round of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship beginning on Friday 14th of October. Until then keep up with all the latest news on WorldSBK.com.
Rea And Sykes All Set For Possible Championship Decider
Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes and the entire Kawasaki Racing Team are on their way to Jerez in Spain for the penultimate round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship knowing that this could be a truly pivotal weekend.
With Rea in a championship lead he has enjoyed since the very first round, and Sykes in a firm second place, both have opportunities to improve their championship prospects to a dramatic degree in Spain.
Rea will be able to make the title his own this weekend should he grow his current championship advantage of 48 by even a few points. Conversely, two good results for Sykes in relation to Rea will ensure that the championship will go all the way to the final round at the end of October in Qatar. One other rider, Chaz Davies, is still mathematically capable of catching both official Kawasaki riders, as he sits 81 points behind Rea, and 33 behind Sykes, with a maximum of 100 points left for any rider who wins every remaining race.
The 2016 Ninja ZX-10R has already scored 14 wins in its inaugural season in the hands of Jonathan and Tom. As a result of this type of success, Jerez is also a potential championship-winning venue for Kawasaki in the Manufacturers’ Award, if results favour the Akashi based manufacturer. Currently Kawasaki has an advantage of 85 points over the closest competitor.
Whatever the outcome of the races on Saturday and Sunday Jerez is already a special venue for both KRT riders. It was the track at which they each secured their respective world championship crowns with Kawasaki. Rea won his championship last year during the Jerez weekend, two years after Sykes had completed his championship win there in 2013.
Jerez will be an unusual weekend no matter what happens at the end of race two, as there will be an official DWO test on Monday 17th, where Tom and Jonathan will have the chance to make preparations for the Losail season finale, and complete more development work on their 2017 set-up.
As things stand it has been a remarkable year for Kawasaki’s official riding duo even before the Jerez weekend gets underway. Rea has grown his career statistics to 38 wins, which are part of his overall podium total of 84. He has secured nine of those race wins in 2016, and 19 podiums, with four more possibilities before the end of the year to take more.
Tom his now posted 31 race wins, 81 podiums and a remarkable 37 Superpole successes. Tom’s win total for the current year stands at five, as part of his 17 podium places. In the points rankings, Jonathan has 426 to Tom’s 378, with Davies on 345.
In 2017 Jonathan and Tom will compete on full WorldSBK specification ZX-10RR machinery, which has even more focus on performance than the already class-leading Ninja ZX-10R. KRT helped to launch the new RR model at the Cologne show last week, to great public acclaim.
The Circuito de Jerez has been a relatively recent but highly popular addition to the WorldSBK calendar. Located close to the historic town of Jerez de la Frontera, the 4.423km circuit boasts a variety of corners and elevation changes, with natural amphitheatres for the spectators to get a clear view of the action.
The final round of WorldSBK in 2016 will be held at the Losail circuit in Qatar, between 28th and 30th October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “From last year Jerez holds very special memories so I am excited to go back there. We had a very productive mid-season test at Jerez, where we not only get to refine our current model, we also got to work on some items for 2017. It seems like we are in a good way with the bike in races and this is the first opportunity I have to win the championship this weekend. If we do a good job we can achieve our target of being world champions. That is in the back of my mind but also we have to be clever, because Tom and Chaz are riding really strongly and I am sure some others will also be strong in Jerez. So we need to be prepared to set-up the bike well with the team and then what will be will be. I’ll just try to go out and have two solid races. I have a lot of support coming from back home as well for this weekend.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “I am looking forward to getting back out on the bike and it is a bit of a pivotal weekend coming up. I am just hoping that we can make something happen. That is all we need and then we are back into it. I am excited to go to Spain again. We definitely found some good speed in France and got back some form in wet conditions. Ultimately, the few wet races we have had this year cost me, as you have only got to look at the points difference in wet conditions. And everything is teeing up nicely in preparation for the following season. Where we are at now means we are definitely able to fight in the dry, and we are looking forward to this weekend. We have also tested at Jerez this year and we have information from those tests. We have changed the bike set-up quite a bit since then but hopefully we can be in the ballpark when we get to Jerez.”
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team heads to Jerez de la Frontera for the penultimate round of the season
After scoring a spectacular double-win by Chaz Davies in Magny-Cours (France), with Davide Giugliano on the sidelines due to a right-shoulder injury, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for the penultimate round of the 2016 WorldSBK championship.
Davies, who has sealed seven wins (a personal record) this season, is keen to extend the positive streak that saw him win three out of the last four races also thanks to some setup improvements that were verified during the summer break and boosted his confidence on the Panigale R. The Welshman is now 33 points away from second position in the championship and, with 100 points up for grabs, his first goal is to reduce the gap in the general standings.
Giugliano, who was declared unfit for the races in France due to the worsening conditions of his right shoulder, underwent an intense physiotherapy and rehabilitation program. The Italian rider, who is currently sixth in the championship, is eager to come back to top form and fight for top positions as soon as possible.
Action will resume at 10:15 (CET) Friday for the first free-practice session.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) 3rd (345 points)
“We’ve been on a bit of a roll lately. Theoretically we’re still in the title fight, but we’re a long way behind and we have the luxury to be able to race with nothing to lose. Third place in the championship is pretty much guaranteed, but we want to do better than that. All we can do is carry on the recent good form, win races, and see where that takes us. Last year,in Jerez, we had a good pace and managed to win a race, and we’ve been fast there during the pre-season tests as well. So, we have good reasons to be confident, especially coming off a double win in Magny-Cours, which was slightly unexpected because that was maybe not the best track for our bike.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) 6th (194 points)
“I feel better physically compared with the last round, also because right after the injury in Germany we weren’t able to fully identify the issues related to the trauma. Lately I’ve been undergoing a special treatment to improve the musculo-tendinous apparatus, which in France prevented me from having the necessary strength to race. The issue is not bothering me particularly under braking but rather in direction changes. Jerez doesn’t have chicanes, so I expect less difficulties compared with Magny-Cours, where the injury was also more recent. I’ll try to step on a bike later this week to check my conditions, and I will race anyway. We’re used to not giving up, and we want to get back to our usual competitiveness as soon as possible.”
Hayden and van der Mark ready for battle at Jerez
Round 11 – France
Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours, France
The Honda WorldSBK Team has arrived at Jerez de la Frontera, where this weekend the Spanish Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship takes place. Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark are eager to get back up to speed on board their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines in what will be the penultimate round of the season, the last one to be held on European soil
Despite an early debut back in the series in 1990, the ‘Circuito de Jerez’ did not return to WorldSBK until 2013, but since then it has been a permanent fixture on the series calendar. Measuring 4.423km, the track is a great mix between fast-flowing interconnected corners and slow, hard-braking hairpins: therefore, riding precision and good set-up are crucial to set competitive lap-times on this track.
Two years ago, Michael van der Mark sealed a well deserved World Supersport title at Jerez at the end of one of the most hectic races in the history of the series. Last year, the 23-year-old Dutch rider took third place in race one at the Andalusian venue. Nicky Hayden has so far climbed twice on the Jerez podium: he was third in 2006 and in 2011, when he scored the last rostrum finish of his MotoGP career.
Nicky Hayden 69
Jerez is really a great track, I like it a lot and I hope we can be really competitive there. There are some fast and flowing corners that should suit our bike well. We definitely have to work to maximise the electronics and gearing in some of the slow corners, but overall it should be a different experience to Magny-Cours. I definitely won’t have to learn the track during the first session and I’m also getting back on the same bike I used in the last race. Hopefully, all this will allow me to get up to speed and to do a better job than I did in France. I can’t wait to get started!
Michael van der Mark 60
I am looking forward to Jerez. We left Magny-Cours with another podium and a good number of points, which helped us consolidate fourth place in the championship. It’s not over yet, so we need to continue this way. Last year we got on the podium and two years ago I won the Championship here, so this track has always been very kind to me. We tested at Jerez during the winter so we know what to expect; hopefully we can improve the bike a bit more in order to be closer to the front and fight for the top 3.
Michael was very competitive last year in Jerez and he did well both at Lausitzring and Magny-Cours, so things are definitely looking good for him and we hope he can continue to battle for the podium. Nicky knows this track very well and we have been testing during the winter, so I see no reason why he cannot be up there battling for honours. We feel we are ready for the new challenge on a track that suits our bike very well. Then, on Monday we will have a one-day official test that will be useful to try a couple of things with an eye to the future.
Pata Yamaha Prepares for Penultimate Round
With just two race events left, the season is almost complete for Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli. This weekend sees the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship head to its final European destination of 2016, Circuito de Jerez, in southern Spain, for the Gaerne Spanish Round.
Jerez is possibly the most travelled of the WorldSBK circuits, playing host to a number of test outings throughout the winter season as the teams prepare to do battle each year. Lowes is no stranger to the 4,423m technical and demanding layout, having succumbed to its unforgiving curves last November before returning to bury his demons the following January. Despite its turbulent history, Jerez remains one of the British rider's favourite tracks and one he fully aims to tame this weekend as he returns to contest the concluding European races on his YZF-R1. Utilising the past week to recover from his demanding five back-to-back race events, the 26-year-old is eager to get up to speed quickly as the team returns to Spain.
Guintoli has a high success rate at the Andalucían circuit from his WorldSBK career to date, having achieved three podiums from his past six appearances. Jerez ushered in the Frenchman's first taste of the Yamaha Superbike during last years' shakedown and he is eager to return to the track to put the hard work into practice as wheels turn in anger for the two 20-lap races.
Nestled in the Andalucían region of Cadiz, Circuito de Jerez sits just outside the town of Jerez de la Frontera and hosts the most southern destination on the European calendar. A popular race venue, the 13 corner layout houses eight right and five left-handers, with the finish straight just 600m in length and providing little relief from the constant changes of direction and elevation.
Round 12's races are scheduled for 13:00 local time on both Saturday and Sunday, with free practice commencing for Lowes and Guintoli at 10:15 on Friday 14th October.
Championship: 11th / 107 points
"Jerez is a track we probably ride the most because it gets used a lot for pre-season testing. There are no long straights here so it doesn't give you much rest but it has a flowing feel to it and some really fast corners near the end of the lap. My best corner is turn five, leading on to the back straight, it's a long corner where you can nick a bit of inside kerb then slide the bike on the exit, I smile every time through here. We've had a rollercoaster few rounds recently so I'm really looking to go out strong this weekend and have two good races as the season nears its conclusion. "
Championship: 12th / 91 points
"Jerez is a twisty & challenging track. It's very physical, but very enjoyable. It was our first experience of the YZF-R1 during winter testing so it will be good to see how it compares during the summer temperatures. Magny-Cours was a confirmation of our form this year, good qualifying performance but lots of work to do with race pace. We will continue the development as we head to Spain."
Althea BMW returns to Spain for penultimate SBK round
Rome (Italy), Tuesday 11 October 2016
The Althea BMW Racing Team is gearing up for the penultimate round of the 2016 Superbike World Championship, and the final round of the Stock 1000 championship, both of which are taking place this weekend at the Spanish circuit of Jerez. This is the second championship round to take place in Spain after the Superbikes visited Aragon back in April.
Jordi Torres will be hoping to score two great results in front of his home crowd, while Markus Reiterberger, now back to full fitness after recent injury, also aims to do well in the final races of the season. Jerez is a track that both Althea BMW men enjoy racing at, with Torres having finished on the podium last year, when he crossed the line in second place in race 2.
This weekend also marks the final round of the STK1000 championship, and is a particularly significant one for the Althea BMW squad, in that rider Raffaele De Rosa could still lift the title trophy. The Italian rider lies second in the standings, just seven points behind leader Mercado and will therefore be going all out to win Sunday’s race.
“We would really like to do well at Jerez, seeing as we completed some positive pre-season tests at the track. It can be a good track for the BMW I think and while we need to work on the tight turns, we can make the most of the long corners where we are stronger. I would love to reach the podium, having come close on several occasions this season. A lot of fans come to Jerez and there’s a great atmosphere so I really want to do a good job and won’t give up...”
“I’m looking forward to Jerez, a track a like and where we normally enjoy good weather. It could be a good weekend for us, better than recent events where we’ve struggled a little. Pre-season testing went well at Jerez and we were close to the front, so I hope we can work well and put in a good performance this weekend.”
Raffaele De Rosa
“I can’t wait to get to Jerez, not least because it’s a track I really enjoy riding. We’ll see how this battle between me and Mercado plays out… I’m only sorry that the championship is already coming to an end, eight rounds are not enough! Anyway, I’ll do my best this weekend of course, also with a view to my future...”
Fifth Title in Sofuoglu’s Sights
WorldSSP could see a champion crowned and ESS prepares for Cup decider
The Gaerne Spanish round is set for an incredible WorldSSP race as reigning World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu looks to achieve his fifth crown. Sofuoglu sits just 42 points ahead of his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing teammate Randy Krummenacher who will be looking to close in on the Turk’s lead. A dramatic last round at Magny-Cours saw Sofuoglu crash out of the race, while a silently waiting Krummenacher added 11 important points to his title chase. The Round at Jerez will see Sofuoglu try to win both the race and defend his title while his teammate will look to prolong it for as long as he can.
Kallio Racing’s Niki Tuuli makes his third appearance in WorldSSP and so far has impressed coming second in Germany and in France. The young Finn almost won at Magny-Cours and will be looking to find victory in his third outing at Jerez on his Yamaha YZF R6.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel heads to the South of Spain fresh with his second win of the season and new third position in the overall standings. The Frenchman will be focusing on positive energies ahead of this weekend, as last year’s race at Jerez saw him seriously injured. Putting the past behind him and being as fit as ever, Cluzel is fixed on resuming his impressive form and returning to the podium.
Last year, Honda World Supersport Team’s PJ Jacobsen came second only to Kenan Sofuoglu. This year he will be looking to better that result and climb onto the top step of the podium.
The Gaerne Spanish Round will be the first WorldSSP race in Spain for Luke Stapleford as he did not participate at Aragon earlier in the year. It will also be the first time the Profile Racing rider competes at the Circuito de Jerez on his Triumph.
While it’s likely the Gaerne Spanish Round will see the 2016 WorldSSP Champion decided, the FIM Europe Supersport Cup looks forward to its final round, and a winner will certainly be defined. Jerez will see a three-way battle for the Cup between San Carlo Italia Teammates Axel Bassani - who leads by 14 points - Alessandro Zaccone, and DS Junior Team’s Illia Mikhalchyk. With three riders fighting for the cup, the season finale is sure to be a thriller.
The exciting penultimate round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship at the Circuito de Jerez gets underway on Friday the 14th of October where Kenan Sofuoglu will make every possible preparation to win his fifth world title.
Penultimate Round Could Decide All For Kawasaki Front Runners
The 11th round of the FIM Supersport World Championship will take place on Sunday 16th October with Kenan Sofuoglu and his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team-mate Randy Krummenacher the only two riders still able to win the championship.
Despite no-scoring last time out Sofuoglu has a 55 point lead over the third place rider Jules Cluzel, meaning he cannot be overhauled in the final championship points by anyone except his team-mate, and fellow Ninja ZX-6R rider, Krummenacher.
Randy has to score almost perfectly from now to the end of the year to be in with a chance of the riders’ championship in his rookie year in the WorldSSP paddock. As Kenan’s bad luck in the previous round showed, however, the championship battle will only be decided when the points gap is insurmountable. Krummenacher is currently 42 points behind Sofuoglu, with two races left in the season, including Jerez.
Kawasaki could also win the Manufacturers’ Award this weekend in Spain, as the Akashi factory enjoys a 39-point advantage over the next nearest challenger. Through the season Sofuoglu has taken five wins and Krummenacher one on their official Ninja ZX-6R machines.
If Sofuoglu wins the title it would be his fifth FIM Supersport World Championship crown and his third for Kawasaki. If Krummenacher finally wins outright he would be a very rare champion in his first season in the WorldSSP category.
The Jerez WorldSSP race is scheduled for an 11.20am start on Sunday, over 19 laps of the 4.423km circuit in Andalusia. The final round of the championship will take place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, on Sunday 30 October.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “When I woke up on Monday morning I said to myself, ‘This is the week that I have to finish the season.’ I am training to be at the maximum for Jerez. In terms of conditioning I am very strong but sometimes training also helps you to be mentally strong. Jerez has been a very good track for us in the past and I won the race last time. I know my bike is very fast because we did a winter test in Jerez, where I put in very strong lap times. This weekend I want to focus on my own speed just to be at my own pace. Everything is ready for Jerez and now I am just waiting for Sunday’s race to go for my fifth title.”
Randy Krummenacher, stated: “I feel really good after the Magny Cours race weekend and now I am confident for Jerez. I had good pace in testing and we have actually tested at Jerez twice. I am looking forward to a really good weekend in Spain. I felt that I was back up to the pace at Magny Cours in the previous round so I am ready to fight at the top. I think Jerez is one of the tracks that I know best in the world and we also have some data for the bike from the tests we did there.”
Strong individual race results from Malaysia’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) see him the best placed of the other Kawasaki riders in the championship after ten rounds. He is on tenth place overall, with part-time rider Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) just one place behind. Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) is 14th, Christian Gamarino (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) 17th.
Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will try to add to his points score while Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) is moving closer to his first championship point with almost every race that passes.
The season has one more round for the full WorldSSP class competitors after Jerez but for those running in the FIM Europe Supersport Cup (for part-time riders who only compete in the European-based WorldSSP races) this will be the final round of their championship-within-a-championship. Kawasaki riders have dominated this category, with Bassani leading the ESS points table by 14 from Illia Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) and Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki). Only one of these three riders could become ESS champion on Sunday, with Bassani the hot favourite due to his points advantage.
Jacobsen aiming to step up his game in Spain
Round 11 – Spain
Circuito de Jerez, Spain
Round 11 of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship is due to get underway at ‘Circuito de Jerez’ tomorrow, with Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team ready to battle for honours at the iconic venue located in Southern Spain, in the heart of Andalusia. With two races left in the season, Jacobsen currently sits fourth in the championship standings, twenty and seven points away from second and third places, respectively.
Last year, the 23-year-old American rider rode his Ten Kate prepared Honda CBR600RR machine to a second place finish in the 19-lap, 2015 World Supersport race at Jerez. Jacobsen is now looking forward to making amends for the early race crash he had two weekends ago at Magny-Cours in France.
Patrick Jacobsen 2
Yes, I am looking forward to the weekend. I have a lot of friends coming and my fiancé will be here as well. I know this track really well and I love going to Jerez, as it's my favourite circuit on the schedule. I have the unofficial track record testing this winter so I know our bike can work well here and the set-up is more or less ready. I will push to my maximum as there's only two races left this season; it's very important to get in the top three of the championship after what has been so far an up and down season.
We had quite a good test here at Jerez in the winter; we’re quite familiar with the track and so is PJ, so we’re looking forward to returning to podium ways. Magny-Cours didn’t go as planned for us, but we are fully focused on the battle ahead of us. K-Tech will provide direct support at the track not only to find a good set-up for this weekend, but also to get valuable base settings for Qatar. We are still aiming for a top-3 finish in the championship and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
The Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team headed to Jerez for the season finale of the Superstock1000 FIM Cup
The Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team is ready to take it to the track one final time this year in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for the season finale of the Superstock1000 FIM Cup. With the title yet to be assigned, the Spanish round is set to be one of the most exciting of the year.
Leandro Mercado, with three wins to his tally, heads into the final round with a seven-point advantage and is keen to add another Superstock1000 FIM Cup title (which he won in 2014) to his résumé. Michael Ruben Rinaldi, currently fourth in the general standings, has his mind set on third position in the championship, from which he is sixteen points away. Both riders are confident ahead of the race, as the winter tests on the Spanish track yielded positive results.
The Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will resume action at 09:15 (CET) Friday for the first free-practice session.
Leandro Mercado (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #36) - 1st (111 points)
“We are going to Jerez to win the title. It will be an intense weekend, and we’ll have to stay calm and focused first of all. The Spanish track is more flowing and suits the characteristics of our bike better than Magny-Cours. Also, the team has been working hard to solve the grip issues on fresh tyres we’ve encountered in France. During the winter tests in Jerez we were really competitive, and now we have to reap the fruits of our labor”.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #12) - 4th (61 points)
“We’re ready to tackle the last race of a season filled with ups and downs, during which we managed to be competitive pretty much everywhere though. Jerez is track that I like, I won there last year in the 600 class and during the winter tests we gathered great feedback. I’m confident and hungry as ever. The guys fighting for the title will toughen up, but we will give our best to close the season on a positive note”.
Supersport - At Jerez San Carlo Team Italia chases the European Title
Axel Bassani and Alessandro Zaccone, respectively 1st and 3rd in the standings, are ready for the last and decisive round of 2016 FIM Europe Supersport Cup.
After a successful season, San Carlo Team Italia gets ready to live the decisive round of FIM Europe Supersport Cup on the weekend of 14th-16th October in Jerez de la Frontera, with the goal of achieving the European Title. With Axel Bassani and Alessandro Zaccone respectively 1st and 3rd in the championship, San Carlo Team Italia will optimize his engagement in order to achieve another continental title in its history, counting on riders’ determination, the professionalism of the team and a high profile technical package in order to reach the goal set at the start of the season.
Thanks to the amazing race of Magny-Cours with the victory in the ESS standings and the fourth place overall, Axel Bassani at Jerez can manage his advantage of 14 points from his direct chaser and 18 from his teammate Alessandro Zaccone, who was protagonist of very unlucky events in the last few races.
Always focusing on the final goal, the two riders of San Carlo Team Italia will race on a familiar track, which is particularly suitable for their riding style and for the characteristics of their Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.
"At Jerez with Zaccone we will try to do well in order to overturn a series of races where the bad luck persecuted us. Our goal is to finish the season the same way it started, always in Spain at MotorLand Aragon in April. Alessandro aims at doing a brilliant race, with the purpose of doing well this weekend and to finish his season in the second place of the European standings. For our team, achieving the two first positions of the championship will be the best way possible to reward the work done in 2016."
"We arrive at the final race of the season with the hope of conquering the prestigious European title. With Axel we have a good advantage in terms of points, for this reason it will be necessary not to do any mistake during the weekend. Axel really likes this track, he’s excited and focused on finishing this season in the best way possible. As a team, it would be amazing to finish in the first two positions of the championship also with “Zacc”, we’ll work since the free practice in order to reach this goal."
On and Off Track
- Everything happening on and around the Circuito de Jerez -
The 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the heart of Andalusia for the long awaited Gaerne Spanish Round at the Circuito de Jerez on the 14th to 16th of October. The penultimate Round of the Championship is set to be an extravaganza as STK1000 and FIM Europe Supersport Cup are set to see Champions crowned. In WorldSBK Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea could win his second World Title on Sunday if he can secure a 50 point lead over his teammate Tom Sykes.
Media and fans will get to rub shoulders with their favourite stars of WorldSBK on Thursday 13th of October when riders Jordi Torres (BMW), Xavi Fores (Ducati), Roman Ramos (Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Honda) and Leandro Mercado (Ducati) gather to experience an Authentic Taste of Spain with a wine tour at the Bodegas Gonzalez Byass. The event begins at 11:30 local time (GMT+2) before the riders arrive at the Plaza del Arenal at 13:15 for a signing session with fans. Thursday sees the open paddock return to Jerez at 14:00 local time until 18:00. Spectators will have freedom to wander through the WorldSBK paddock in this time at their leisure, regardless of the pass they have.
On track action gets underway Friday morning at 9:15am with STK1000 leading charge for Free Practice. Then, from 13:30 onwards WorldSBK and WorldSSP will battle it out for entry to Saturday’s Tissot-Superpole 2 qualifying sessions. Live commentary of all sessions will take place from the Paddock Show with various Spanish riders as guest speakers throughout the weekend.
At 16:00 local time the Paddock Show takes centre stage introducing Spanish WorldSSP rider Nacho Calero (Kawasaki) for the MOTUL Race Chat. At 16:15 the Team Managers Show welcomes Guim Roda (Kawasaki Racing Team), Ernest Marinelli (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Imre Toth (Team Toth) Manuel Puccetti (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and David Salom (DS Junior Team) to the stage for an exclusive Q&A session. Then at 16:30 the Paddock Show wraps up Friday’s activities with the Opening Day Show, where Friday’s three fastest riders from WorldSBK and WorldSSP will take to the stage to answer everyone’s burning questions.
Saturday means business and the action dawns early at 8:45am for WorldSBK FP3 ahead of the Tissot-Superpole qualifying sessions beginning at 10:30am, where riders will fight for the coveted pole position. Be sure to stay trackside at 12:50 for the Tissot-Superpole Prize-Giving Ceremony and Pirelli Best Lap Award ahead of Race 1 at 13:00 local time. After the race the podium finishers will be joined by the fastest Spaniard of the day (provided he doesn’t already finish on the podium) at the Paddock Show at 16:30 ahead of WorldSSP Meet n Greet at 16:50.
At 17:00 the Paddock Show introduces the Paddock Ping Pong segment exclusive to Jerez, where selected lucky fans will go head to head with Jordi Torres (BMW) Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) Xavi Fores (Ducati) and Nicola the Safety Car driver for the title of best ping pong player! Once a Champion has been crowned, the Party In The Paddock takes over at 17:30 with live music, competitions and giveaways.
Engines fire up at 9:00am on Sunday morning for warm up before WorldSSP starts the day’s racing action at 11:20am. A champion will be decided in the first race of the day, as the FIM Europe Supersport Cup line up on the grid with their WorldSSP counterparts for the final time in 2016. Then at 13:00 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) will fight to become World Champion once again in WorldSBK Race 2, but not if Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) or Chaz Davies (Ducati) have anything to say about it. They’ll be pulling out all the stops to prove their contention for the title.
If you thought it couldn’t get anymore exciting, think again. At 14:20 local time STK1000 takes to the grid and it promises to be an epic showdown between Cup protagonists Leandro Mercado (Ducati) and Raffaele De Rosa (BMW) who’ve fought wheel to wheel all year long for the Title. Ending the weekend’s on-track activities is the season finale of the FIM Europe Junior Cup at 15:15 and a Champion will be crowned. After each race the Paddock Show will be welcoming the podium finishers, Pirelli Best Lap winners and local heroes of each category to the stage for a Raceday Show that everyone is sure to love.
To wrap up an incredible weekend of racing, the Paddock Show would like to invite everyone to the Official Prize-Giving Gala on Sunday evening at 17:30, onsight in the WorldSBK paddock. Spectators will see the Champions of 2016 receive their Awards live with a chance to meet the winners afterward and join in on the celebrations.
With so much to do and see at the Circuito de Jerez, Round 12 of the 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is sure to be another thrilling weekend of racing from the 14th to the 16th of October.
#JerezWorldSBK in numbers
- Some stats and facts about WorldSBK at the Circuito de Jerez -
281 – Are the total amount of points Chaz Davies has scored in Spain so far: no other current rider has been able to match this. Tom Sykes follows with 257 points.
62 – So far there have been 62 races held on Spanish soil in WorldSBK history.
40 – The last three consecutive poles set at Jerez were set in the 1 minute 40 seconds bracket: 1’40.620 in 2013, 1’40.298 in 2014 and 1’40.292 last year.
32 – Ducati has won the last 32 races held in Spain out of 62. That's more than half and they’ve won on all five Spanish tracks at least three times, with Valencia being their most successful venue at 13 wins.
13 – Troy Corser has climbed on the podium 13 times in Spain: he leads the standings from Noriyuki Haga who has had 12 podiums. Current riders with the most podiums in Spain are Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies with 10 each.
10 – The 10 podiums recorded in Spain by Chaz Davies represents double of what he has achieved in any other country he has raced in throughout his WorldSBK career: he has appeared on the podium 5 times in both Italy and Germany.
7 – The most successful riders to have ever raced on Spanish soil are Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga, with 7 wins each. They were teammates during the 2007-2008 seasons on the factory Yamaha team. Curiously during this period, they recorded only one of those 14 wins. It was Haga who won Race 2 in Valencia in 2008.
6 – British riders have won the last six races held in Spain: Jonathan Rea/ Chaz Davies at Aragon 2015; Tom Sykes/Chaz Davies in Jerez 2015 and a double by Davies this year at Aragon.
6 – Is the record for pole positions achieved by one rider on Spanish soil and is held by Troy Corser with six in total. Tom Sykes could equal it this year if he takes pole, as he currently stands at 5.
5 – Five Spanish circuits have previously hosted WorldSBK events: Valencia (22), Albacete (16), Aragon (12), Jerez (8) and Jarama (4).
3 – Only two riders have won in Spain with three different manufacturers: Troy Corser (Aprilia, Ducati and Suzuki) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia, BMW, Yamaha).
3 – Three times out of four a race winner has scored the double at Jerez: Raymond Roche (1990); Eugene Laverty (2013); Marco Melandri (2014).
1 – Only one Spaniard has won on Spanish soil so far in WorldSBK: Ruben Xaus, in Race 1 at Valencia in 2007.
The Final Battle of 2016 Awaits
Mercado v. De Rosa showdown
The Gaerne Spanish round will host the season finale of the 2016 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup and two men star in the leading roles. This season has seen an incredible rivalry break out between Aruba.it Racing –Junior Team’s Leandro Mercado and Althea BMW Racing Team’s Raffaele De Rosa starting from the very first round at Aragon. The Cup has seen them battle wheel-to-wheel all year and heading into the final round it is the Argentinean rider Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado who leads with 7 points. Both riders will have victory on their minds, but only one man will come out a winner.
Third in the overall standings is Nuova M2 Racing’s Kevin Calia. Though the Italian doesn’t have a mathematical chance at winning the Cup, only 16 points separates him from fourth placed Micheal Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) and he will do everything he can to finish ahead of the Ducati rider and maintain his top three standing.
Last year’s race saw Calia’s current teammate Roberto Tamburini win the STK1000 race and this year he will be aiming for the same results, regardless of the fight for the Cup. It’s every man for himself and Tamburini will stop at nothing to put his Aprilia on the top step once again.
Lucas Mahias will be competing in his third STK1000 event, replacing the still injured Florian Marino at Pata Yamaha Official Stock 1000 Team. The young Frenchman won the last round at Magny-Cours- his second win in his second race- and his goal heading to Spain remains the same; achieving a third straight win. Judging by his previous results, it could be likely. Yamaha teammate Riccardo Russo finished fourth last year, and is sure to be fighting for a podium finish on the weekend.
Another rider looking to continue on his previous form in Spain will be Agro On-Benjan-Kawasaki’s Bryan Staring. The Australian finished the race at Jerez last year in the top ten and will be looking for a solid top five this year. It will be a sweet achievement that will end his season on a high, before he heads back to Australia ahead of new racing adventures.
The Gaerne Spanish Round will see the STK1000 stars of 2016 hit the track for the final time on the 16th of October and it will be Mercado’s Ducati or De Rosa’s BMW that reigns supreme.