2018 Brno WorldSBK Preview Press Releases

Press release previews and statistics from the series organizers and some of the teams ahead of the Czech round of WorldSBK at the magnificent Brno circuit:

Czech it out: WorldSBK returns to Brno

SBK® gears up for hitting the half way point of the season

Heading into the unknown, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship makes its return to Automotodrom Brno this weekend for the first time since 2012; and the entry list may look similar, but the fight out on track has certainly developed since then. Heading into the seventh round of the season with five different winners and seven different podium finishers, it’s anything but predictable. A favourite track of many riders this vast, wide, sweeping and fast track will certainly provide some classic SBK® action.

Reigning world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is one of only two riders on the grid to win around the Czech circuit, and after a strong test here will be a firm favourite this weekend. But it’s not only the win around Brno he will have his sights set on, as Rea looks at taking a record breaking 60th victory in WorldSBK – something he was unable to secure around Donington Park last time out. Standing on the top step around Brno back in 2010, it won’t be a surprise to see Rea has the pace in the Czech Republic, but can he convert this into a victory with his ZX-10RR?

Fresh off the back of his first victory in WorldSBK – which he converted into a double - Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) will have a lot of eyes on him heading into the weekend. Leap frogging into third in the world championship standings, the Dutch rider will hope to continue his phenomenal momentum into the Czech Republic. With experience here in the European Superstock 600 Championship, the 25 year old had a strong test earlier this season meaning he will already have his eyes on the prize.

Searching for a strong result off the back of a tough weekend is Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who will hunt down a debut podium around Brno with his Panigale R. Struggling to understand the issues they encountered last time out, the British rider will now head to a track in which he secured a WorldSSP podium at, and will hope to make up some ground in the championship standings. 64 points off Rea as we reach the half way point of the season, it’s not over for Davies. Whilst his team-mate Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the last WorldSBK rider to win around Brno, taking the double in 2012, fighting off Tom Sykes in both races. Will he carry this confidence forward and fight for his third win of the year?

2012’s Brno pole position man, and the new Mr Superpole Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) comes fresh from a tough home round at Donington Park, and will be hoping to be back on the podium as SBK® heads east. Sykes had a hard weekend in Donington, which saw him secure only one podium finish somewhere he has previously won nine in a row. With eight appearances and two podiums in Brno for Sykes, he will hope to build on it this season.

Heading to Brno with a string of top fives in his cabinet, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) has only ever finish in fifth in WorldSBK around Brno, but has plenty of experience to go alongside his results. Continuing to recover from his injury sustained in Thailand, Laverty had a very strong race one at Donington Park of which he will hope to build on as he continues to develop the RSV4 RF.

Heading back to a track in which he secured his debut WorldSBK podium, Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) will be looking at the Brno round with fresh levels of confidence following a strong UK Round last time out. With a front row secured around Donington Park and two top ten finishes, the French rider seems to have made a step in the right direction with the BMW as we reach the half way point of the season. There’s a lot to be said for a good mood, and Baz will be a rider to watch.

Experience makes a big difference in racing, and for Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) it will be important for him to head to a circuit of which he has experience around. Competing here in the Red Bull Rookies in 2010, Gagne won race two meaning he has proven to have a competitive pace at the track. Hoping to covert this into a strong pace with the Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2, it will be an important weekend for the American as he continues to develop his riding style for the Honda machine.

Preparing to make his WorldSBK debut around the 5.403k circuit, Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) has a big weekend ahead of him. Building on his pace with his new team, the Spanish rider will hope to get back in the battle for the top six after two top 11 results last time out. Sitting in the top ten in the championship standings, he has been having a steady season with his new team.

Don’t miss out on any of the WorldSBK action from the Czech Republic, as the series prepares to hit the half way point of the season. With free practice action kicking off at 09.45LT (+2 GMT) as lights go out for race one on Saturday at 13.00 and race two on Sunday at 13.00.

Return To Popular Brno For KRT

Once a regular circuit on the WorldSBK trail, the Automotodrom Brno returns in 2018 to host the seventh round of the WorldSBK Championship this weekend. KRT duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes are eager to get going again after their recent home round at Donington, with each looking to add to their winning tallies.

Triple World Champion Jonathan Rea extended his championship lead in assured fashion last time out, but just missed out on a race win that would have taken his career tally to a stand alone all-time record of 60. He has already declared that he will be riding only for two race wins at Brno, where he has competed six times before, scoring three podiums, including a race win in 2010.

Brno is one of the few current FIM Superbike World Championship venues that Tom Sykes has not won a race at in his impressive career, but he has scored two second places in the Czech Republic, in 2012. When Sykes took his WorldSBK championship title in 2013 Brno was no longer a WorldSBK venue, and it has not re-appeared on the calendar until this season.

Although Brno has been missing from the calendar for some years KRT has tested at the Czech venue recently, with highly positive results. The 5.403km long purpose-built Brno circuit stands close to the historic real roads GP circuit, and is one of the most flowing layouts on the calendar. Wide chicanes, geometric corners and a power-sapping uphill approach to the final two turns characterise a modern day classic of circuit design.

Rea leads the championship by 64 points at present, having scored five race wins already. Currently Sykes is fourth in the championship, tied on points with the rider ranked one place above him. Sykes became the all-time Superpole record holder at Donington, after taking his 44th career Superpole win.

Despite more stringent rev limits imposed on Kawasaki than any other manufacturer this season, under the current balancing rules in WorldSBK, young Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored his first podium last time out in Donington, before re-singing for his team for the 2019 season. Other Kawasaki regulars Roman Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki), Yonny Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will also be back in action at Brno.

The halfway point of the 13-round, 26-race season will be reached after race one at Brno. After the Czech weekend there will be a swift relocation to North America, for the US round at Laguna Seca between the 22nd and 24th of June.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I’m so excited to go back and race at Brno as it’s one of those wide open proper race circuits with great elevation changes and character. We tested there a few weeks ago and that will certainly give us a head start when it comes to setup on Friday. During the two days we had different weather conditions. We were competitive over one lap, and also consistently, so I’m feeling good about the weekend. I’ve had some great races in Brno in the past. It’s where I won my first World Championship race, in the Supersport class, and I also had a great duel with Max Biaggi in 2010 in WorldSBK. The target this weekend is simple, we are aiming for the top step.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “We tested at Brno recently and I am going there highly motivated. We had a pretty decent test and I am looking forward to building on the back of that. We made some fundamental changes to the bike and we had a bit of a testing programme to get through. I am ready for it now. We had a decent package for the test so we will use those ideas for our set-up. Brno is a circuit that I always enjoy riding at. It is a definitely flowing track and you spend a lot of time on the side of the tyre. It is an incredible facility - surrounded by woodlands, with a great layout, you notice how wide it is - it has all the ingredients to make it the world-class circuit it is. The only thing I noticed is that the circuit is quite bumpy now, but we will work with that.”

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team headed to Brno as the WorldSBK Championship reaches its halfway point

With six rounds in the books and seven more to go, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team is ready to resume action at Brno for Round 7 of the WorldSBK Championship, which is reaching its halfway point. The team heads to the Czech track, which returns to the WorldSBK calendar after a five-year absence, to attack and both Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri are as determined as ever to achieve prestigious results and collect important points in both the Riders and Constructors championships.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team, is also keen to put the Donington round behind and resume the growth path started at Aragon. After six rounds, Davies (181 points) and Melandri (136 points) are respectively 2nd and 5th in the championship, while Rinaldi (43 points) is 13th. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team and the Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team will return to the track Friday, June 8th, at 09:45 local time (CET) for the first free-practice session.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7)

"We're heading to Brno eager to bounce back after Donington, which wasn't an easy round for us. We'll have to take it as it comes, one step at a time. Our first goal is to improve the our package, so we just need to head out on the track together with our rivals. The test we've done there was OK but we were playing around with the setup, while the racing weekend is where we need to put it all together. We need to keep working hard and see what happens."

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33)

"In Brno, first of all, we want to put behind us the issues we faced at Donington. The tests done in Czech Republic went quite well even though our priority was to improve the overall stability and not to prepare a specific setup for the race. The track itself is flowing, I always liked it and scored some good results there. Despite the fact we didn't race there in a while, I thought the tarmac was in good conditions. We are really keen to do well and our mindset is positive, because each race has been a different story this year."

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Junior Team #21)

"Brno is a nice track, I really liked it since the first lap when we tested there. The layout makes it fun to ride, even though there are some bumps. Our test was a positive one, so we're ready to start from a good base but we also know that our rivals were really competitive there. The situation may change because of higher temperatures, so we'll all probably have to make adjustments. We need to further improve. We just need to get out there and start working."

Pata Yamaha Buzzing for Brno!


The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team is excited to get back into action at Round 7 of the 2018 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship at Brno this weekend, following their sensational weekend at the last round in Donington Park. Fresh from securing the double race win at Donington, Michael van der Mark is highly motivated to get back on track in the Czech Republic to continue his form. Teammate Alex Lowes recorded two strong fourth-place finishes in the UK and will be hoping to build on these results after the team held a successful private test in Brno recently.

The Pata Yamaha team head to Brno for the first time in anger as WorldSBK marks its comeback to the Czech track this weekend for the first time since 2012, confident after their sensational weekend at Donington Park and a recent two-day private test at the circuit.

Van der Mark secured a historic maiden WorldSBK victory in Race 1 at Donington Park and then went on to double up in Race 2 to cap off an emotional weekend in the UK. The 25-year-old became the first ever Dutch rider to win in the WorldSBK Championship and it was also the first victory for Yamaha since 2011, after their return to the championship in 2016. The 50 points he collected have seen him leap into title contention, with van der Mark now third overall in the championship standings with 163 points, just 18 behind Chaz Davies in second.

Lowes recorded two strong fourth-place finishes in Donington after battling for the podium in both races and leading for the majority of Race 2. The 27-year-old British rider is now hoping to return to the podium in Brno - after his third-place finish in Thailand - as he looks to continue the momentum he has been building at the last few rounds. Lowes is currently seventh in the championship standings with 118 points, trailing his teammate by 45 points.

The Automotodrom Brno welcomes back WorldSBK in 2018 after a six-year hiatus. The tradition of motorcycle racing in Brno dates back to 1930 on the so-called 'City Circuit'. The first Czechoslovakian Grand Prix was held in 1965 when the 500cc class raced over thirteen laps of the original 13.94 km street circuit. The current circuit was first used for GP racing in 1987 and is popular with both fans and riders alike, with the new track built in a natural bowl which is banked in places to offer spectators an excellent view. Brno constantly changes in elevation as it sweeps across forested hillsides and its fast undulating corners test rider talent and engineering to the limit. The track itself is 5.403km long with 14 corners, eight right and six left-handed, with a number of short straights (maximum 637m) that have been known to provide spectacular overtaking opportunities and racing in the past.

Round 7 of the 2018 WorldSBK Championship kicks off for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team when they hit the track for the first time on Friday morning in Brno at 9:45 am local time (CEST) for FP1, with Race 1 due to start at 1 pm on Saturday and Race 2 at 1 pm on Sunday.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 3rd - 163 points

"After Donington, I'm even more motivated to arrive in Brno! I am so happy with the wins there and the performance of the R1. I'm pretty sure that the bike has improved even more after the test we did in Brno, so I am excited to see what we can do there. I am looking forward to riding on this great track and I will be fighting as hard as I can to get back on the podium again!"

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team - 7th - 118 points

"After testing at Brno, I'm really looking forward to going back there to race. I haven't ridden the track much in the past but I fell in love with it at the test. It's a fantastic circuit with some changes of elevation and some fast flowing corners. I think it suits the R1 and my goal is simply to fight for podiums. See you there!"

Camier and Gagne relishing WorldSBK return to Brno

Czech Round

Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic

The Czech Republic returns as a host nation for the FIM World Superbike Championship for round 7 this weekend, with Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team riders Leon Camier and Jake Gagne relishing the chance to ride the undulating Automotodromo Brno circuit again.

The Brno circuit is a technical 5.4 kilometre track characterised by its huge elevation changes where the difference between the lowest and highest points of the circuit is over 70 metres – the height of a twenty story building. These elevation changes, coupled with many left-right corner combinations split by a series of straights – including the steep, uphill straight in the last sector colloquially known as ‘Horsepower Hill’ – make the track a stern test for man and machine.

Camier has ridden the circuit numerous times during his illustrious WorldSBK career and although the Briton is still not 100% fit following his injury, given the progress he made during the Donington race weekend he is positive about maintaining his momentum on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 this weekend at one of his favourite circuits.

Gagne has fond memories of the Czech circuit, with the American having won a race here during his time in the Red Bull Rookies Cup and is confident that his riding style and the sharp handling and braking stability of the Fireblade will help him secure a good result this weekend.

The first WorldSBK session of the #CzechWorldSBK round is Friday’s Free Practice 1 at 0945 local time (GMT +2). Race One and Race Two are set to start at 1300 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Leon Camier 2

I really like the Brno Circuit, it's probably one of my favourites to ride although it is quite a challenging circuit to ride. Missing the recent test here means we're a little bit behind the other teams in terms of having a base setting heading into the weekend, but the bike has come along well recently and hopefully can get it working well from the first session on Friday. My recovery is going well, it's the type of injury that isn't a quick fix so I'm not 100% but it's better than it was at Donington so things are improving there step by step. I'm looking forward to getting out on track and continuing our progress and we'll be pushing to be even closer to the front of the field.

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Jake Gagne 45

I’ve always loved the Brno circuit, it's so fast and flowing. I've only ridden there during my two years in the Red Bull Rookies Cup on a 125 so I’m definitely ready to give the Fireblade a go on this amazing track. We’ve made some great progress the last few weekends with my riding and bike setup so I expect the progress to continue thanks to the great crew that I have with me. I have a feeling that the Honda will get along well with the flowing style of Brno so I’m ready to get to work. Myself and the team are definitely expecting some good forward progress with the knowledge we’ve picked up the last few weekends. It will be a fun weekend no doubt!

- Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

It's great to return to Brno for WorldSBK this weekend, the circuit has an amazing layout in a great setting and the local fans are really passionate about their motorsport. We will be playing catch up this weekend, as we missed the two day WorldSBK test at Brno after the Assen round as both our riders were injured, so we're at a bit of a disadvantage to start, but we hope we can catch up quickly. With Leon continuing his recovery and Jake coming off probably his strongest race weekend in Donington, I think we can narrow the gap to the front runners this weekend while also continuing to forge ahead in our development of the Fireblade.

Gulf Althea BMW returns to the Czech Republic

Rome (Italy), Tuesday 5 June 2018

After a five-year absence, the circuit of Brno in the Czech Republic returns to the WorldSBK calendar, the setting for round seven of the 2018 championship that is taking place this weekend, and the next destination then for the Gulf Althea BMW Racing Team and riders Loris Baz and Alessandro Delbianco.

The ‘Automotodrom Brno’, also known as the ‘Masaryk circuit’, has a long and rich history dating back as far as 1930. The original track took in 31 km of roads to the west of the city of Brno. The current circuit, constructed in 1985, has hosted the MotoGP each year while the Superbike haven’t visited the track since 2012.

That year in fact, Baz reached the podium in race 1, and has also raced at the track in recent years, while competing in MotoGP. Again in 2012, team Althea took to the rostrum too, with rider Carlos Checa. For Delbianco on the other hand, Brno will be a brand-new experience, just like Donington a couple of weeks ago.

Six rounds into the series and Baz currently lies ninth in the general standings with 67 points, while Delbianco places twelfth in the Superstock 1000 classification with 15 points.

Loris Baz

"I’m happy to get back on the track this weekend, we’re hoping for a good weekend at Brno. We made a good step at Donington and so I hope we can continue in that direction. It should be a good track for us, I like it at least and have scored solid results in both SBK and GP. We also have a few things to try on the bike, so I hope we can make another step and continue to close the gap to the frontrunners.”

Alessandro Delbianco

"Just like many others, the Brno track will also be new for me. It seems quite a tough layout as it’s very wide, but I’ll be doing my best as always of course. We’re at an important point of the season, the mid-way point in fact, I’ve already completed four rounds and now want to score a really good result and bring home as many points as possible – this is my goal in the Czech Republic.”

10 facts you need to know ahead of the Acerbis Czech Round

WorldSBK riders prepare for Automotodrom Brno and records could be broken

1. Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) recorded his maiden WorldSBK win at the same age of Chaz Davies (Nurburgring/2 2012): 25 years, 7 months, 0 days.

2. Van der Mark is the only rider in history with his first two wins separated by one day. Before the new weekend format was introduced, eleven riders were able to record their first two wins on the same day - the first was Raymond Roche in Brainerd, 1989.

3. Van der Mark enters the Brno weekend with a mammoth task at hand: he can become the first rider in history whose first four wins came one after the other.

4. The Netherlands are the 16th country to win in history; the first to record a maiden win since Eugene Laverty recorded the first win for Ireland in Monza, 2011. And it was a double as well that weekend.

5. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) became the first Turkish rider on the podium in WorldSBK, and the 120th in history. Turkey is the 19th country with at least one podium finish in WorldSBK history.

6. Will Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) score his record-breaking 60th win in Brno? Numbers are on his side. He wasn’t able to win at Donington: his last string of three races without a win came last year in both Misano races and Laguna Seca Race 1.

7. Brno is a hunting ground for Italian riders: Italy is the most successful country here with 7 (4 Biaggi, 3 Melandri). Great Britain, the most successful country in WorldSBK history at present, have had riders winning just three times here, the last one with Jonathan Rea in 2010. The last five wins here were all Italian (3 Melandri, 2 Biaggi).

8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has won around 14 different tracks in his career. At five other tracks his best result is a second place: Brno is one of them, the others being Losail, Phillip Island, Istanbul and Lausitzring.

9. Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) needs only one win to tie the Brno record of four set by Max Biaggi from 2007 to 2011.

10. The last win for Ducati in Brno came 10 years ago, in 2008 with a double by Troy Bayliss. The only win for Kawasaki came a quarter of a century ago, in 1993 with Scott Russell.

Manufacturers profiles from Automotodrom Brno

It’s been a while, read who has prospered and who struggled in the Czech Republic

Aprilia have won three times here with Max Biaggi: in Race 1 in 2009 and Race 2 in 2010 and 2011. Their six podiums here were also secued by Biaggi, from 2009 to 2011 the Italian Champion always finished in first or second with Aprilia. In 2012 for their last weekend in Brno, Biaggi was again the best Aprilia rider as he recorded a fourth place in Race 2 despite starting only fourteenth.

Like Aprilia, BMW has an Italian rider to thank for their best performances in Brno: as Marco Melandri recorded a double in 2012. Those two wins, in the last two races run here, are the only podium placements for BMW at the Czech track.

Ducati are the most successful manufacturer in Brno, with five wins and 17 podium finishes. The wins span 15 years from the success in 1993’s Race 1 from Carl Fogarty, to 2008 when Troy Bayliss scored a double from pole. In the middle there was another double from Troy Corser, in 1996. In their last weekend here in 2012 Carlos Checa was their fastest rider, with a fourth in Race 1 and a third in Race 2. Interestingly, all the Ducati wins in Brno came from pole.

Honda have won twice here: in 2007’s Race 1, with James Toseland and in 2010’s Race 1, with Jonathan Rea. They are second in the Brno rankings for podiums with 15, to Ducati’s 17. All this success came without the advantage of a single pole position, as the best grid spot for a Honda bike in Brno is a second place, recorded in qualifying in 1996 by Carl Fogarty and in 2006 by James Toseland.

With 2012 as the last race run in Brno, Kawasaki are yet to make a significant impact on the records. They have won once here, back in 1993’s Race 2 with Scott Russell, and climbed on the podium six times - the last one in 2012, when Tom Sykes and Loris Baz were on the podium three times out of possible four in the races. In 2012 Sykes recorded the only Kawasaki pole position at Brno. The 2012 Brno podiums for Kawasaki were the first ones since the 2001 Sugo round.

Yamaha holds the record for pole positions here: four to Ducati’s three. They recorded this feat in just five years: from 2006 to 2010 they qualified on pole position four times out of possible five. Yamaha have won three times here with three different riders: Noriyuki Haga in 2005 Race 2; Ben Spies in 2009 Race 2 and Marco Melandri in 2011 Race 1. Yamaha so far have not only been the fastest bike in qualifying, with the aforementioned four poles, but also the fastest bike in the races, as the fastest race lap went eight times to the YZF-R1 from 2005 to 2011, matching the same, record, value for this track set by Ducati from 1993 to 2012.

WorldSSP: A new leader takes hold

Brno welcomes new opportunities and new chances

Six years have passed since the FIM Supersport World Championship has raced around the Autodromo Brno, and there are certainly a lot of questions to be asked this weekend for Round Seven. The title charge is still as tight as ever in the WorldSSP championship, and Donington Park threw up even more sensational racing action for fans but as we head to a track which is unknown for many, there will be some question marks over who will come out on top.

Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) reaffirmed himself as a championship contender in round six, taking the race win in a stunning battle out on track. The German rookie has been making waves in the series, and heads to a circuit of which he has a lot of experience around from his time in the MotoGP™ paddock, taking the win in the 125cc World Championship. Continuing to try to adjust to the Superpole format, Cortese is a hard rider to stop when he has his eyes on the prize and will no doubt be a strong force this weekend.

French rider Jules Cluzel (NRT) is the man who will look to stop Cortese, as he missed out on success in his battle at Donington Park. Finishing in fifth around Brno back in 2012, Cluzel is the only rider this season to take back to back victories and is on a strong run of form with his Indian based team. Gunning for the title this season, Cluzel will be out to be back on the top step in Brno.

Targeting being back at full levels of fitness in the Czech Republic, Randy Krummenacher (BARDHAL Evans Bros. WorldSSP Team) put on yet another sensational battle through the pack around Donington Park. Locked in stunning fights on track and undergoing some hairy moments – despite having a stomach bug – the Swiss rider secured a top five finish, but this isn’t enough when fighting for the title. With limited experience around Brno compared to that of his rivals, it will be yet another big charge to the top.

The one man bringing the fight to the Yamaha’s is Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), as he continues to consistently take podium finishes in the competitive series. Needing to take that final step for the victory, Brno could be the place for him to do so as his experience could come in handy in Eastern Europe. The Italian is not one scared to fight, so will be a big contender this weekend.

Don’t miss out on the sensational WorldSSP action from Brno, as we follow riders from free practice to the race, which gets underway at 11.30 LT (+2 GMT).

GRT Yamaha Looking to Bounce Back in Brno


The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are looking fight back in Brno this weekend at Round 7 of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship after a tricky weekend at Donington Park last time out. Reigning WorldSSP Champion, Lucas Mahias, is looking to return to the podium in style and get his title defence back on track after crossing the line in fifth in Donington and dropping to fourth overall in the standings, 12 points off the lead. Teammate Federico Caricasulo is determined to be back fighting for victory after his sixth-place finish in the UK that means he is now fifth in the standings, just 11 points behind his teammate. European Supersport Cup rider Alfonso Coppola will continue the hard work that has seen him make steady progress in 2018 as he attempts to record his first WorldSSP points-scoring finish.

The Automotodrom Brno returns to the WorldSSP calendar in 2018 for the first time since 2012 but the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team conducted a positive two-day private test at the circuit after Assen which means they are confident they can bounce back from a tricky weekend at Donington Park.

Mahias crossed the line in fifth at Donington Park and has not stood on the podium since securing second in Thailand, with the 28-year-old French rider determined to fight back in Brno to keep his hopes of defending the WorldSSP title alive. He is keen to get back on track after working hard with his team on the issues they faced in the UK, at a circuit he really enjoyed riding at the recent test. Leading the title chase after Assen, his recent run of form means he is currently fourth overall in the championship standings with 90 points, trailing leader Sandro Cortese by 12 points.

His teammate Caricasulo secured a sixth-place finish in the UK just behind his teammate but was disappointed with how he struggled during the race after a promising weekend. Studying the data with his team in the interim, the 22-year-old Italian is now ready to battle back in Brno and is hopeful of being able to hit the ground running on Friday morning after the recent test at the circuit. Caricasulo is currently fifth in the championship standings with 79 points, having closed the gap on his teammate in fourth to just 11.

European Supersport Cup rider Coppola is excited to ride the Brno track, one of the few tracks he will arrive at in 2017 that he has had the chance to ride his R6 on before after the team's test at the circuit. It will be the first circuit the 19-year-old Italian has arrived at in 2018 with a good base setting and the fast and flowing nature of the track's layout should also suit his riding style, with Coppola confident he can fight for his first championship point this weekend.

The Automotodrom Brno welcomes back WorldSBK in 2018 after a six-year hiatus. The tradition of motorcycle racing in Brno dates back to 1930 on the so-called 'City Circuit'. The first Czechoslovakian Grand Prix was held in 1965 when the 500cc class raced over thirteen laps of the original 13.94 km street circuit. The current circuit was first used for GP racing in 1987 and is popular with both fans and riders alike, with the new track built in a natural bowl which is banked in places to offer spectators an excellent view. Brno constantly changes in elevation as it sweeps across forested hillsides and its fast undulating corners test rider talent and engineering to the limit. The track itself is 5.403km long with 14 corners, eight right and six left-handed, with a number of short straights (maximum 637m) that have been known to provide spectacular overtaking opportunities and racing in the past.

Round 7 of the 2018 WorldSSP Championship kicks off for the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team when they hit the track for the first time on Friday morning in Brno at 10:40 am local time (CEST) for FP1, with qualifying due to start at 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday's race at 11:30 am.

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 4th - 90 points

"I am ready for the next race weekend! The test we did at Brno a few weeks ago was very positive and I really like this fast and flowing track. My only concern is that there are lots of elevation changes and hard acceleration points where we have been losing out in the last few races but we have remained positive and I have been working hard with my team on the chassis and I hope to return to the podium!"

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 5th - 79 points

"I am ready for Brno! We did a really positive test here after Assen and that was the first time I got to ride the circuit. I instantly liked it and it is very similar to Mugello, one of my favourite tracks, so I think I can be fast there. It will not be easy because it is a track that needs a lot of straight-line speed - especially in the uphill sections - which has not been out strength lately, but I have been working hard with my team to try and find a solution and I am looking forward to Brno!"

Alfonso Coppola

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team

"We tested at Brno which, because it is a new track to the calendar, and this could help us a lot this weekend. At the end of the test, we had found a really good setup and this will hopefully mean we can get a good start on Friday and continue the momentum over the weekend. I am feeling very motivated and focused, we have reached the halfway point of the WorldSSP season and I am feeling really good with the team who have helped me adapt to the class. It is not time to make a good result!"

Filippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Offical WorldSSP Team Manager

"We are ready for the next round at Brno! We had a very important test here recently and we feel that this will allow us to get the weekend off to a good start. Honestly, the elevation changes and the high-speed nature of this track will be tricky as we have struggled a bit lately on tracks like these but the team have been working hard since Donington to allow us to come to Brno with a better package. Both Lucas and Federico were quick here in testing and like the track, so we will try our best to fight at the front as always. Alfonso also tested here, so he has a base setting for Friday morning for the first this season. He has been making great progress in adapting to the R6 and the WorldSSP class and we are confident he will make another step in Brno!"

Smith joins Irwin for Czech challenge

Posted on 7th June 2018

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda head to the Czech Republic for Round Seven of the World Supersport Championship this weekend at the famous Automotodrom Brno.

With his first top ten finish since stepping up to World Supersport under his belt last time out at Donington Park, Ulsterman Andrew Irwin makes his first visit to the 5.403km circuit in a confident frame of mind. He said: “I’m really excited to get to Brno, it’s a track I believe will suit me and the bike very well. It’s a new track to me so like all Fridays we’ll make the most of FP1 and of course in FP2 the goal is to get straight into SP2 like at Donington Park. Going to a new track that will be more difficult but I’ll try my best to enjoy the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be in the points at a minimum and another top 10 would be another really good weekend.”

Also making his first trip to the fast and flowing Brno circuit will be CIA Landlord Insurance Honda returnee Kyle Smith. Smith said: “I am really excited for the weekend. It is a new track and a fresh start to the season. The last time I was on the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda I was on the top step of the podium so I feel a little bit of pressure but I think this is a good thing to be able to perform your best.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “As everybody now knows Kyle Smith is back with our team. We are really excited about that, really looking forward to it. It is good to have him back. It’s a lift for the team and a lift for Kyle.”

“Andrew has gone from strength to strength and is now in the top ten. Coming here it’s a tough track to learn but so was Imola. It’s a different track to learn, it’s more flowing and wide and completely different to Imola but I have every confidence that Andrew will go about it in a methodical way and just keep improving. We will be looking to the points and to challenge for the top ten in the race.”

World Supersport action from Brno kicks off on Friday with Free Practice One at 10:40 (local time).

Brno Beckons For Morais And Okubo

The seventh round of the WorldSSP championship will see Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Hikari Okubo and Sheridan Morais aim for their best finishes of the season at a returning circuit to the WorldSSP calendar.

Brno is a known quantity for Morais, but this will be Okubo’s first taste of the modern classic Automotodrom Brno track, surrounded by forests and located near the old closed roads circuit that hosted the Czech Brand Prix for decades.

After experiencing the highs of a best ever qualifying at the previous round but the lows of a crash in the Donington park race, Okubo is in determined mood approaching Brno. He understands the importance of starting from a strong grid position and his primary focus will be on a positive Superpole showing.

Morais will make his fourth start of the season this weekend, having substituted for the recently retired Kenan Sofuoglu in the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team. He feels that the combination of Brno’s layout and his previous experience there should help him achieve his aim of a season-best race finish on Sunday the 10th of June.

In the current championship standings Morais is 15th and Okubo 19th after the mid point of the 2018 season.

The WorldSSP riders will not race at the Laguna Seca WorldSBK round but return to action at Misano, in Italy, between the 6th and the 8th of July.

Hikari Okubo, stated: “In the recent UK round I crashed but I got my best grid position. That was important and I improved a lot in qualifying. The race was not so good but the feeling with team and my bike is coming good. I never rode on the Brno track before so I don’t know the format, but I think I can do good work this weekend. My target is a top five finish. It’s not easy but I think I can do it.”

Sheridan Morais stated: “Brno is an amazing circuit and I am looking forward to going back there to race for the first time since 2012. My flu is gone at last and I’ve finally been training and getting strong for the WorldSSP challenge. I also believe that the smooth and flowing nature of this circuit will be good for my Kawasaki and I.”

Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) found the physical challenge of Donington difficult to deal with last time out, after recent forearm surgery, but he is getting stronger each weekend. A veteran of many races at Brno in both the MotoGP and WorldSBK paddocks, he scored a WorldSSP second place in the 2009 season. ‘Ant’ is the highest placed Kawasaki rider in the current championship standings, in ninth place.

Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) sits 14th overall and is top of the ESS standings, designed for riders who only compete in the European-based rounds of the championship.

Michael Canducci (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) is ranked 24th at the mid-season point, one place ahead of Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM).

Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) continues his relatively new partnership in the Italian-based GoEleven team, while Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Peter Sebestyen (SSP Hungary Team) also look for their first points of the 2018 season.

WorldSSP300: Carrasco seeks strike three

Prepare for a delve into the unknown at Brno

Four down, four to go. With the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship hitting its midway point, the season so far has told a tale of two halves. A pair of opening races with incredibly small margins separating a dozen riders was followed by two absolutely ruthless displays by championship leader Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team). A new page turns at the Acerbis Czech Round: Brno is a circuit unfamiliar to most of the field, where innate talent will represent the clearest path to success. After the Czech Round there will only be one race left until September, so it may be several riders’ last chance for form and momentum to play a part.

At Donington Park Carrasco wasted little time, leading an unprecedented second consecutive race from lights to flag. Her ‘Grand Slam’ – Tissot Superpole, race win, all laps led and fastest lap – was a first in the WorldSSP300 category, and is unlikely to be repeated any time soon. She is one of the few riders on the grid to have competed before at Brno, racing twice in the Moto3™ category. A third consecutive win would not only be a WorldSSP300 record, but could leave her a step away from taking the championship.

It was also a great weekend for her teammate Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team), who sneaked to the front of the chasing pack at the final bends of Donington. The South African’s second place was his best result on a WorldSSP300 bike, a shrewd bit of riding that shot him up to a joint-fourth position in the standings.

While Carrasco’s win at Donington was a huge moment for the championship, it was amplified by her closest rivals’ performance in Leicestershire. Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was in second place much of the race, but a mistake on the final lap cost him five positions and 10 points. Deroue actually has a podium appearance at Brno, from his Red Bull Rookies Cup days. Can he put that experience to good use and mount a championship comeback?

Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTMWorldSSP Team) is within 25 points of the title challenge, despite a top ten in the UK. A second victory of the season at Brno could propel Grunwald into the lead, although first the German will need to improve his Friday and Saturday form: he’s started from the fifth row of the grid in the last two races.

Two podium-less races for the ample field of Dutch riders stands in stark contrast with the early season, when several seemed unbeatable. Koen Meuffels (KTM Fortron Junior Team) took the opening win of the season but is yet to return to the rostrum since. He was back in the top-five at Donington, however, so perhaps a Brno battle featuring the WorldSSP300 rookie is on the cards. His KTM compatriot Glenn van Straalen (KTM Fortron Racing Team) is also on 36 points, and after a UK crash should be back in the mix.

The battle of Brno is approaching! Follow all the action leading up the race, which kicks off at 14.20LT (+2 GMT).

bLU cRU Riders Ready for Battle of Brno


The Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge riders are ready to return to action at Round 5 of the 2018 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at Brno this weekend. Indonesian sensation Galang Hendra Pratama leads the way in the challenge and is 12th in the overall standings with 18 points after finishing in ninth as the leading Yamaha rider last time out at Donington Park. Italian Luca Bernardi recorded his second point-scoring finish of 2018 to stay second in the challenge and move up to 19th overall with six points. Third in the challenge and 23rd overall is Dutch rider Dennis Koopman, who also has two point-scoring finishes under his belt in 2018, while Hugo de Cancellis from France will be aiming to secure their first championship point in Brno.

Galang Hendra Pratama (Yamaha Pata | Semakin di Depan | Biblion Motoxracing Team) backed up his stunning ride to fifth in Imola by recording his second top-ten finish of the season at Donington Park after crossing the line in ninth. Consistently the fastest Yamaha rider on track in 2018, the 19-year-old Indonesian rookie is now looking forward to riding at Brno as, for the first time this season, it will be a level playing for Galang as most of the other riders will have to learn the circuit too.

Luca Bernardi (Yamaha Pata | Trasimeno Team) is fast establishing himself a name as someone that comes good on Sunday after two spectacular rides at the last two rounds. Making up 27 places on his charge from 39th on the grid to 12th in Imola and then storming from 28th to cross the line in 14th in Donington Park. The 16-year-old Italian is now aiming to improve his qualifying performance to leave him with less ground to make up during the race.

The first bLU cRU points scorer in 2018 was 21-year-old Dutch rider Dennis Koopman (Yamaha Pata | Semakin di Depan | GRT Team) after he secured 15th at his home round in Assen. Two more points followed in Imola after he crossed the line in 14th but he just missed out at Donington Park after finishing in 19th and Koopman will be looking to return to the points in Brno.

16-year-old French rider Hugo de Cancellis (Yamaha Pata | Toth - YART Team) was 21st across the line at Donington Park as he continues to impress, following on from top-20 finishes at the previous two rounds. Having just missed out on his first championship point at Assen by just 0.238s, he is now determined to finish in the top 15 at Brno.

The Automotodrom Brno welcomes back WorldSBK in 2018 after a six-year hiatus. The tradition of motorcycle racing in Brno dates back to 1930 on the so-called 'City Circuit'. The first Czechoslovakian Grand Prix was held in 1965 when the 500cc class raced over thirteen laps of the original 13.94 km street circuit. The current circuit was first used for GP racing in 1987 and is popular with both fans and riders alike, with the new track built in a natural bowl which is banked in places to offer spectators an excellent view. Brno constantly changes in elevation as it sweeps across forested hillsides and its fast undulating corners test rider talent and engineering to the limit. The track itself is 5.403km long with 14 corners, eight right and six left-handed, with a number of short straights (maximum 637m) that have been known to provide spectacular overtaking opportunities and racing in the past.

The Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge riders are in action in Brno on Friday morning at 11:45 am local time for Free Practice 1.

Alberto Barozzi

Yamaha Motor Europe bLU cRU Racing Manager

"Another new and fantastic circuit awaits our bLU cRU boys, nobody has been there before but they study a lot the track layout on video and have already started to think about their strategies in order to qualify in the best position possible. It's fundamental to try and start from as near to the front row as possible to allow the guys to take advantage of the slipstream to fight in the leading group. The FIM has introduced a new technical regulation for this round, balancing the overall weight of the bike and rider to ensure a more level playing field in this unique class. The bLU cRU guys are young and strong, plus while they may have the smallest capacity bike on the grid but the YZF-R3 is known for its superb handling, something that is crucial at Brno, and we look forward to them staring the weekend in the most positive way possible!"

Czech out the excitement on offer in Brno

WorldSBK returns to Eastern Europe and fun is promised for all

As preparations are underway for the Acerbis Czech Round this weekend with the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heading to the Automotodrom Brno for the first time since 2012, excitement is building between fans and riders alike. With children under the age of 15 offered free access into the circuit, it is set to be a family fuelled event.

Welcoming back the world famous Paddock Show into the Brno paddock, the fan orientated stage continues to grow bigger and better – not to mention the addition of the Podium format. Live action will begin on stage from Friday, with all sessions live. But the action will also feature Sofa Race chat shows, interactive quiz’s and the Opening Day shows.

Saturday is when the action really begins for all, with the very first Race Show on offer for fans to witness. Heading straight from the podium to the Paddock Show stage to be greeted by their adoring fans, you can have the first opportunity to see the race heroes up close. Whilst after all on track action has finished, there is the opportunity to attend the WorldSSP, WorldSSP300 and STK1000 meet ‘n’ greet. Sunday will welcome the unique race shows for all four races, as well as autograph sessions and race chats, so you don’t miss out seeing any of the stars of the show.

If the racing action on track gets your adrenaline pumping, then you can head out for your own on track battle with the Go Kart and Pit Bike track which is open from 10.00 to 20.00 from Friday to Sunday. If that’s not enough, there is the racing simulator set up all weekend to experience the thrill of racing, without heading out on track.

The Fan Zone will be open in the Acerbis Czech Round once again, offering plenty for fans to see and do throughout the weekend. Acerbis and Shad will have their products on display, offering fans a chance to enjoy their motorcycle gear. You can enjoy a glass of fizz from the Prosecco DOC stall as you take a look at some WorldSBK merchandise, or the Honda bikes on display. It’s not just fun for adults either, as a mini bike track will be on offer.

There will also be an alternative angle for the fans to watch the action from this weekend, as MOTUL invite you to watch the action from their action box throughout the weekend – the same box bike roll through to get to the all new Parc Ferme.

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