FRIDAY ROUND UP: “The flow was very good at the test; we just need to improve the confidence.”

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is back, and it has already been a day packed with action, rumours, and discussions. Key figures from the WorldSBK spoke about several topics, including rider futures, goals and more. Read on below to find the best quotes and stories from a busy day of action at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”.

AIMING HIGH AT BMW: “Toprak’s confidence is super high… My focus is to see Michael following him towards the front”

Explaining his expectations for the weekend, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Team Principal Shaun Muir said: “I think we can continue that form. I don’t see any reason why not. We’ve got that tyre, that chassis and that setup and that package that can take us the full race distance, so that’s the expectation. Toprak’s confidence is super high. Equally, Michael’s riding on the back of that as well, so hopefully we can take that forward. For me, I think we can expect to see Toprak moving towards the front very quickly. My focus is to see Michael following him towards the front quickly.”

He also spoke about van der Mark’s future, saying: “I believe things are progressing, and I believe there will be an announcement soon. I endorse Marc’s comments on that one. It’s down to BMW to manage that situation. I’m hopefully there will be news soon, and that that will all be sorted soon. A good, harmonious camp paves the way for progress and success. It is super, super important.”

A HOME ROUND FOR IANONNE: “We want to try and make the steps that we are missing to fight for the podium…”

Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) comes into his first race in Italy in several years, with Team Manager Denis Sacchetti previewing the weekend: “Really important weekend for us and for Andrea. We will do the best weekend possible for our fans, for our guests, for our sponsors and for us. We want to try and make the steps that we are missing to fight for the podium. It is important to try many different things. We are working in a different way, and we are trying some different things.”

BAUTISTA’S FUTURE CLEAR SOON? “Our goal is to continue with Alvaro”

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) and Misano have been a match made in heaven recently, with the Spaniard enjoying huge success on the Adriatic Coast in recent years. However, his future with Ducati continues to be the topic of debate and gossip, with many speculating as to whether the reigning World Champion will continue with the Bologna manufacturer or not. Team Manager Serafino Foti appeared to drop a major hint about the Spaniard’s future, saying: “Our goal is to continue with Alvaro, but we will probably start to pick after the race. We don’t have any backup options; at the moment, the goal is to continue with Alvaro.”

REJUVINATION FOR REA? “He’s finding his flow”

Another rider who has been the topic of much intrigue throughout the paddock has been Pata Prometeon Yamaha rider Jonathan Rea. The ex-World Champion has struggled so far with his adaptation to the R1 yet has shown much more promise in recent weeks. Discussing the Ulsterman’s progress and development, Team Principal Paul Denning said this: “Yes, very much so. We’ve found a better balance with the bike that allows him to ride more naturally. He was fast on the race tyres and the SCQ tyres; it is definitely the best test we’ve done as a group. But overall, I think we all underestimated the time it would take to adapt to the R1 from the previous bike. Nine years with the same people and the same process is a long time for a rider to then jump onto a new bike with new characteristics and get the best out of it.”

Denning was then asked about Rea’s riding style, as well as the difference in translating his riding style success to a different bike. Denning said: “I think that maybe this bike requires a different approach compared to the Kawasaki in order to get the best out of it. It’s a less physical bike, and probably doesn’t respond as well to that riding style. It’s a matter of giving Jonathan what he needs to suit his riding style, but also the adaptation from Jonathan is coming and he’s finding his flow. Jonathan looks good. The flow was very good at the test; we just need to improve the confidence.”

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