PREVIEW: Cremona prepares for first WorldSBK action with two-day test

The next MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round takes place in June, but teams and riders are taking advantage of a break in the race action to head to the Cremona Circuit for a two-day test ahead of the track’s scheduled debut on the calendar later this season. All five manufacturers are represented at the test which takes place on Thursday and Friday this week, with 15 riders from WorldSBK and a handful from WorldSSP joining the test.

CREMONA’S FIRST ACTION: a first taste of WorldSBK

The Italian venue recently underwent some renovations which included work on parts of the 3.768km-long circuit with a focus on Turns 11, 12 and 13 as well as work on facilities and entrances. The test this week will be the first time most riders will experience the Italian venue, although Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) and Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) took advantage of a track day last week to understand the circuit.

DUCATI WELL REPRESENTED: Bautista, Bulega, Independents and a test team

The Racing – Ducati outfit will have three riders at the track, with Alvaro Bautista and teammate Bulega present. The Ducati squad will also have a test team there to maximise their efforts at Cremona. Elsewhere, Team Motocorsa Racing – the organisers of the test – will have Michael Ruben Rinaldi as he looks to bounce back from what he’s described as the toughest season for him in WorldSBK. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) and Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) will also test following strong starts to their respective rookie campaigns. Ducati will also have Adrian Huertas ( Racing WorldSSP Team) from WorldSSP at the test.

FOUR YAMAHA BIKES: GRT Yamaha joins Pata Prometeon Yamaha

Factory teams will be at the test although not all of them. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) and teammate Andrea Locatelli will be there for Yamaha as they prepare for the Italian Round at Cremona, and Yamaha will have four bikes there. The Pata Prometeon Yamaha riders will be joined by Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), fresh from his maiden podium at Assen, and teammate Dominique Aegerter.

A BUSY TEST FOR HONDA: Lecuona back from injury alongside Vierge

After a difficult start to 2024, Honda will be hoping the Cremona test will give them a boost ahead of the Emilia-Romagna Round. Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) will make his return from injury, after missing the Dutch Round through injury, as he looks to kickstart what’s been a challenging season for the #7. Teammate Xavi Vierge will also be there, alongside PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin. There will also be two British Superbike Honda riders there, with Tommy Bridewell and Andrew Irwin present, as well as the two WorldSSP MIE Honda riders of Kaito Toba and Khairul Idham Bin Pawi.

TWO BIKES FOR BMW, ONE FOR KAWASAKI: Redding, Gerloff for BMW, Rabat for Kawasaki

BMW will only have two bikes on track, with the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team duo of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark not testing. Instead, the German manufacturer’s data collection will come from Bonovo Action BMW, who have their rider line-up of Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff. Elsewhere, Kawasaki will be represented by Independent outfit Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and Tito Rabat, with the Spaniard set to test some new configurations and work on setup. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), fresh from his British Supersport win, will test material on the chassis on his ZX-6R machine. Raffaele De Rosa (QJMOTOR Factory Racing) will also be there on his QJMOTOR SRK 800 RR as the Chinese manufacturer gathers data following their WorldSSP debut this season.

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