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OUTSPOKEN AHEAD OF MOST: “If we don’t win the Championship, I won’t be happy”

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has gone from the UK to the Czech Republic for Round 6 of the 2024 season and it’s shaping up to be a classic. Ahead of track action starting at the Autodrom Most, riders from up and down the grid spoke about plenty of topics, from 2024 so far to the future and title aspirations…

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “If we don’t win the Championship, I won’t be happy”

Expanding on the title fight, Razgatlioglu said: “My target is always to win the race, but this weekend I will try to get three wins. Every weekend we are going race by race, but now we are getting strong. We are looking at the Championship. It wasn’t in my plan this year, just some podiums. But we immediately started to win races, so my mind changed and now the title is possible with BMW. I’m still going race by race because I need more wins. I’m on seven wins in a row now, so I need three more here and then in Portimao two more to get to 12 wins. If we don’t win the Championship, I won’t be happy because everyone is working hard, and we are winning races. We are strong now and we need to be World Champions this year, but this is racing and sometimes you have problems.”

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha): “All the ingredients are there to have a good weekend…”

Hoping to keep his momentum going at Most, Rea stated: “It helps coming off the back of our strongest weekend of the season at Donington. I was able to get a podium and fight at the front. It’s hard to understand if we’ve really made that big step or was it the Donington effect. It’ll be nice to see if we can carry on that momentum here at Most. All the ingredients are there to have a good weekend. It came at a good time because now we have some races in quick succession. It’s important to try and build that momentum, like a snowball, try to build confidence. I don’t feel we’re reaching our full performance yet, so it’s quite motivating that we’ve still got a way to go with myself and the bike. Racing is built on confidence, so the quicker we can get there, the better.”

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “We’re not in a position to think about any result…”

Still searching for the feel-good factor that he had last year, Bautista said: “I have good memories from last year because I could win my 50th race in the category. This year is different. The feeling with the bike is not the same as last year and we’re struggling more. Our approach is just to find something that allows us to ride as I want. We’re not in a position to think about any result. It’s always nice to arrive to that milestone (100 podiums). When I retire, I’ll see what I achieved or not. It’s more important to get the good feeling back than to get a podium. It’s important to important the recover the good feeling with the bike, after that maybe we can think about the Championship. Now, it’s stupid to think about that. After Donington, it was difficult because the feeling was very different with the bike and not as I wanted. At the same time, I’m eager to resolve this problem and to keep working and try to recover the good feeling as I had in the past. I want to be focused on this weekend, recover that feeling and then I’ll take a decision.”

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “2024’s one of my best seasons I’ve had so far”

Lowes declared 2024 one of his best seasons yet, saying: “The target is to fight at the front. We’ll work hard on Friday, like we did at Donington, and then we’ll understand our position. It’s not easy to be at the front every weekend in WorldSBK. It’s one of my best seasons I’ve had so far. In 2019, I was fast and consistent, but this year, the Championship is slightly stronger in depth. There’s lots of fast riders and teams. I would say I’m in my best moment. A perfect blend of my experience but also my speed is the best it’s been. Every weekend, I want to try do the best I can, get on the podium, win some races again at a track that’s not Phillip Island would be fantastic.”

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team): “It could be a dream to ride that bike; being in a factory garage in MotoGP™ and WorldSBK isn’t something I expected”

Discussing whether he could ride a factory Ducati in 2025, Petrucci said: “I’d like to be considered at least. I’m feeling really good with the Barni team, I’m doing really good, and the bike is going fast. I have a lot of support from my team and there’s a good atmosphere. Let’s see what Alvaro decides for his future and then we will take any proposal. I can perform well, but the decision is in the hands of Alvaro, and I hope he will make the right decision for him. We’re always in contact with Ducati since I was a child! We have a really good relationship with them, there’s a constant chat between them. It could be a dream to ride that bike; being in a factory garage in MotoGP™ and WorldSBK isn’t something I expected in my life.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “We’re still improving one step sometimes, but so are the other factories so we need to improve two, three, four steps to catch them”

Lecuona struggled at Donington and is anticipating another difficult weekend: “We have maybe three tracks – Donington, Most and Magny-Cours – that are the worst tracks for us. At Donington, we struggled a lot. We worked very hard. After Misano, we had three days of testing. We tried many things including some items and we expected to arrive to Donington with more performance overall. The reality wasn’t this. It’s a new weekend, new challenge at a different track. It’s true we struggled last year but we never know if we’ll struggle tomorrow when we jump on the bike. We improved in a few areas more than others. We still think we miss something important on the bike that maybe we need to change, but it’s not easy to do it. It’s not easy for me. think we’re still improving one step sometimes, but so are the other factories so we need to improve two, three, four steps to catch them.”

Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I’m proud of what me and my team are doing”

Bulega revealed his surprise at being so high in the standings five races into his rookie season, with the #11 saying: “I’m really happy to arrive at this point of the Championship in second position. It’s a surprise for me. I’m proud of what me and my team are doing. Most will be difficult, another challenge, but I will try to improve in every session and be on the podium again. I’m proud, because last year, when I signed the contract, I didn’t think I would be here, second in the Championship, a year later. I’m very happy and I want to enjoy it. Toprak now is at the best moment of his career, also his bike has improved a lot, I think he’s the only one using the BMW at 100%. They are very strong now, but we’re strong too. I think we can do a great job. It won’t be easy because this is my first time with this bike in this circuit. We have different tyre solutions, a bit harder. I think if you can have a good feeling, it doesn’t matter the tyres. I like Most, it’s technical.”

Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW): “I want to stay with BMW; that’s where I feel I should be…”

Another whose future is in the air, Redding said: “I’m very happy with how Donington went. Obviously, I had the small mechanical, but the pace was there, and I was able to come back in the next two races which was good for me and my confidence, knowing I could consistently be in that area. Now, we’re at another circuit which I tend to like and have good history here, a lot of consistent memories. The step we made with the bike was part of the puzzle and coming to some circuits I feel I can ride quite well, so I’m looking forward to this weekend. The field is super tight this year so even if you’re going well, you can still be down the order. I’m hoping we can make that step and feel that rhythm we had with the bike at Donington. If we can be knocking on the door of the top five again, that’s where I feel is acceptable. If you’re anywhere in the top five, you can be battling for a podium. As far as I’m concerned, I want to stay with BMW. That’s where I feel I should be, and I have the contract as well. I feel happy where I am, I feel content and I’m happy with the work BMW’s been doing. It’s interesting, it’s tough but I’m happy where I am, and I want to stay there.”

Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven): “Everything is open, I haven’t signed with anybody”

Iannone has been linked with different seats, but stated at Most he hadn’t signed with anyone while he also knows his priority. He said: “Happy to be here because it’s a new track for me and it’s always interesting. We come from Donington, where I struggled with my arms, especially in Race 2. I was at home these days to recover and I’m positive, but we will see after the first practice. My expectations are always high, it’s my mentality. But it’s clear and normal, this year is my first time after a long time, and I’m trying my best in every race, every practice, every condition. We achieved some very good results. In Donington we had good speed, but Superpole was a disaster. FP1 tomorrow will be important for us to try and get the feeling. I hope we get the best feeling immediately and not be too far. But it’s important to not forget it’s my first time here. I’m just waiting. I’ve been waiting many years at home, now it’s easier to wait here. I’m enjoying. Everything is open, I haven’t signed with anybody. I have my priority, my preference, but we will see.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

FAST FACTS: armchair ammo and home commentator notes for WorldSBK at Most

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the Autodrom Most for the 2024 Czech Round and we’ve gathered all the stats and facts in one easy guide for you to impress the people you’re watching with. From recent winners, manufacturer history at Most and much more, everything you need to know is below.

2023 race winners:

  • Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki: Race 1)
  • Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha: Tissot Superpole Race)
  • Alvaro Bautista (Ducati: Race 2)

Last three pole-sitters at Most:

  • 2023: Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 1’30.801s
  • 2022: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 1’30.947s
  • 2021: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 1’31.684s

Manufacturer podium places (and wins) accumulated from all races at Most:

  • Ducati: 10 (3)
  • Yamaha: 9 (5)
  • Kawasaki: 7 (1)
  • BMW: 1

Key gaps from Most 2023:

  • Front row covered by: 0.618s
  • 1 second in Superpole covered… the top 8: 0.914s
  • Closest race gap between 1st and 2nd: 1.203s (Razgatlioglu 1st, Rea 2nd, Superpole Race)
  • Closest race podium: 2.908s (Razgatlioglu 1st, Rea 2nd, Bautista 3rd, Superpole Race)
  • Closest Most podium of all-time: 1.584s (Razgatlioglu 1st, Redding 2nd, Rea 3rd, Superpole Race, 2021)

Manufacturer top speeds at Most, 2023:

  • Ducati: Alvaro Bautista – 304.2kph, Superpole Race
  • Honda: Xavi Vierge – 304.2kph, Race 2
  • BMW: Garrett Gerloff – 302.5kph, Superpole Race
  • Kawasaki: Jonathan Rea– 297.3kph, Superpole Race
  • Yamaha: Toprak Razgatlioglu – 296.7kph, Race 2

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Source: WorldSBK.com

OPINION: Steve English on Toprak’s formidable form and if anyone can stop him

Back to back rounds in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship are never easy. The paddock has to pack up and get on the move from one venue to another. Riders might be nursing injuries from the previous round. None of that matters if you’ve got momentum behind you though.

TOPRAK IS THE FORM RIDER: “The impossible now seems inevitable”

For Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) the impossible now seems inevitable; he’s the man to beat and the clear title favourite. On the road to Most, the same questions were being asked by many within the paddock. Who can stop him? How can you stop him? At Donington Park, Razgatlioglu made light of the inquiry from a rival about the legality of his BMW. Celebrating with a “Technical Inspection” was great gamesmanship from the Turkish star. He was clearly furious that questions had been asked about his package.

The easiest way to answer it was with a resounding victory. When a great rider has a package underneath them that gives them confidence, they find a new level of performance. In recent years, Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista both had this form. Their ability to find ways to win despite different challenges was as impressive as what the paddock expects to see from Toprak.

One major difference is that the new regulation package should make it harder to curtail Razgatlioglu mid-season. The check points mid-season are now not to reduce the engine performance of a bike like it was for Ducati in the past with Bautista. Ironically, this is as a result of Ducati accepting the changes to regulations to bring in the 2024 minimum weight rule.

MOVING THE BAR: “The game has moved on…”

The game has moved on in WorldSBK and whilst Bautista is going faster than last year in races, it’s not enough. Razgatlioglu has raised the stakes and Bautista has been found wanting. Ducati has also come up short of what they need to do. Their double Champion is on the ropes and at Most this weekend, it’s hard to see how anyone can get close to Razgatlioglu.

Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) will certainly fancy his chances of building on a strong weekend at Donington. The two circuits are two of his best on the calendar so the BMW man will have confidence of fighting for another podium and match his 2022 weekend for the German manufacturer. Redding has four podiums at the track and it can’t be underestimated that when his tail is up, he can still surprise people.

YAMAHA: Rea best in blue at Donington

Elsewhere and in blue, the scrap for top Yamaha honours has started to heat up. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) came out on top last time out and now returns to the scene of his 119th and most recent win. In changeable conditions, he was brave and made his tyre choice work. This weekend, the pressure has been lifted somewhat on his Yamaha crew. Having endured a miserable start to the campaign they qualified well and gave themselves a chance of a good result in the races. Rea’s Superpole Race podium was hard fought and well earned. Most is a very different challenge but the circuit has lots of challenges that are similar to Donington Park. In many ways it’s a distant cousin of the British circuit but will it offer hope to Ducati or offer more of the same as last weekend.

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Source: WorldSBK.com

Mercado returns in place of injured Norrodin at MIE Honda, Gillim to replace unfit Mackenzie at Most

With the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descending on the Autodrom Most for the sixth round of the season, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda will have two new riders in the Czech Republic. With Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin both missing through injury, the team have drafted in America’s Hayden Gillim and Argentina’s Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado for this weekend, with the latter returning to the team.

Mackenzie was injured in a Race 1 crash at Donington and he was diagnosed with concussion, which means he’s sitting out the Czech Round. He’s being replaced by reigning MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 champion Hayden Gillim, with the American racing for Honda in the American Superbike championship this year. Gillim is the cousin of the late, great Nicky Hayden as well as Nicky’s brother, Roger Lee.

Discussing his WorldSBK debut, Gillim said: “I’m very excited for this weekend. I’d always hoped that I could race in World Superbike one day. I know it’s going to be a big learning experience, as it’s a new track, different tyres, a new team, and a different bike. Racing a 2024 Honda Superbike versus my 2023 Stock Honda in America is going to take some getting used to, but I’m ready for the challenge. I have to thank the Petronas MIE Racing Honda Team and Midori Moriwaki for the opportunity. As well as my team, sponsors, and family back at home for being supportive of me and my goals.”

On the other side of the box, ‘Tati’ Mercado returns to WorldSBK and the MIE Honda outfit in place of Norrodin, who is ruled out of action following a Race 2 crash at Donington Park. His last race for the team came at the 2023 season finale at Jerez, where he actually topped Free Practice 1 in wet conditions. The Argentine brings plenty of experience to the team, with 194 race starts under his belt already in WorldSBK although he doesn’t have a rostrum to his name. He also claimed the 2014 STK1000, while he raced at Most for the team back in 2022 – scoring a best result of 15th in Race 2.

On his return to WorldSBK, Mercado said: “It will be good to be back in the WorldSBK paddock, and with a team I know! Fortunately, I was free to ride this weekend as I’m not at the Suzuka 8 Hours in the end. I’m not starting the weekend with any particular expectations, but I would like to improve session by session. I’ll do the best I can to harness my experience and provide the team with more useful data. I want to thank the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team for inviting me back, and hopefully we can have a good weekend!”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

STATS GUIDE: Bautista closing in on 100 podiums, Razgatlioglu to claim his 50th WorldSBK win?

The Autodrom Most hosts Round 6 of the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and while the on-track action will be as fierce as ever, there are some big milestones that could be reached at the Czech Round. From special numbers for podiums and wins, to potentially equalling a best season and much more, have a look at the key stats heading into this weekend below.

100 – Alvaro Bautista is only one podium short of reaching 100: he would be the 7th rider in history at this milestone after Jonathan Rea (264 podiums), Troy Corser (130), Toprak Razgatlioglu (127), Noriyuki Haga (116), Tom Sykes (114), Carl Fogarty (109). As the list above implies, with three podiums Razgatlioglu will equal Corser at the 2nd all-time spot.

96-100 – Only one podium in Donington for Bautista, making the goal of equalling Carl Fogarty for podiums for Ducati (100) out of reach in the Most weekend: Bautista is at 96.

48/50 – Toprak Razgatlioglu has his first shot to reach the milestone of 50 WorldSBK wins, as he is currently at 48. He is 5th in the all-time list behind: Jonathan Rea (119), Alvaro Bautista (61), Carl Fogarty (59), Troy Bayliss (52). In this list, only Rea and Razgatlioglu haven’t won for Ducati.

18/2 – Last year in Most, Alvaro Bautista set the new record of season wins with 18, ending the Championship at 27. This year he has won twice (Barcelona/2, Assen/SPR).

10-9 – Ducati leads Yamaha for podiums here: 10-9. Only one Yamaha podium didn’t come from Toprak Razgatlioglu: a third place by Andrea Locatelli in Race 1, 2021.

9/13 – BMW, in the hands of Razgatlioglu, have won 9 races this year: with four more they will equal their tally of the 2009-2023 period, all their previous seasons combined.

8/20 – Nicolo Bulega has posted 9 podiums so far, eight of them are second places. The record of second places in a single season was set last year by Toprak Razgatlioglu: 20. In the current run of Razgatlioglu’s seven wins, he was second five times.

7/10 – BMW is on a run of seven wins. In WorldSBK history only Ducati (six times) and Kawasaki (two times) have recorded two-figure winning streaks.

7/8/10 – Razgatlioglu is on a streak of seven consecutive wins, the eighth longest in WorldSBK history. He has a chance to make it ten in a row, which would be the fourth time in WorldSBK history this has happened – Alvaro Bautista (2019, 2023) and Jonathan Rea (2019) are the previous occasions, who hit 11.

6/9 – Alex Lowes is just three podiums short of his best season, 2019 (9 podiums): he has already scored more points than the entire last season.

5/8 – Razgatlioglu is the man to beat at Most as he is the record holder for wins, 5, and podiums, 8.

5-3 – Thanks to Razgatlioglu, Yamaha are the most successful manufacturer in Most, with 5 wins to Ducati’s 3 (Redding, Bautista 2).

2 – Only two polesitters so far at Most: Rea in 2021 and 2022; Razgatlioglu last year.

0.040 – The closest finish at Most is 0.040s, from Race 1 in 2021 when Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding battled on the last lap at the penultimate corner for victory.

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Source: WorldSBK.com

PREVIEW: WorldSSP300 fires back into action at Most where unpredictability is the only guarantee

The 2024 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship is back in action for the first time in just over a month for round four of their season, coming from the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. Having not been present at Donington Park, they’re back to battle it out on one of the most fast and flowing circuits of the year. Five different winners in the six races previously staged, WorldSSP300 is set to deliver again.

IGLESIAS LEADS THE CHARGE: 12 points split Inigo and Aldi Mahendra in the standings

Four podiums and two wins in the last five races for Inigo Iglesias (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki) mean the Spaniard is top dog going into the fourth round of 2024; he’s also the rider in form, having battled his way to a double rostrum last time out at Misano. A winner at Most in the IDM series en route to the title, the 22-year-old will make his 50th start in Race 2. Aldi Mahendra (Team BrCorse) is second overall and just 12 points adrift of Iglesias, with the Indonesian a winner at Most last year in Race 2 and like Iglesias, being a double podium achiever last time out. The big news is that third in the standings, Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Retro Traffic Kawasaki), has been ruled out of the round following his Misano injury – he’s been replaced by Indian rider Kavin Quintal, the first Indian rider in WorldSSP300. Fourth and fifth in the standings belong to Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) and Jeffrey Buis (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing), the latter a winner at Most in 2021.

OUTSIDE THE TOP 5: heavy hitters seeking progress

Another notable ansentee along with Mogeda is sixth-placed Petr Svoboda (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki), who is replaced by Australian Carter Thompson. Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) was right in the mix at Misano and aims to continue it on at Most, where his best result was a mighty P2 in 2023. Galang Hendra Pratama (ProGP NitiRacing) is next up in seventh overall and was in the mix for victory last year in Race 2, whilst Mirko Gennai (MTM Kawasaki) had his best showing of the year last time out at home with a Misano podium in Race 1, something he hopes to replicate here. Making it four manufacturers in the top ten, Marc Garcia (KOVE Racing Team) likewise had a best weekend of the year at Misano and was fast 12 months ago for Kove at Most – keep an eye on the #22.

NEEDING BIG RESULTS: household names that need to make the MOST…

Unai Calatayud (ARCO SASH MotoR University Team), Bruno Ieraci (Team ProDina Kawasaki) and Samuel Di Sora (ARCO SASH MotoR University Team) have all had podiums but struggled with consistency this year, hence why they’re all outside of the top ten in the standings. Pepe Osuna’s (DEZA-BOX 77 Racing Team) only career podium came at Most in 2023 with P2 from 24th on the grid so don’t count him out, whilst Julio Garcia (KOVE Racing Team) will look to have a solid weekend without any dramas in terms of post-race penalties. Elia Bartolini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSSP300 Team) and David Salvador (MS Racing) both had top eight results at Misano, so watch for them, whilst it’s the Accolade Smrz Racing BGR team’s home round, with Czech rider Filip Novotny and American teammate Christopher Clark chasing their first points of 2024 – what better place than to do it at home?

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Source: WorldSBK.com

Pirelli bring new development SC1 rear tyre for Most, no SCQ or SCX available

Just a week on from a thrilling visit to the UK, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is back in action. This time, the incredible Autodrom Most hosts the Championship for Round 6 as the halfway point of the season is hit. Ahead of the Czech Round, tyre supplier Pirelli have announced their solutions for this weekend with a development rear SC1 compound on the table but no SCQ or SCX tyre available throughout the weekend.

REAR TYRE OPTIONS: two medium compounds, no SCQ or SCX

The Most circuit is high-speed with fast corners and a couple of heavy braking zones, which means Pirelli have opted to bring harder tyres for the round. The only compound available at the rear is the medium, in two different solutions. The standard SC1 medium is available as is the SC1-A development medium, coded the D0286, making its debut. It has been designed with the same compound as the standard tyre, but with a different structure with the aim of offering consistent behaviour over a race with consistent handling. For the Tissot Superpole and Tissot Superpole Race, the SC0 tyre is the softest available.

AT THE FRONT: medium and hard only

As with the rear, harder options are the order of the weekend for the front. The softest available tyre is the standard SC1 medium option and that is joined by the standard SC2 hard. The SC2, when compared to the SC1, offers better mechanical resistance and greater protection from wear which, at such a demanding circuit, could prove to be crucial at the end of the race.

WORLD SUPERSPORT CHOICES: standard solutions all round

In WorldSSP, the solutions all come from the standard range and, like in WorldSBK, are harder than previous rounds. At the rear, the SC0 soft and the SC1 medium are available – at some tracks, the SCX is available for WorldSSP but not at Most. For the front, the SC1 soft and SC2 medium tyres are the ones available for the World Supersport field.

PIRELLI SAYS: “It is also one of the most demanding of the season for tyres!”

Explaining the tyre choices, Pirelli’s Motorcycle Racing Director, Giorgio Barbier, said: “The Most circuit, with its classic, fast layout, is known to provide spectacular racing, but it is also one of the most demanding of the season for tyres. Along with Phillip Island, it is one of the tracks where we prefer to shift the allocation towards combinations with more durable solutions, which offer greater protection from wear. Following this logic, in WorldSBK, for the rear tyres, in addition to the standard SC1, we will introduce the new development SC1 in D0286 specification. This solution features the same compound as the standard tyre but has a different structure and has been created with the aim of offering very consistent behaviour over race distance while ensuring excellent levels of handling. For Superpole and the Superpole Race, instead of the normally allocated SCQ, there will be the standard SC0. Also, in WorldSSP, the rear options will be harder than usual, with the SC1 replacing the SCX as an alternative to the SC0.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

PREVIEW: Will Montella break Huertas’ domination in WorldSSP at Most?

The FIM Supersport World Championship offered a great show in the United Kingdom but, with no time to rest, it is already heading to the Autodrom Most to compete in the Czech Republic Round, which will mark the halfway point of the season. Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) has won 60% of the races – 6 out of 10 – and has four consecutive wins, whilst his main rival, Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team), lost his victory Donington Park due to track limits, firing him up for revenge.

HUERTAS ESCAPES: The leader has a one-race advantage

With 186 points, Huertas leads the overall standings, with a 25-point margin over Montella. The difference after Donington could have been 15 points, since Montella crossed the finish line first but touched the green on the last lap and lost the victory, in favor of Huertas. The Madrid native is increasingly comfortable with his team, whilst the Italian has not won since the opening round at Phillip Island. Always a venue which offers a head-to-head, Most welcomes the latest chapter in the rivalry.

In third place, Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing), 39 points behind Huertas. Although he was able to overtake Montella in Race 1 in Donington, it seems that the Yamaha rider is still having difficulty keeping up with the Ducati, and the gap with the lead is getting bigger and bigger. Will he find something to get closer to the Ducati duo? It’s a happy hunting ground for the the #62, who took a first WorldSSP podium there in 2022 with Triumph.

THE PURSUING GROUP: three riders riot for fourth position

Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) had a round in the United Kingdom to forget. He only took five points throughout the weekend and has not been on the podium since Barcelona, ​​so he is increasingly further away from the title fight. Instead, he should start worrying about the riders behind, as Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) and Jorge Navarro (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) are 12 and 13 points behind respectively. Frenchman Debise continues his solid 2024 and added two top eights at Donington, whilst Valencian Navarro, who is adapting perfectly to his new Ducati, was fourth and third, adding a first podium of the year in Race 2. If he continues with these good results in Most, it won’t take long to surpass his rivals in the table.

The fight for seventh place includes six riders covered by 25 points. Federico Caricasulo (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) is seventh but only scored one point at Donington. Glenn van Straalen (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing), six points behind, completed another solid weekend to close in on the Italian, whilst Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed in Race 2 but was sixth on Saturday, so is eights points from ‘Carica’. Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) closes in on the top ten, 21 points behind the Italian, with Niki Tuuli (EAB Racing Team) and Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) are 11th and 12th, respectively.

EDWARDS STILL IN THE LEAD: WorldSSP Challenge standings

Tom Edwards (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) continues to lead the WorldSSP Chalenge, but lost a point to his pursuer, Simone Corsi (Renzi Corse). The Ducati rider was 11th in Race 1, whilst QJ Motor’s representative was 13th in both races, leaving him eight points behind. Will he continue to get close in at Most?

LOCAL STARS AND WILDCARDS: Two Czech drivers, two guests and two substitutes

Ondrej Vostatek (PTR Triumph) is the only Czech on the grid this year but this time there will also be Filip Feigl (Genius Racing Team), the first of the wildcards. He already has experience in WorldSSP, since he competed in this same round in 2021 and 2022. South African Steven Odendaal, who has Czech connections through his wife, will be the other guest, from WRP-RT Motorsport by SKM-Triumph. He has extensive experience in Moto2™ and is WorldSSP runner-up in 2021, with 5 wins and 11 podiums in total. He also participated in the Czech Republic Round in 2022, finishing third in Race 1 and will hope to feature again at what is considered to be a home round for him. Following their injuries at Donington Park, Yeray Ruiz (VFT Racing Yamaha) and Krittapat Keankum (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) won’t be at Most and they’re replaced by Melvin van der Voort and Soichiro Minamoto, respectively. The Dutchman was in this round in 2023, while the Japanese competed in three races in Moto2™ in 2023.

Follow all the action of the WorldSSP season with the WorldSBK VideoPass, now with 30% off!

Source: WorldSBK.com

PREVIEW: will Razgatlioglu continue to CZECH out or will rivals usurp the #54 as WorldSBK hits Most?

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship reaches the halfway point of the 2024 campaign this weekend as the Autodrom Most hosts the Czech Round. A relatively new addition to the calendar but one that’s become a hit with fans and riders alike with plenty of action and drama since the inaugural visit in 2021, this year’s visit is sure to be no different. But the big question is… who will make the most of Most? Sorry, we just had to…

WILL RAZGATLIOGLU’S STREAK END? Seven consecutive wins for the #54, he’s going for 10

Like Donington, this is a circuit that Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) adores and the #54 has only been out of the top two once, when he crashed out of Race 2 last year. He also heads into this weekend on the back of seven wins in a row, the best streak in his career. Also, like Donington, it’s a track where BMW have gone well at in the past, with a podium in 2022 courtesy of Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) when in the ROKiT BMW structure, plus a heap of top-five finishes, while Redding has won before for Ducati at Most. For Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), it was the scene of his comeback from injury last year and his best result came in 2021’s Race 2 with seventh. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) is yet to crack the top five at Most but the American will be hoping that changes this year.

THE CHASING PACK: who will be in the mix when the lights go out?

Most has provided plenty of winners over the years. Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) was victorious in mixed conditions last year for Kawasaki – his only win of the year – while Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Redding and Razgatlioglu have also tasted victory there. Rea comes into the back of the Czech round after a first Yamaha rostrum and just missing out on being the top Yamaha in all three races – teammate Andrea Locatelli, a podium finisher at Most – just pipped him Race 2. Likewise, for Redding, Donington was his best weekend of 2024 and that will give him confidence heading into the Czech Round while Bautista is still searching for the perfect feeling on his Panigale V4 R. Twice a winner at Most, can he repeat that this year? Of course, Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) will expect to be in the mix too after two more podiums last time out, while Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) was on the rostrum here last year as well, plus Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) will be hoping to continue his strong form.

LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK: a double header, the perfect way to rebound

Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) had been Yamaha’s form rider heading into the UK Round, but he struggled to make the top ten at Donington. Two top sixes at Most last year, the #87 – who received the news he’ll stand in for Cal Crutchlow at the British Grand Prix ahead of the round – means the Australian will be confident heading into the Czech Republic. Could a return to the rostrum be a possibility? Teammate Dominique Aegerter was a winner here in WorldSSP back in 2021 and had a best of eighth in WorldSBK last year. Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has shown good pace at Most in the past on the Panigale V4 R, narrowly missing out on a podium and only being out of the top five on three occasions. Can he continue his step forward with Kawasaki? At Team HRC, a promising Misano was followed up with a disappointing Donington for Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, and they’ll be hoping they can bounce back again at Most.

FIRST VISITS, LOOKING FOR PROGRESS: a difficult circuit to master

Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) and Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) will both race at Most for the first time, having not been there in their career previously. After both have had up and down form recently, the duo will be looking to be in the mix as soon as possible. It’s also the first visit for Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), who missed last year’s round there through injury. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) have both raced at Most before, with Rabat’s best a 13th place finish from Race 2 in 2021 and Oettl taking P8 in Race 2 in 2022.

RIDER LINE-UP NEWS: a second American joins the grid

Alongside Gerloff, a second American will be on the grid at Most as Hayden Gillim replaces the injured Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda), who was diagnosed with concussion following his Race 1 spill at Donington. Gillim was second in MotoAmerica STK1000 in 2023 on a Suzuki but is racing for Honda this year in the American Superbike championship He’s also the cousin of the late, great Nicky Hayden and his brother, Roger Lee. Alongside him will be Adam Norrodin, although the Malaysian will need to pass medical checks after his Race 2 crash.

Watch the highlights show from Donington HERE, read the Official Programme for the Czech Round HERE and watch everything from Most using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now 30% off!

Source: WorldSBK.com

FULL SCHEDULE: every single session time as WorldSBK returns to Most

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship moves straight from the UK to the Czech Republic for a back-to-back as the halfway point of the season approaches. The action starts at 09:40 Local Time (UTC+2) on Friday with WorldSSP300 Free Practice, followed by WorldSBK FP1 at 10:20 and WorldSSP FP at 11:20. WorldSSP300 and WorldSSP Tissot Superpole sessions start at 14:10 and 16:00 respectively, with WorldSBK FP2 sandwiched between them at 15:00. On Saturday, WorldSBK FP3 starts at 09:00, before WorldSBK Tissot Superpole at 11:00. Racing gets underway at 12:45 with WorldSSP300 Race 1, followed by WorldSBK Race 1 at 14:00 and WorldSSP Race 1 at 15:15. On Sunday, Warm Up sessions begin from 09:00 before WorldSBK’s Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00. In the afternoon, the action follows the same schedule as Saturday: 12:45 for WorldSSP300 Race 2, 14:00 for WorldSBK Race 2 and 15:15 for WorldSSP Race 2.

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Friday, 19th July (All times are Local Time, UTC+2)

09:40-10:05 – WorldSSP300 Free Practice

10:20-11:05 – WorldSBK Free Practice 1

11:20-12:00 – WorldSSP Free Practice

14:10-14:35 – WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole

15:00-15:45 – WorldSBK Free Practice 2

16:00-16:40 – WorldSSP Tissot Superpole

 

Saturday, 20th July

09:00-09:20 – WorldSBK Free Practice 3

09:50-10:00 – WorldSSP300 Warm Up

10:10-10:20 – WorldSSP Warm Up

11:00-11:15 – WorldSBK Tissot Superpole

12:45 – WorldSSP300 Race 1 (12 laps)

14:00 – WorldSBK Race 1 (22 laps)

15:15 – WorldSSP Race 1 (19 laps)

 

Sunday, 21st July

09:00-09:10 – WorldSBK Warm Up

09:40-09:50 – WorldSSP300 Warm Up

10:00-10:10 – WorldSSP Warm Up

11:00 – WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race (10 laps)

12:45 – WorldSSP300 Race 2 (12 laps)

14:00 – WorldSBK Race 2 (22 laps)

15:15 – WorldSSP Race 2 (19 laps)

Source: WorldSBK.com