Tag Archives: WorldSBK

DAY 1 AT CREMONA: Razgatlioglu leads Bassani by almost one second, Montella quickest in WorldSSP

Some teams and riders from the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship have opted to stay in Italy for the time being and complete a two-day test at the Cremona Circuit. The new-for-WorldSBK venue is scheduled to host its first round in September and, after a test in May, a handful of teams from both WorldSBK and WorldSSP have tested there again ahead of the inaugural round there later this year.

The times on Day 1 were topped by Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), whose 1’28.578s was almost a whole second quicker than Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in second. The #54’s time was also around three tenths faster than that set by Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in the May test, when the #87 posted a 1’28.860s. In WorldSSP, Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) was the pacesetter with a 1’32.579s. There will be more track action on Thursday.

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Source: WorldSBK.com

New entry class to debut in 2026

The SBK Commission is currently working on the introduction of a new entry class to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in 2026, marking a significant evolution in the racing landscape. This new class will replace the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship (WorldSSP300), which has successfully served as a feeder class since its inception in 2017.

WorldSSP300 has fulfilled its mission of providing a sustainable and affordable platform for emerging talents to enter the World Championship. Building on this success, the introduction of the new class aims to further enhance the sporting and commercial relevance of the entry category.

One of the key objectives of this new initiative is to smoothen the progression path for riders moving up to the larger classes, particularly to the FIM Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP). By closing the performance gap between the entry and intermediate classes, the aim is to create a more seamless transition for riders, fostering their development and preparing them for the competitive demands of higher categories.

Additionally, this move is designed to attract greater interest from manufacturers by allowing them to showcase machinery that reflects a growing market segment. The new class will feature nimble bikes with more powerful mid-tier capacity engines, details of which will be specified by the SBK Commission in the coming weeks and months.

Launched in 2017, the WorldSSP300 class provided a global platform for young talents, allowing them to showcase their abilities and learn the intricacies of a world racing series and quickly becoming a popular entry point for aspiring professional riders.

The final season of the WorldSSP300 series will take place in 2025, providing teams and manufacturers ample time to prepare for the transition to the new class in 2026. This period will ensure a smooth and well-coordinated shift, allowing all stakeholders to adapt to the new technical and sporting regulations.

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Source: WorldSBK.com

New entry class to start in 2026, Superconcession changes and more from the Superbike Commission

The Superbike Commission, composed of MM. Gregorio LAVILLA (Dorna, WorldSBK Executive Director), Paul KING (Director of the FIM Circuit Racing Commission), Biense BIERMA (General Secretary of the MSMA), coordinated by Paul DUPARC (Manager of the FIM Circuit Racing Commission & Secretary of the SBK Commission), in the presence of Jorge Viegas (FIM President), Ludovic REIGNIER (FIM WorldSBK Technical Director) and Svetlana NAZAROVA (FIM CCR Coordinator) met at the circuit of Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” on 14 June.

Among the discussions held, the following decisions were taken:

• It is specified to all teams to warm-up the bikes with the exhaust towards the pitlane (not towards the pit boxes in order to avoid fumes to get in).

• For the WorldSBK class, Any Superconcession part earned at the last checkpoint of the season must be nominated and introduced for the following season. No further Tokens will be earnt until the full introduction of the Superconcession part in one of the events of the following season.

• For the WorldSSP NG, in order to avoid at anytime potential modifications to the oil pump which could affect engine performance, Oil pumps shall remain as approved; However, in case the manufacturer needs to change the oil pump for performance or durability issues, he must declare it beforehand, get the approval of the Technical Director and register this oil pump in the FIM approval parts list. This will enter into force in 2025.

• In all classes, various decisions have been taken, in particular, to ensure better respect for the hierarchy of disciplinary bodies and to increase the authority and competence of the FIM Appeal Stewards.

• The SBK Commission is currently working on the introduction of a new entry class to the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship in 2026, marking a significant evolution in the racing landscape. This new class will replace the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship (WorldSSP300), which has successfully served as a feeder class since its inception in 2017. This new category will be the subject of a separate communication.

The resolutions of this Superbike Commission have been approved by the Permanent Bureau.

The 2024 FIM SBK Regulations which contains the detailed text of the Regulations changes may be viewed shortly on the FIM website HERE.

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Source: WorldSBK.com

BAUTISTA’S FUTURE: what was said at Misano about the #1’s 2025 plans?

One key talking point from the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is the future of Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), whose contract expires at the end of the season and there’s been no news about the Spaniard’s plans. At the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, plenty was said about the topic, so we’ve gathered it all in one place for you…

THURSDAY’S INTERVIEW: “I don’t feel like I’m in a hurry to sign a new contract…”

The first chance to speak with the #1 came on Thursday, with Bautista discussing his future by saying: “Honestly, signing a new contract isn’t something I’m worried about, I’m not in a hurry. First, it’ll be important to see if I can reach my best performance with the bike because, from the first round, I didn’t feel that we were at our best. Our first target is to arrive to that level. After that, we’ll think about the future. I don’t feel like I’m in a hurry to sign a new contract. I’m relaxed and I’m just focused on myself, the bike, the track, and the team. From their side, I don’t feel like they’re pushing to Nicolo or me or other riders. They’re also working on the team for the future. At the moment, everybody’s very calm in the team. We’ll try to do well in the present and then think about the future.”

 

FRIDAY’S COMMENTS: “I would like to have something new now… next year is too far away for me”

 

Bautista was philosophical about his plans, saying: “I think there’s no timing. For me, it’s important to have fun with the bike; it’s the main reason I keep racing. First of all, I have to find the good feedback with the bike so I can ride as I want and then I will decide. I’m not in a hurry, I’m quite calm. The moment the team comes to me and says, ‘we have until this deadline for you to choose whether to stay or retire’, then I will think. At the moment, the team is happy and supporting me, so why think about the future if I have a lot of work to do in the present?”

Not specifically about his future, but about how things could look on-track in 2025, the 39-year-old addressed potential changes in his media debrief: “I speak with Gigi all the time, after all the tests and races. We are always in touch, not only when he comes to races. He knows what I need and request. The fact he’s here doesn’t change anything about the information. I know that there will be a new model, but I haven’t seen it yet. Honestly, I would like to have something new now that I’m racing; next year is too far away for me. Who knows what can happen?”

SAID ON SUNDAY: “I’d like to understand why I don’t have the feeling I had last year, and this is the main problem, not my decision about the future…”

Winless at Misano after a hat-trick here in 2023, Bautista spoke about previous comments where he said Misano was important for his future: “I said this weekend was important because we were coming from strange weekends like Australia, Barcelona is a tricky track and Assen with the mixed conditions. This weekend was like a more normal situation. It was important to recover the feeling. I didn’t. I feel that we’re working. I said after Misano, but that could be tomorrow, or in November; after Misano, we have a long time. I haven’t spoken with anybody, and we have a month before the next race. If I have something clear, I will do it. If not, I’ll wait. I’d like to understand why I don’t have the feeling I had last year, and this is the main problem, not my decision about the future.”

He expanded on this in his media debrief, adding: “At the moment, I don’t have any deadlines for my future. In my mind, there’s some questions and the main question is why I don’t have the same confidence as last year and what do I need to improve? About my future, I have no idea and Ducati or Aruba haven’t asked me what I want to do. Maybe in this month, before Donington, we’ll speak or not. I’m more worried about recovering my confidence on the bike than deciding my future.”

WHAT IS DUCATI’S VIEW? “Our first choice will be Alvaro”

Ducati Corse General Manager, Gigi Dall’Igna, was at Misano during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round and gave the Ducati point of view on the subject. He said: “We are renewing the contract with Aruba; we’ve almost closed the deal with them. After that, we also have to finalise the contracts with the riders. Alvaro is a double Champion with us, so he’s an important rider for us and we would like to continue with him. Andrea was without racing for four long years. He came back some months ago and it’s not easy. He’s shown his potential sometimes, but he has to improve a little bit. I’m confident because I know him and his talent. He can do very well. Our first choice, for sure, will be Alvaro.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

STATS ROUND-UP: more than 4300 days later, BMW return to the top of WorldSBK Championship tree

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has one third of its season completed and there’s a different look to the title race to when we entered the round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in Italy. With a heroic triple, Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) takes charge in the standings whilst there’s a new top dog in Ducati in Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who is second overall.

4311 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) took BMW to the top of the WorldSBK standings after his Race 1 win at Misano for the first time since after Moscow’s Race 2 in 2012 when it was Marco Melandri. That is a wait of 4311 days. He’s the first BMW rider to lead for more than one race.

154 – Razgatlioglu lead the WorldSBK standings with 154 points after the Superpole Race before going on to lead with 179, the most he’s had after 12 races.

45 – Razgatlioglu moved clearly into P5 in the overall win rankings with a 45th win in Race 2.

38 – A 38th podium for Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with P3 in the Superpole Race.

30 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) came into the weekend with a six point lead over Razgatlioglu but trails him by 24 after it, a swing of 30 points.

10 – Back in the top ten in all three races for Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), with a best of P7 in the Superpole Race. It’s his first top ten results of the season.

6/9/12 – Of the last nine races, Toprak’s won at three tracks and taken six victories. That means he’s won half of the races so far this season. After 12 races, this is the best start to a season he’s had.

6 – A first top six with Kawasaki for Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in the Superpole Race.

4 – Four Championship leaders so far this season, the highest value since 2020 (Lowes, Razgatlioglu, Rea, Redding).

4 – Four race wins in succession for BMW in WorldSBK for the first time ever, the first manufacturer to achieve it this year.

4 – Four race wins in succession for Toprak Razgatlioglu in WorldSBK for the first time ever.

3 – For the first time since stepping up to WorldSBK, Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) secured three podiums at the same track.

1 – For the first time ever, BMW completed the triple, joining Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha.

0.067s – In the first-ever WorldWCR weekend, both of the races finished with a gap less than a tenth of a second. Race 1 was the closest at 0.067s whilst Race 2 was won by 0.085s, both by Maria Herrera (Klint Forward Factory Team).

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Source: WorldSBK.com

“If we keep going race-by-race, then the points will arrive”: Huertas talks magnificent Misano

The FIM Supersport World Champion is once again delivering in spades, with the middleweight class witnessing some epic on-track across the weekend at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. In a weekend-long duel between two riders, it was Adrian Huertas (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) who emerged as the clear victor.

“RACE 2 WAS INCREDIBLE”: Huertas talks red-flagged Race 2

In a race which was ultimately cut short by a red flag towards the end of a thrilling duel between Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) and Huertas, the young Spaniard was ultimately able to pick up yet another impressive win, even despite some equipment failures. Discussing his performance in Race 2, Huertas had this to say: “Race 2 was incredible. We had great pace in the beginning, and I was leading the race by some distance. The race should be calm by that point, but then I had a problem with my helmet. I managed to fix the problem with one hand on the bike, but then it was super good to get that fixed. I had incredible pace and I was able to recover a lot. I don’t know what happened with the red flag, but I hope that the rider is okay.” Their epic battle was also reflected in Saturday’s Race 1, a race in which Montella led for 17 laps of the race compared to Huertas leading just a single one. Ultimately though, that one lap was enough for the Spaniard to complete the first race of what would prove to be an amazing Adriatic double.

“THEY DESERVE THIS”: Huertas discusses Italian win on Italian bike

Of course, an Italian win on an Italian bike is always hugely significant to the passionate home crowd. When asked about this, Huertas discussed the significance of such a feat, saying: “Yeah, I am super happy for the team because they deserve this. They have been working incredibly this whole season. To win here at their home…I look at them, and they are so happy, so I am also happy to see all the people that give me the best support be this happy.”

“THIS IS NOT THE THING TO LOOK AT”: Huertas discusses Championship race

The #99 rider was naturally asked about the WorldSSP title race, especially given that Huertas is now leading said Championship. However, Huertas’ head is firmly focused elsewhere, as the Ducati man had this to say: “This is not the thing to look at at the moment. If we keep going race-by-race, then the points will arrive.” Huertas also discussed the next round of the WorldSSP Championship, which comes from Donington Park. Spain’s Huertas said: “I am so happy and motivated for Donington!”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

“It’s frustrating when we’re not addressing problems”: Rea ruefully regrets Misano misfire

With Round 4 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship now firmly in the books, the grid now looks forward to a trip to Donington Park, the UK Round of the Championship. One man who will desperately be hoping for a real reversal of fortunes is six-time world Champion Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). The Ballymena native has endured a torrid start to his 2024 campaign, despite flashes of potential onboard the Yamaha.

VERY LUCKY TO GET AWAY WITH THAT”: Rea recalls rapid crash

During Race 1 on Saturday, Rea suffered an incredibly scary crash at Turn 13, an incident he described as feeling like he was “tumbling forever”. Rea reflected on his Saturday misfortune by saying this: “I’m very thankful that I got to race today. I want to thank Arai and Alpinestars for keeping me safe during that crash…it was 130 miles per hour, and I was very lucky to get away with that.” Rea suffered injuries and contusions on his left hand and wrist, but fortunately would ultimately be cleared to ride on Sunday. Reflecting further on his weekend, the #65 rider said: “With the Superpole race, I started on the fifth row, but I found myself with some good track positions, but I was SO close to crashing into accident (between Gerloff and Gardner). I need to work on making this bike mine. With all the requests and trying to work towards a good setup…it’s just not coming.”

“IT’S HARD TO SEE WHERE THE WAY FORWARD IS COMING”: Rea in the abyss

Next, Rea addressed yet again the issues of his bike, and the feeling of being uncompetitive onboard it. Speaking to his struggles, Rea said this: “From my side it’s frustrating, because since I jumped on the bike, I feel like we’ve made baby steps…I need something that I can fight with. It was nice at the Misano test, being fast over one lap, but we just didn’t start off with that same momentum. I don’t want to doubt myself, but it’s hard to see where the way forward is coming.” Rea went even further with his criticism, saying: “No excuses. We weren’t fast enough this weekend…there’s no excuse for being subpar.” At Misano, Rea, who has won eight times on the Adriatic Coast, endured some very difficult results, including the DNF in Race 1. However, Rea did finish P8 in the Tissot Superpole Race, as well as securing P10 in Race 2, though this was of scant consolation to the Yamaha rider.

“WE HAVEN’T KICKED ON”: Rea laments lack of progression

Rea was next asked in relation to the current issues with his Yamaha R1, where the bike actually is in terms of development. The ex-World Championship was scathing in his condemnation, saying: “Let’s not kid ourselves…Assen was a chaos race. The long and the short of it is that when I jumped on the R1 in the Winter Test, it felt great…but we haven’t kicked on. It’s really, really hard to push when I’m not fully confident. It’s frustrating times for sure.” Furthermore, Rea discussed expectations for future rounds, and he wasn’t exactly optimistic: “I need to forget the podium and expectations, because that’s where pressures come from. The next target is to understand this bike and to really put a lot of pressure on the guys to give me what I need to be fast. It’s frustrating when we’re not addressing problems.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

“I felt like a block of concrete over the bike… Danilo did an incredible job; he’s like a hero!”

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season just keeps on giving. 12 races in, a new name leads the standings and there’s plenty of talk and gossip about the future, particularly involving the reigning Champion. We’ve gathered some of the best quotes from the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for you to enjoy…

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “We started a bit early with these wins but this is just the start!”

Starting with the hat-trick hero, who also now leads the standings, Razgatlioglu said about Race 2: “It was difficult to catch Nicolo because he was pushing at 100%. I don’t understand because we started the race and, at Turn 4, I saw everyone go inside the line to try to block the riders. I didn’t find a way to attack. Especially ‘Loka’, on the first lap, he used the inside of the corners, and it wasn’t easy to pass. I believed that after five laps, I would be strong. In the first laps, Nicolo was pushing, but I was closing in step by step. We improved the bike on Sunday, the front feeling was better. We are understanding hot conditions and which way is better with this bike. I had a problem in the final corner, a lot of chattering, but I was trying to find which way is better for my bike. I’m happy as I got three wins, and this was my target with BMW. We started a bit early with these wins, but this is just the start!”

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team): “I can’t believe it… when I crossed the finish line, I felt like someone stabbed my right arm!”

A heroic effort on his comeback from severe injuries sustained in training, a clearly emotional Petrucci said after P6 on Sunday: “I tried to keep my pace and I understood how to brake and stop the bike straighter. After half the race, I was really tired and also with the legs. I thought someone would pass me, but I watched my pit box, and I was keeping the distance and also catching Bassani. I didn’t know if I could finish the race because I started to lose the front. In the last five laps, I saw he was in trouble, so I switched my mind. I felt like a block of concrete over the bike! When I crossed the finish line, I felt like someone stabbed my right arm. There is nothing broken, there’s a big inflammation. I can’t believe it. I didn’t expect it.”

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I’m more worried about recovering my confidence on the bike than deciding my future…”

No news about his 2025 plans yet, Alvaro Bautista is seemingly unbothered about it at this stage. On Sunday, he said: “It was a bit difficult, like Saturday. I couldn’t feel as I wanted with the bike, I was missing some confidence. I think we’ve changed the bike more than the whole of last season, and until we find something that allows me to have the confidence with the bike and rider like I want, it’s always difficult. Even if I started from the front in Race 2, I think the maximum would’ve been third. In the end, I’m not happy because we’re not at our best, but, at the same time, I got the maximum I could. I’m struggling a lot to stop the bike and go in, and then the exit is a consequence. At the moment, I don’t have any deadlines for my future. In my mind, there’s some questions and the main question is why I don’t have the same confidence as last year and what do I need to improve? About my future, I have no idea and also Ducati or Aruba haven’t asked me what I want to do. Maybe in this month, before Donington, we’ll speak or not. I’m more worried about recovering my confidence on the bike than deciding my future.”

Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “In this race, I understood a lot of things!”

A best weekend of 2024 for ‘El Bocia’, who was also full of praise for compatriot Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) after his heroics at Misano. Bassani said: “Sunday was better. I was lucky in the Superpole Race because there were a lot of crashes in front of me, and starting from P6 is easier for the first laps. I tried to manage the race, be consistent. I had some problems with the electronics. I’ve done a lot of races with this bike, but I have to work more on this bike, I have to change my work on the bike. In this race, I understood a lot of things. On the last lap, I tried to overtake Danilo, but he did an incredible job this weekend; he’s like a hero! To come here after two months and have three races like this was incredible.”

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha): “It’s shit for me to have to start from zero after four rounds, it’s starting to chip away at me mentally…”

Another difficult round for Rea following his switch to Yamaha, who said: “Race 2 was my first chance of doing the long race, with no information. In the Superpole Race, I got good track position and finished eighth, which was very positive but quite far away from the leaders. In Race 2, the only target for me was to finish and to build a base to improve because my confidence is quite low now, with the bike and the feeling. The direction I want to go with the bike, I don’t seem to be able to make in-roads into arriving. Just starting again from zero, giving the feedback and trying not to get too emotionally involved about the result; it’s not good enough, 27 seconds from the victory is too much. I was quite a lot of seconds from the top Yamaha as well. We can improve, I expect to improve, but we need to make a big step. Before we can do that, I need to feel good with the bike. It’s shit for me to have to start from zero after four rounds, it’s starting to chip away at me mentally. It’s nice to be positive and I always try to be, but I’m struggling. I always say the light at the end of the tunnel theory but it’s hard to see the light. What’s true as well is sport is like that; all you need is one good day on the bike, or a breakthrough and you can start to arrive. I don’t want to doubt myself but it’s hard not to question myself because the other Yamahas are doing a really good job, but I have to keep demanding what I need from the team, and they need to react to what I’m saying.”

Iker Lecuona (Team HRC): “We made a step and also gained confidence!”

A positive weekend for Honda and Team HRC, with Lecuona in the top ten in all three races and securing a season-best P7. He said: “I think the worst part was the crash in Warm Up… but it was just to wake up! I’m really happy. We worked really hard during the test here, and during the round. We followed everything as planned. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not, but we made a step and we also made gained confidence. I improved a lot in that area. On Sunday, I struggled a lot in Race 2 with the front; I saved many crashes after 10 or 12 laps. The main difference is the confidence on the bike and having time on the bike. With all the injuries, it’s been impossible to ride a lot and to learn. I also have a new crew chief. I could only do a few tests and then I crashed, so I missed a lot of kilometres and the chance for my crew chief to learn about my style or what I need on the bike. During the last month, with your days of testing, we learnt a lot.”

Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I won the first race in Australia, so when I’m second, we’re happy but not 100%…”

Now top Ducati in the Championship, Bulega was in good spirits on Sunday after three P2s on home soil, joking that his Race 1 win in Australia was a ‘stupid mistake’: “Toprak was just faster! I tried in the first laps, but I know that he was fast this weekend. I tried to make a gap to third place because I thought that if Toprak passed me, second was the best we could achieve this weekend. I have to be happy for my weekend. With new tyres, when we have grip, I have the speed. Maybe I miss some experience when the tyres start to drop, maybe to change the riding style. This weekend, I was always the first Ducati, so I think more than this was difficult. Unfortunately, I won the first race in Australia, so when I’m second, we’re happy but not 100%… I made a stupid mistake by winning the first race!”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

“The best Sunday of the year so far!”: Bassani elated after home-round success

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship enjoyed a dramatic Round 4 of the Championship at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, as the weekend saw Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) perform at a different level to the rest of the grid, securing top spot in the Championship ahead of the duelling Ducati threats of Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). However, one man who enjoyed a subtle, yet solid weekend was Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). The Italian, who has continued to show improvement and development onboard the ZX10 RR, capped a fine return home with two top ten finishes. The Italian native has been slowly getting up to speed this season in adapting from the Ducati Panigale V4 R to the Kawasaki machinery and had previously enjoyed a best finish of P9 up until this weekend. Bassani also had a superb Superpole Race, finishing P6 by the time the chequered flag dropped on Saturday at Misano.

“I’M REALLY HAPPY WITH THE JOB WE DID”: Bassani buoyed by Misano showing

Naturally, Bassani was happy to see the fruits of his (extensive) labours onboard the Japanese machine. Speaking about his successes on Saturday and Sunday, Bassani said: “For sure, this was the best Sunday of the year so far! I’m really happy with the job we did. I’m already starting to understand what I have to do on the bike during the race, because it’s very different to last year. We also have to compete in a different way.”

“THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IS THE ELECTRONICS”: Bassani talks steps made

When discussing the tangible progress and steps made with the Kawaski setup, Bassani offered a thoroughly insightful response. The Italian had this to say: “I’m starting to understand the movement of the bike during the race; the bike is very different in the second part of the race compared to the first part. I’m also trying to be more relaxed on the bike and to follow it. The biggest difference is the electronics on this bike; you have to work a lot on these.”

“IT WAS GREAT TO ANNOUNCE IT BEING AT HOME” – Axel discusses future clarity

Bassani also discussed his delight at knowing his future for next year. It was announced during the weekend that Bassani would be staying with Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK for next year. Discussing this, Bassani said: “For sure, it was great to announce it being at home with a lot fans. I am happy knowing that I will be continuing with this team next year.” Bassani’s teammate, Britain’s Alex Lowes, also confirmed during the weekend that his future for next season lies with the Japanese manufacturer, so there is much cause for optimism within the green-and-black brand. Bassani lastly briefly discussed the upcoming Cremona test, and whether Kawasaki would have any news parts to work on. Discussing this, Bassani said: “I don’t know if we will have new items, but we definitely know the direction that we have to follow.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

“Really happy with the steps we’ve made”: Iker Lecuona discusses massive Misano weekend

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well and truly back, and the roadshow has come and gone from Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. Round 4 truly was one to remember, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) single-handedly laying siege to Ducati’s title ambitions. However, one man who enjoyed his best weekend of the year was Spain’s Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). The Honda rider has found some difficulty in building momentum, but the Spainard enjoyed a much more solid weekend on the Adriatic Coast.

“PACE WAS VERY STRONG AND CONSTANT” – Lecuona happy with forward progress

Speaking about his weekend form, Lecuona was brimming with positivity, especially given that he did not finish outside the top ten all weekend. In particular, his P7 finish in the Tissot Superpole Race is, by some margin, the best finish that Honda have enjoyed all season. Discussing this progress, Lecuona said: “I’m honestly really happy with the steps we’ve made. On Saturday we struggled a little bit with the qualifying, but in the race, we finished P10. The pace was very strong and very constant. During the race, I started to struggle with the front, and I saved several crashes at turn 2 and turn 4.”

“WE’LL SEE IF WE CAN TAKE ANOTHER STEP”: Honda rider discusses data

One thing that Iker Lecuona has been short of this season is testing data. The Spaniard, who has suffered with repeated injury setbacks, has been very limited in his ability and capacity to perform testing onboard his CBR1000RR-R. Discussing this, Lecuona said: “We haven’t had the time to work. We feel really good, and we are ready to jump on the bike during the race weekend to continue to learn and improve. Now we have two more days of testing at Cremona, and we’ll see if we can take another step to stay in the top ten.” When asked about the possibility of new parts for testing at Cremona, Lecuona was less than certain, saying that: “I don’t know if Japan is bringing something new…for now, we know the way we have to develop.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com