News 22 Sep 2011

Support categories heating up as World Superbike season winds down

British rider Chaz Davies is leading the World Supersport title with just a few rounds remaining.

British rider Chaz Davies is leading the World Supersport title with just a few rounds remaining.

With three rounds remaining before the end of the 2011 season, the upcoming Imola races could prove to be crucial for the outcome of the titles in the categories that form part of the World Superbike event program.

Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) is the man to watch in Supersport and is closest to winning a title this weekend. Barring any misfortunes, a lead of 59 points, with 75 still up for grabs, should give the British rider a big enough safety margin to become World Supersport champion.

Davies, who has taken five wins in nine races, is intent on continuing the run of success that has taken him to the top for Giuliano Rovelli’s team in this season.

Davies’s task won’t be made any easier by the fact that all of this year’s top contenders will be out to make their mark as well, including Spain’s David Salom (Kawasaki and Frenchman Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), second and third in the table.

The last couple of races have also seen terrific form from the British contingent of Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) and James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda).

The Nurburgring race saw the return of Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) to the leading group, while Imola will also offer a chance to shine for Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) and Roberto Tamburini (Bike Service R.T. Yamaha).

The win at the Nurburgring gave Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) a chance to increase his lead in the table over Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) who is now really the only man who can challenge his fellow Italian in the fight for the FIM Cup title.

In Superstock 1000, an outside chance still remains for the other riders but Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati), Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) and Niccolò Canepa (Lazio MotorSport Ducati) are all at least 46 points behind, a gap that will be difficult to make up on the track.

With Superstock 1000 rapidly becoming an all-Italian affair, the other riders to watch on home ground will be Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati), Andrea Antonelli (Lorini Honda), Fabio Massei (Piellemoto BMW) and Marco Bussolotti (Pedercini Kawasaki), with Kawasaki men Bryan Staring (Pedercini) and Sheridan Morais (Lorenzini by Leoni) the foreign contenders.

The situation is almost entirely the opposite in Superstock 600, which has been dominated so far by Dutch, French, Australian and American youngsters. The only man to score two victories in the seven races is Michael van der Mark (Ten Kate Junior Honda) but he lies only fifth in the table such is the competitive nature of the series.

With a true winner probably emerging only at the final curve of the final round, Australian Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) currently enjoys top billing, but he is under attack from Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha) and American Joshua Day (Racedays Kawasaki) while Italian Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) could have the home advantage at Imola.

The weekend’s program will be completed with a return match for the Moriwaki 250 Trophy runners, following the first race held at Assen during the Dutch World Superbike Round. On that occasion Andrea Locatelli easily took the win from his compatriots and it will be difficult to see the Dutchmen taking revenge at Imola.