WorldSBK returns to Lausitzring – Jonathan Rea in the lead
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is back following a six week long summer break, and with five rounds of the season remaining, the title fight is far from over. All eyes will be on home hero Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), who makes his return to Lausitzring.
Not forgetting Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who leads the standings as the series heads to Germany for the Prosecco DOC German Round and it won’t be an easy ride. With half of the season done and dusted, it’s time to head into the final stretch as the battle heats up.
Rea has only been off the podium on one occasion so far in 2017, a stunning feat from the Northern Irish rider and one which has seen him build up a championship lead of over 59 points ahead of team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Bouncing back from adversity in true champions style at Lausitzring last season, Rea was able to secure the win the wet race two following a race one crash. Setting some strong times in a mid-summer test back in July around the 4.255km circuit, the 30 year old has already been able to work on set-up at a circuit he has secured Kawasaki’s only victory around.
Second position in the championship standings, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will be looking to bring the fight to Rea in Germany as the British rider begins a resurge in the series following a steady start to the season. With two wins under his belt in the last three rounds, Sykes seems to have put some early season demons behind him and is certified as a serious title contender.
With just one appearance around Lausitzring, the circuit supplied a mixed weekend to the Yorkshire-born rider, but with a two day test now under his belt he will be able to build on his base set-up and head into the weekend with the title on his mind.
Continuing to recover from the injuries sustained in Misano’s Race Two, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) will hoping to recreate the stunning pace he found in the second half of last season, which saw the welsh rider win seven out of the final eight races of 2016.
With four wins under his belt so far this season, following a solid summer test around Lausitzring, Davies will be back out and fighting to have his Panigale ready for a strong fight in Germany.
Ducati team-mate Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) will be hoping to repeat his heroics from Misano in the second half of the season, as the Italian secured his first victory since he made his return to the series.
The Italian will make his debut around Lausitzring, but following a summer test in July, he feels he won’t be as much on the back foot, meaning he will be prepared to fight with an improved pace. With some experience behind him, it will be interesting to see how quickly he can get his Panigale to adapt to the circuit.
Fresh off the back of a stunningly dominant Suzuka 8 Hour win in July, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) will be bringing the confidence built in Japan with him for the second half of the season.
Fighting to bridge the gap to Kawasaki and Ducati, Lowes has already secured two podium finishes in 2017, and with the help of his team and Dutch team-mate Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), the pair will be working hard to bring the strong pace with them to Germany.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) sits in eighth in the championship standings, and despite having a tough start to the season, has fought for top ten positions with a huge level of tenacity. Working hard on the Italian machine Camier has so far secured six top six finishes and heading to Germany, a circuit in which he finished both races in the top five last season, the only way is up for the Brit.
Still fighting off the heartbreak form Misano, Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) will be taking the confidence built so far throughout the 2017 season into the second half.
Knowing he can fight at the front of the pack – and benefitting from the new grid reshuffling rule – the Spanish rider will be hoping to have a solid end to the season and restarting the year at Lausitzring will no doubt benefit Torres, as he had a strong round last season.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) sits in tenth position in the championship standings and has had a testing return to WorldSBK so far, however the Irish rider certainly feels his British based squad have turned a corner with the RSV4 bike.
Feeling a lot more upbeat over recent rounds, Laverty is starting to feel a lot more comfortable, and returning to some circuits which offered a lot of success in the past, he will be hoping to impress as he tackles the sweeping Lausitzring circuit for the first time.
It’s all change at Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team once again, as Davide Giugliano makes his return to the WorldSBK Paddock for 2017, riding in the place of Nicky Hayden. Testing for the team in July, the Italian was able to put in some solid laps, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on as he partners Bradl in Germany.
Keep up with all the WorldSBK news and sessions as the series makes it’s much awaited return to action from 18th – 20th August in Germany.
Since the wheels last turned at Misano World Circuit, FIM Superport World Championship riders have been eagerly awaiting the return to racing action and the time has finally come, with the WorldSBK circus rolling into Lausitzring for the Prosecco DOC German Round.
Recently returning to the calendar, the circuit is fairly new in terms of WorldSSP races held and with Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) the only rider to line up on the grid to have won in the class around the circuit; it will be a strong ask for his competitors.
Leading the world championship by just five points, Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) will be hoping to bounce back from a tough race last time out around Misano after the French rider crashed twice, unable to rejoin after the second crash.
Clinging onto the lead ahead of his rivals, Mahias will hope to return to his podium finishing ways we saw at the Pata UK Round back in May. But with the 28 year old without a win since the Pirelli Aragon Round back in March, he needs to produce a win to continue to hold a strong title fight. Making his debut around Lausitzring this weekend, it will be interesting to see what the French rider can produce.
Kenan Sofuoglu returns to Lausitzring, a circuit which saw him take a dominant victory of over 1.7s in 2016. The Turkish rider has reduced his gap in the championship to just five points heading into the final five rounds of the season, and his recent pace indicates he is showing no signs of slowing down.
Winning every race he has finished so far in 2017, the 32 year old has clearly found a package he is comfortable with on his ZX-6R. A strong history around Lausitzring will work in his favour – three podiums and two victories – but he will have a strong fight back from his rivals.
Kallio Racing’s Sheridan Morais makes his return to Lausitzring with the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock for the first time since 2007, where the South African narrowly missed out on a top ten finish.
With just one podium finish to his name so far this season – at the Pirelli Aragon Round – Morais has been consistently finishing in the top six, but will be hoping to secure his first win of the season in the second half. Bridging the gap to the leaders will be a challenge, but will make for a great show.
28 year old Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) is still within reach of the championship fight, and in the unpredictable nature of the World Supersport championship, anything could be possible.
Still searching for his debut win of the season, the French rider is getting ever closer to the top with a second position last time out at Misano. Securing a podium finish around Lausitzring last year, it’s clear Cluzel has a strong pace but it remains to be seen if he can repeat it this season.
FIM Supersport 300 Championship returns after nine week break
Raring to go for the second half of the first ever FIM Supersport 300 Championship season, the 35 riders head to Germany for the Prosecco DOC German Round following their nine week long summer break.
With many of the field experienced around the 4.255km circuit following their history in the European Junior Cup, riders are now fully getting into their stride onboard their machines, it will be an adrenaline fuelled battle which could play a big part in the championship outcome.
Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) continues to lead the WorldSSP300 championship standings, but hasn’t stepped on the podium since the Pata UK Round following the disqualification of race winner Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing).
Unable to fight for the victory over recent races, the 21 year old Dutch rider will be hoping to keep hold of his three point championship lead going into the second half of the season. Two victories and three podiums to his name so far, Deroue has put in a solid start to the competitive series, but will need to find an extra boost in order to be safely in the championship fight.
With two victories under his belt in the opening five rounds, Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) has stated he is taking each race as it comes and it yet to think of the championship. However with a surge through the standings over recent rounds, the Spanish rider will be keen to impress out on track.
The 17 year old has certified himself as a serious contender with three podium finishes and two victories, but it remains to be seen if he can keep up this pace into the second half of the season. Perez secured a second position at Lausitzring last year, meaning his experience will play a strong part in his return from the summer break.
Sitting in third position in the championship standings, Marc Garcia (Halcourier Racing) had a quiet outing last time out at Misano but after taking one victory and two podiums so far this season, he’s not one to count out of the running. With the strong force of his Yamaha machine and team behind him, he’ll certainly have on eye on the gap to the top of the standings as the field heads to the sweeping Lausitzring circuit.
After spending a week at the VR46 Master Camp, Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) will be fuelled with determination as he hopes to secure his first victory of the season following his disqualification from the Pata UK Round.
Securing a steady top ten finish in Germany last season, the 19 year old will be looking to improve on the pace he had in last year’s EJC and cement himself in the standings. Despite sitting back in fourth position in the championship, he is only 18 points behind the leader meaning anything can happen in the closing four rounds.
Single point separates top Superstock 1000 contenders on their return
Following a stunning European Superstock 1000 Championship race last time out at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which saw Marco Faccani (Althea BMW) take a stunning victory ahead of championship leader Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team), it’s time for the STK1000 riders to prepare for the second half of the season.
With just one point separating the top two in the standings, there is everything to play for heading into the sixth round of the season at Lausitzring for the Prosecco DOC German Round, and one thing is certain: no one will be holding back.
Italian Rinaldi has had a stunningly consistent season in the STK1000 championship so far, with the 21 year old taking four podiums – two of them victories. Showing pure dominance in the races he has won so far, it’s clear Rinaldi is feeling confident onboard his Panigale R and will be coming back from the summer break as determined as ever.
With a tough outing last year at Lausitzring in wet conditions, the Italian youngster will be keen to improve his pace this year. Following a test around the 4.225km circuit in July, he will be able to work through any issues throughout the weekend to bring the fight to the pack on Sunday.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) continues to impress in the competitive STK1000 class and sits just one point behind Rinaldi in the standings. Securing his first victory at the Acerbis Dutch Round, his momentum continued on throughout the season, standing on the top step for the second time at Donington Park for the Pata UK Round.
However the young Turk is another rider to have struggled around Lausitzring last season, meaning it will be a tough ask for the two front runners in the STK1000 championship. Recharged and ready following the nine week summer break, Razgatlioglu will be fighting to take his first title in the WorldSBK paddock.
French rider Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) is a not-so-distant 23 points off the top of the championship, as he has been quietly consistent so far this season. Securing three podiums and only one race outside the top five so far, Marino is still searching for that all important first win onboard his YZF R1.
Missing out on last year’s German round with injury, it will be a testing weekend for the 24 year old but with his rivals suffering a tough history around the circuit; it may work in his favour.
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