Bel-Ray Weekend Racing Preview2012-06-29 18:51
As the month of June draws to a close, racing action heats up in Europe and the United States for Bel-Ray’s teams and professional racers. This upcoming weekend will feature racing in The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United States in both on and off road competition.
MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
The MotoGP tour continues this weekend in the Netherlands for the Iveco TT Assen. The historic Assen circuit is universally well like by the racers and many consider this their favorite track on the circuit. It is the only venue that has hosted a Grand Prix event every year since the motorcycle World Championship Grand Prix series started in 1949.
The Bel-Ray sponsored Power Electronics Aspar Team heads to Holland as the top team in the new CRT class. Aleix Espargaro has been the top finisher in four of the first six rounds thus far this season, while teammate Randy De Puniet has been right behind him on the second of the team’s machines.
Espargaro considers Assen as one of his favorite circuits and he spoke about the upcoming event in the days prior to the race. "I am really looking forward to going to Assen, one of my favorite circuits after Catalunya. Our objective is the same as every other Grand Prix, which is to work hard to improve the performance of the ART bike and be the fastest CRT rider again. Assen is a pretty long track with a slow section and a very fast section, with flowing corners, and I always enjoy riding there.”
Teammate DePuniet also enjoys competing at Assen and he spoke about the new track layout that should favor their machines this weekend. "I love Assen, which is a pretty technical circuit. Even though it has undergone a lot of modifications over the years and is much shorter than it used to be it is still very interesting. There are no long straights so that should benefit us because we will be closer to the factory prototypes than at other circuits. I hope the weekend goes well and the weather is kind to us so that we can continue our recent run of good results."
The Bel-Ray sponsored Mapfre Aspar duo of Toni Elias and Nico Terol come to Assen this weekend with positive memories of previous results. Elias scored the first Grand Prix win of his career in 2001 at the Dutch circuit and Terol was a confident second place in 2010, setting the circuit record and top speed record in the process.
Elias spoke about returning to Assen and his hopes for a positive finish this weekend. "I used to love the old circuit at Assen and even though it has changed a lot the essence is still the same. I hope we can get through the weekend without crashing like at Silverstone and qualify well to set us up for the race. We have improved a lot over the season but it is not being reflected in the results so I hope that can change this weekend."
Teammate Elias echoed Terol’s thoughts on the season and his results thus far. "We have made good progress over the last few races and now we have three races in a row. I was a bit disappointed at Silverstone because the weekend didn't end as I would have liked but I will use that energy in a positive way at Assen and try to get the best out of myself. I love the circuit and I have always been fast there."
Despite struggling with results for the past several races the Bel-Ray sponsored Bankia Aspar team comes to the Dutch TT with high hopes and optimism. Like many riders on the circuit, both Alberto Moncayo and H�ctor Faubel consider the historic Assen circuit one of their favorites.
Moncayo spoke about his season so far and what he needs to do in order to improve his finishes. "We go to Assen in high spirits. It is a circuit I love, because of the layout and also the history. My first visit here was very satisfactory and this year we arrive on the back of some bad luck in the last couple of races. Now I am looking forward to this weekend, the chassis we used at the last round felt good and I am looking forward to working on it again. Our situation hasn't been as positive as we might like over the last few rounds but we remain optimistic. We know that the result depends a lot on qualification so we will work hard again to get the best possible position on the grid."
Faubel also spoke fondly of the circuit and his plans for the weekend. "We're on our way to a circuit I love. I have been feeling good on the bike for the last few races now but we still don't have the result to show for it. At Silverstone we had a good race but paid the price for starting so far back on the grid. We have to keep working hard in practice and make sure we qualify as high up the grid as possible because we have seen how important it is in this category. Despite the changes to the track I still really enjoy racing at Assen and I hope that on Saturday we can at least be in the top five or even fighting for the podium."
After a break in the schedule, the 2012 FIM World Motocross Championship Series continues this weekend in Uddevalla for the GP of Sweden.
The Bel-Ray backed CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit team rider Christophe Pourcel has found his stride in the series with nine top five finishes in the last ten motos. These results have pushed him into third place in the overall series standings, just 6 points from the second place position. Teammate Sebastein Pourcel has been experiencing improved results during the last several rounds and hopes to continue those finishes this weekend. He is currently 15th overall in the series standings despite some difficult races at the beginning of the season.
Bel-Ray backed Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit team rider Tommy Searle comes to Sweden after an overall win at the previous round in Belgium on the 17th of June. As one of the top riders in the class, Searle has only finished outside the top three in one moto this season. Finishes like this have put the Englishman second place in the series points standings. Teammate Joel Roelants finished in fourth place at his home grand prix in Belgium and has been just off the podium many times this season. Currently fourth place in the series standings Roelants is looking to improve his results this weekend.
The 2012 FIM Superbike World Championship series begins the start of the second half of the season this weekend in Rome, Italy. The Bel-Ray backed Althea Racing team of Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano both have had podium finishes this season and currently ranked inside the top ten in overall points. The Motorland Aragon circuit will hosts this weekend’s racing event in front of a large Spanish crowd. Defending World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa comes to his home race looking for redemptions from crashes he suffered at the previous rounds in the United States and Italy, while teammate Giugliano hopes to repeat his victory of a year ago at the Spanish circuit.
The 2012 MAXXIS FIM Enduro World Championships returns to action after a seven week break this weekend in Castiglione, Fiorentino, Italy for the GP Scorpion Exo of Italy. Bel-Ray is the sponsor of the 3 man Factory TM Racing team that competes in the series.
Finnish rider Antti Hellsten competes in the E1 class, Estonian Aigar Leok competes in the E3 class and Italian Nicolo Mori competes in the EJ class.
Leok has had the best results of the three so far this season including two third place finishes at the previous round in Portugal. The 55 kilometer course has been organized by the Moto Club Castiglion Fiorentino “Fabrizio MEONI”, and should be a spectacular event set against the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy. Challenging terrain will face the riders throughout the event and all three are prepared for a top finish at the end of the race.
Bel-Ray backed Baldwin Motorsports rider Josh Upperman has been a consistent top 5 finisher all season long in the ATV Pro Class. He comes to Sunday Creek Raceway in Southern Ohio this weekend hoping to improve on those results and find himself on the podium in front of his home state crowd. With temperatures expected to be in the 90’s this weekend will certainly be a test of man and machine. With 6 rounds of the 10 round series already completed Upperman is 4th in the overall standings.
Follow Bel-Ray racers in action all season long on www.belray.com and www.belrayracing.com.
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Source: Bel-Ray Lubricants
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