Preview World Superbike-Supersport, Silverstone, Great Britain

2012-07-31 19:24
2012 FIM Superbike World Championship riders Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) and Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) will arrive at the second British-based round of the year straight from competing at the famous Suzuka 8-Hour race in Japan.

Rea achieved his ambition to win the race this time around and with this feat accomplished he now turns his attention back to his next full-time racing challenge, competing at his home SBK round in Silverstone.

Rea scored two podiums at Silverstone in 2010, but missed last year�s event after he suffered a mid-season injury. Given recent advances in the race package on his CBR1000RR machine he has good reason to be optimistic that he can move on from a disappointing previous round at Brno and get back to the kind of form that saw him win races at Assen and Donington.

Hiroshi Aoyama has raced at Silverstone before, in MotoGP guise, finishing ninth in 2011 and making up for a big crash he suffered at the British venue in 2010. Aoyama is now heading back to Europe back from his native country, having competed in his first Suzuka 8-Hour race.

As always in his rookie SBK season Hiroshi�s first goal on race weekend will be to qualify for Superpole then score strong points in each race, aiming to beat his best single race finishing position of eighth.

In the championship overall Rea is now fifth in the rankings, Aoyama 17th, with Max Biaggi (Aprilia) still leading the series from Marco Melandri (BMW), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) and Carlos Checa (Ducati).

The series will undertake a new adventure for the 11th round of the series, as the first ever Russian race will take place at the all-new Moscow Raceway circuit on Sunday 26 August.

LOWES LOOKING FOR HOME ADVANTAGE AT NINTH ROUND

The ninth round of the 2012 FIM Supersport World Championship will be a home race for the highest place Honda rider in the championship standings, Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda). Lowes won the previous British round, at Donington Park in May, so is now out to win the Silverstone event and peg back the leading advantage of the only rider above him in the standings, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki).

Lowes has secured two wins and two second places this year, but two no scores mean he is currently 23 points behind Sofuoglu. Lowes is six points ahead of Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) and 13 points up on his fellow Honda rider, Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda), who sits fourth in the championship. Cluzel is another rider who has won a WSS race in 2012 and memories of a Moto2 race win in the wet at Silverstone in 2010 will inspire him to get his championship challenge back on track.

After some periods of bad luck on race day Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products) got back to the podium at the previous round in Brno. He believes the advances his team has made in set-up on his CBR600RR will allow him to challenge for more podiums. Sitting fifth in the points, 55 behind the lead, he knows that he has to shoot for his first race win of 2012 to stay in contention.

Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) sits in eighth place in the championship after a big fall at the previous round in the Czech Republic. The gritty South African will be out to overcome the lingering effects of his highside crash when he gets on track at Silverstone, which is something of a home venue for his British-based PTR team.

Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda) is still in a top ten place overall after eight rounds, as he looks to Silverstone to make up a nine-point deficit to the ninth place rider. Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) dropped two places in the rankings after the Brno round and is now 18th. Tamburini�s team-mate Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) is now 20th in the rankings.

Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) no scored like his team-mate Imre Toth at Brno so will be looking to Silverstone as a place to get back into the top 20 places. He is now 22nd, but having finished seventh last year at Silverstone he will be hoping for a similar result again in England. Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) is one point and one place behind his countryman Nemeth.

Valentin Debise (SMS Honda) scored points last time out to go 25th overall on the eve of the Silverstone weekend. Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) is out for more points to add to his current tally of two. Italian rider Roberto Anastasia is back in the KUJA Honda squad for this round.

British hopeful Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) places great store on local knowledge this weekend as he tries to kick-start his season after injury has affected his most recent races. Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Honda PTR) is another rider who has been hampered by injury in 2012 and after a fall at Brno he will miss the Silverstone round, being replaced by talented Swedish rider Alexander Lundh.

The current 5.902km Silverstone layout has been a happy hunting ground for a Honda rider once before, with Eugene Laverty winning the Supersport race on his CBR600RR in 2012.

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
�The Suzuka race was unbelievable � there was so much happening, but we managed to stay consistent and bring it home. I�m a little tired and my body is adjusting after we got back to the UK on Monday evening, but I�m looking forward to the week ahead. We had a very disappointing weekend at Brno last time out, but I�m quite optimistic about Silverstone. I really enjoy the layout of the circuit and, although I missed last year, the bike worked pretty well there for me in 2010. I hope we can develop our new electronics package a little more this weekend and get some better throttle control. It�ll be good to come back for a second home race this season. It�s always great to meet the British fans and ride in front of them.�

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
�I am quite tired after Suzuka and travelling back to Europe again, but I have a few days to adjust before this weekend. Of course, the result in Japan was disappointing, but I was happy to be challenging with my team at the front of the race. Now I must focus on Silverstone and try to find again the improved feeling I had with the bike on Saturday at Brno. Unfortunately, we could not make any more steps the following day because of a crash and a technical problem in the races. I will work hard with my team at Silverstone on Friday and try to improve our qualifying position for better races on Sunday.�

Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
�I'm feeling mega and really looking forward to Silverstone. I'm in good spirits and feel fit. I love Silverstone and I'm happy we go there at this time of the season trying to get back in winning ways and pushing hard for the championship. It's my home race and a track that I like so I think it will be a really good weekend for us. Silverstone is fast and flowing, which suits my style, and I know that PTR is working hard to give me a good bike. A home race means more pressure, but I like that and we've shown at Donington that we can get the job done so I want to go to Silverstone and do the same thing.�

Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
�My plan is to get as good a result as possible at Silverstone. I would like to be more on the front of the race. I like this track and have some good memories. My PTR bike looks good, maybe we can do a good race. Maybe wet is good for us as Foret does not like the rain and we won at Monza in the wet - and maybe Sofuoglu can make a mistake in the rain, anything is possible.�

Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
�I feel a bit better after the last race because the team worked on the bike a lot and we have a much more competitive bike so I am looking forward to Silverstone. They found improvements in both pace and race long performance. We improved the bike quite a bit even at the Aragon tests but they worked quite a bit on putting the power in different areas and it worked a lot better in Brno. We were in a good position at Brno but the race got called short. The main thing for me is that I feel more confident that we can battle at the front and that is what I want to do. I do not have anything to lose so I have to go for it.�

Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
�I am still aching bad after my high side at Brno. I can't move around much. I have seen my chiropractor a few times, but there is not much they can do and we are waiting for the pain to go away. I am going to Silverstone in a confident mind-set and I will do what I can do. I am still in a lot of pain, but will get on the motorbike and get around Silverstone and do some good laps.�

Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda):
�I have had good and bad experiences at Silverstone before. I think it is possible to do a good race there, but if we have improved our bike before Silverstone, then it will be possible to stay with the best riders. It will be hard work but possible.�

Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
�I haven't been to Silverstone before, but I've seen a lot of videos and played a lot of Playstation and the track looks really good so I can't wait to try it in front of the British fans. I like fast and flowing circuits and Silverstone looks like fun. I was on course to score points at Brno before a small technical problem so hopefully I can get a point scoring result this weekend and keep moving forward. Things haven't gone as planned in the last couple of races, but I know that both myself and the team can do well. I know that I have a good pace. I just need a bit of luck and I can finally show what I can do.�

Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda):
�I can't wait for another home round at a track I do enjoy riding and know well. I am in as good a shape as I can remember and back to full training, which is good. Home support will help me definitely. We do not get many rounds at home so having family and friends supporting me should be good.�

Alexander Lundh (Bogdanka Honda PTR)
�I'm very happy to be racing at Silverstone again and joining the Bogdanka Honda PTR team for this weekend. It's a very good squad so I'm really looking forward to it. It won't be easy, as I need to re-learn riding the Supersport bike with electronics and Pirelli tyres, but I raced in World Supersport last year so I'm confident we can have a good weekend and after a session or two, I'll learn my way around. The competition is hard in this class, but I'm hoping for a dry weekend and a good result at Silverstone, which is a track I really like.�

Source: Honda Pro Image

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