Misano welcomes back World Superbike for Round 7

Fassi - SBK sponsor - Misano 2014Barcelona (Spain), Tuesday 17 June 2014 - After a one year absence, the eni FIM Superbike World Championship returns to the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, for the seventh round of the 2014 season. The Italian track made its debut on the WSBK calendar back in 1991, when American Doug Polen (Ducati) dominated the field claiming the pole position and taking the double, on his way to his first world title.

The track underwent a major modification at the end of 2006, when the racing direction changed from counter-clockwise to clockwise. The following year the circuit was renamed “Misano World Circuit”. The current 4,226m layout features six left corners and ten right handers.

Of all the riders involved in the championship, only Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) has won at Misano before in the Superbike class. The British rider edged out Michel Fabrizio in race two at the finish line to claim his maiden victory in the series in 2009.

Despite a difficult performance at Sepang a fortnight’s ago, Rea is still third in the standings and only 22 points shy of championship leader Sykes. Like 2nd place Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who is just 13 points from the top, Rea took the most out of the reigning champion’s DNF in the first encounter to limit the damage and maintain a strong position in the title race.

On the other hand Guintoli did not manage to fully capitalise from Sykes’ unlucky crash in race one, as his teammate Marco Melandri twice edged him out to secure a crucial double win. The Italian rider finally made it to the top step of the podium as a factory Aprilia rider, narrowing the gap to the top from 88 to 54 points.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has never been in the top 3 at Misano, despite being the pole-sitter in the last editions. The Englishman has recently undergone medical checks on his right wrist and leg, after the unlucky three way collision started by his teammate Loris Baz in the first encounter at Sepang, which brought down the reigning champ too. Sykes was fortunately diagnosed with no major damage and is ready to resume his title defence.

Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) had one of the best races of his WSBK career at Misano in 2012, as he led the first outing for five laps before being overtaken by race winner Biaggi and second place Checa, eventually finishing third.

Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) is looking forward to the second Italian round of the season, after returning to the podium for the first time since the season opener at Sepang. The last win by a Suzuki rider at Misano dates back to 2008, when Max Neukirchner beat Troy Corser by half a second at the finish line in race one. Laverty is no stranger to winning at Misano however, having won in WSS in 2010.

MV Agusta had a disappointing time in Sepang with Claudio Corti failing to finish either race. Corti will not be the only rider to race an MV Agusta F4 RR at Misano, as Swissman Michael Savary (Dream Team Company) will make a one-off appearance aboard the 4 cylinder Italian machine.

Team Hero EBR secured their best result of the season last time out, Aaron Yates narrowly missing the team’s first championship point with 16th in the opening Malaysian race.

BMW had a second rider in the points in Malaysia as Hungarian Imre Toth scored both his and Team Toth’s maiden WSBK points in their debut season.

The battle for the ultimate prize in the EVO class continues at Misano with many potential protagonists hoping to shine in front of the Italian crowd. The seventh event of the season sees the return of reigning STK1000 champion Sylvain Barrier after a long recovery following a road accident. Two wildcard riders will try to mix it up in the battle for honours in the category, as former WSBK full timer Matteo Baiocco (Grandi Corse by A.P. Racing) and current Italian Superbike leader Ivan Goi (Barni Racing) will take to the track astride their respective 1199 Panigale R machines.

Standings (Round 6 of 13): 1. Sykes 201; 2. Guintoli 188; 3. Rea 179; 4. Baz 170; 5. Melandri 147; 6. Davies 130; 7. Giugliano 96; 8. Laverty 90; 9. Elias 89; 10. Haslam 89; 11. Lowes 80; 12. Salom 56; 13. Canepa 39; 14. Camier 30; 15. Guarnoni 19; 16. Scassa 16; 17. Foret 14; 18. Corti 10; 19. Morais 10; 20. Andreozzi 8; 21. Allerton 6; 22. Bos 5; 23. Staring 3; 24. Toth 2; 25. Fabrizio 2; 26. Lanusse 1. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 216; 2. Aprilia 212; 3. Honda 179; 4. Ducati 158; 5. Suzuki 140; 6. BMW 36; 7. MV Agusta 10.

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