Three STK1000 riders prepare to battle it out for glory in Spain
After eight rounds of on track battling, it all comes down to the final round as three riders are in the running to be crowned European Superstock 1000 Champion for 2017. Heading to the ever popular circuit of Jerez for the Pirelli Spanish Round, the atmosphere will be intense and the on track action even more so. Fans have been treated to some stunning battles around the 4.4km of tarmac, and this year will be no different.
Despite a tough couple of rounds, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) continues to lead the STK1000 championship standings by eight points, and faces his last chance to take the title in Spain this season. Coming off the back of two top ten finishes, the Italian will be hoping to revisit his form found at the beginning of the season. Taking a top two finish in every race he finished prior to Portimao, Rinaldi has been a forced to be reckoned with. But a tough two rounds for the Italian on the Panigale has meant he has been unable to clinch the title and the fight continues to Spain. Taking eighth position last season, and the victory in European STK600 back in 2015, the 21 year old has enough background knowledge of the Andalucían circuit to make it count.
Mr Consistency for 2017, Florian Marino (Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team) has only finished outside of the top five on one occasion – around Imola back in May. Sitting just eight points behind Rinaldi in the standings with one race remaining of 2017, the fight will be on for the Yamaha rider. Despite missing out on racing around the Jerez circuit in the STK1000 class, the French rider has a podium under his belt from his time in the WorldSSP series back in 2014.
The third and final contender for the STK1000 crown is Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who after a steady start to the season was able to find a strong pace with his ZX-10RR and secured three dominant victories so far this season. The young rider is only 14 points behind Rinaldi at the top of the standings, and in the ever competitive class anything can happen. Razgatlioglu took third position here last season, but will be returning from injury sustained in France to his shoulder, meaning he will have to dig deep to battle at the front.
Don’t miss any of the sensational STK1000 action, and watch the fight to the line for the title from the Pirelli Spanish Round, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.