STK1000: Will the pressure get to Reiterberger?

Wednesday, 4 July 2018 08:00 GMT

The championship returns to Italy with three riders inside 15 points

Five down, three to go, and one last chance to make an impression before the summer break. The European Superstock 1000 Championship heads back to Italy two months after the Imola round, and everything is still at stake. Three riders, three countries, separated by fifteen points: a thrilling contest at the Riviera di Rimini Round awaits.

There has been a case of Jekyll and Hyde syndrome in Markus Reiterberger’s (alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW) season. On a dry track, nobody has been able to match the German: three races, three poles, three wins, two of them from lights to flag. But in the two dates on the calendar that rain intervened, he’s been off the podium and never truly in contention for the race win. Which version is more likely to appear at Misano? Reiterberger will hope for the former, but watch out if the skies begin to cloud over.

Maximilian Scheib (Aprilia Racing Team) was exceptional last round in the Czech Republic, taking the lead inside the opening lap and winning his first race of the season. The Chilean has been tremendously consistent since Round One, but was lacking that little boost to push him into championship contention. That came with three races now left: 9 points off Reiterberger, having taken four podiums in a row, Scheib is a force to be reckoned with.

Roberto Tamburini (Berclaz Racing Team) missed a fantastic opportunity at Brno to become the new STK1000 leader. Starting from third on the grid and just ten points off of Reiterberger, a bad start launched Tamburini back down to eighth, where he remained all race. A podium in the Czech Republic would have been enough to cancel the gap between him and P1 in the standings – now, Tamburini will have to step up at his home race.

From his initial third place at MotorLand Aragon, Federico Sandi (MOTOCORSA Racing) has seen his season go progressively downhill, the gap between him and the front three increasing race by race. However, he remains fourth in the championship and within fighting distance. Also returning home at Misano, will we see a Sandi resurgence?

Two riders who probably expected more out of their season before Brno were Florian Marino (URBIS Yamaha Motoxracing STK Team) and Alessandro Delbianco (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team). For a wide variety of reasons, neither rider was able to fulfill their potential in the first half of the season, but at the Czech Round they both made the podium and battled in phenomenal fashion. At Misano, the pair will expect to be back at the top again, now that they’ve proven their worth.

Perhaps the biggest shocker of the STK1000 season so far was Matteo Ferrari (Barni Racing Team)’s cameo appearance at Imola, when the 21-year-old, in just his fifth STK1000 appearance, won in spectacular fashion. Could Ferrari win again at Misano, in what will be his third wildcard appearance at the Riviera di Rimini Round? Many eyes will be opened in the WorldSBK paddock if the Barni Racing member can do the Italian double.

Catch all the action from the Riviera di Rimini Round thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.