Six teams present at new circuit for 2018
Fresh off the back of a grueling two weeks of back to back racing, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders head to the Automotodrom Brno circuit this week, spending two days out on track.
With two weeks until the next round of the championship at Imola, the riders will be looking at tweaking their machines after the opening four rounds as well as beginning to understand their pace on around the Czech circuit.
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Will be out on track this week, with three wins under their belts so far in 2018. Jonathan Rea has a strong history around the track, with six race starts around Brno, including the victory in 2010’s race one. Whilst Tom Sykes, who took his first victory of the season just three days ago, took a double podium around the circuit in 2012. The pair will no doubt be keen to see how their 2018 ZX-10RR’s tackle the 5.4km circuit, as well as continuing to understand the pace of their bikes with the new 2018 regulations.
Ducati duo of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) have mixed memories of the Brno circuit, and will be working hard over the two days to try to solve problems found last weekend at TT Circuit Assen. Italian Melandri commented he didn’t know what his issues were, or how to solve them but as he prepares for the Brno test, he will no doubt look forward to his return. Finishing in the top four in four appearances when WorldSBK visited the track in 2011 and 2012, it’s a good place for Melandri to begin to look at his issues. Davies has a less positive record, but with some issues to evaluate from Assen, he will relish two days of track time.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team are making the trip over to the Czech Republic for the two day test, as they continue to hunt down that first victory in WorldSBK. Michael van der Mark will have to hold off celebrating his double podium at home, but returning to a track in which he won around in STK600, he should have some strong foundations around Brno. Team-mate Alex Lowes suffered tyre problems in Assen, and will be looking at growing from his pole position on Saturday in The Netherlands.
Top independent rider Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) continues to impress with his Panigale R machine this season, and the MOTUL Dutch Round was the first weekend all season in which he didn’t secure a podium finish. Fighting for the victory on more than one occasion this season, he will be hoping to make that final step towards a victory.
PJ Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team) will make the most of two days on track with his new team, as he continues to learn and understand the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine. Making the step up to the WorldSBK championship this season has seen the American make steady progress, and as he also prepares to make his Brno debut in June, it will be an important two days for Jacobsen.
Argentinean rider Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) is another rider heading to Brno this week, looking at making more steps with his Kawasaki ZX-10RR machine after putting in five strong points scoring finishes so far in 2018. Hoping to understand how to ride his bike with the new regulations, he will have a busy two days in Eastern Europe.
Enjoy all the action from 2018 so far and prepare for round five at Imola, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.