Syahrin ruled out of Imola following Suzuka crash, Tamburini steps in for MIE Honda

Wednesday, 12 July 2023 10:02 GMT

The Malaysian rider crashed during testing for the Suzuka 8 Hours and will miss the Italian Round; home hero Roberto Tamburini has been drafted in

The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will line up with Roberto Tamburini and Eric Granado at the Autodromo Internazionale Dino e Enzo Ferrari di Imola this weekend after regular rider Hafizh Syahrin was declared unfit following a crash while testing at Suzuka. Tamburini rode in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship last year on Yamaha machinery and will return for his home round, the Prometeon Italian Round, as Syahrin recovers from his injuries.

The Malaysian rider crashed on the first of two days of testing for the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours which has left him with a displaced C6 spinous process fracture with no neurological symptoms. It means he will miss out on WorldSBK’s return to Imola which he was heading into on the back of a points-scoring outing at Donington Park. The 29-year-old has eight points to his name this season and currently sits 21st in the standings with a best finish of 14th on two occasions.

His replacement will be Italian rider Tamburini who competed in last year’s European rounds with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team. The two-time STK1000 runner-up will ride the CBR1000RR-R machine at a circuit he knows like the back of his hand. He took victory there in the CIV Superbike championship in 2015 and has two more podiums at Imola in the class, while he also has three podiums from his time in STK1000.

Last season, Tamburini received a last-minute call-up to race in WorldSBK and finished 17th in the Championship standings with 36 points. He secured a best result of 11th on three occasions – Assen Race 2, Misano Race 1 and Most Race 2 – as he took part in the European rounds; missing out on trips to Argentina, Indonesia and Australia. He will return to WorldSBK action for Imola and will be looking to make his mark on the Championship once again.

Discussing his WorldSBK comeback, Tamburini said: "I’m very happy to have got the call from the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team to race at Imola, although of course I wish Hafizh all the best and a speedy recovery. I'm competing in the Endurance World Championship this year so I'm returning to World Superbike after one year with the goal of getting to know the team and quickly adapting to the bike. It would be nice to see progress over the weekend, so I hope to be able to improve with each session and have fun. It will be a challenge, because I will be riding the Honda for the first time, but I already know the Imola track and like it, which is good, so I will try to do my best without pressure. Thanks to Midori Moriwaki, HRC and the entire team for this opportunity."

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