Barth and Panichi all set for Catalunya The third round of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2002 will take place on June 15th in Montmelo, on the occasion of the Catalunya Grand Prix. And as for the Italian spectators in Mugello a fortnight ago,...
Barth and Panichi all set for Catalunya
The third round of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2002 will take place on June 15th in Montmelo, on the occasion of the Catalunya Grand Prix. And as for the Italian spectators in Mugello a fortnight ago, Spain's eager racing fans can expect some tough racing from the thirty six BMW R 1100 S equipped riders. Markus Barth (D) and Roberto Panichi (I) top the championship standings on equal points, while Sébastien Legrelle (B) and Thomas Hinterreiter (A) share provisional third, eleven points behind the leaders. Guest riders will include ex-250 Grand Prix rider Jürgen Fuchs, Spain's four times world champion Jorge "Aspar" Martinez, and BMW's BoxerCup ambassador Randy Mamola.
Markus Barth (n°6) leading Fernando Cristobal (n° 16) : premonition for Catalunya ?
The BoxerCup riders head for the Catalunya Grand Prix for the second year running. Last year's event saw Stéphane Mertens secure pole position (2'00''361) on his way to win the series, but it was Spain's Fernando Cristobal who crossed the chequered flag first after a thrilling 10 lap race.
This season the Spanish Motociclismo test rider - who finished second in the 2001 series behind Mertens - has yet failed to score any points, and is hoping to repeat his success from last year. "The opposition is tougher than ever this year with an extremely strong field, but I definitely need to get the ball rolling,' he admitted.
For 2002 all of the eight BMW Motorrad BoxerCup events have been extended to approximately 70 km. In Montmelo, the race will therefore be held over fifteen laps, a 50% race distance increase compared to last year.
"For the newcomers Montmelo should be easier to apprehend than Mugello," expects Jorge Martinez, who finished eighth a fortnight ago on the Ferrari owned Italian racetrack after a race-long fight with UK riders Richard Cooper and Brian Morrison. "You can carry extra speed in the corners, it is more flowing and requires less lean angle, while Mugello is very technical," explains the Spaniard. It should be fun out there, and I'm definitely planning to have a race."
Also competing in the Spanish event alongside other guest riders Jürgen Fuchs and Xavier Grau, Californian Randy Mamola should easily get the Spanish crowds cheering. "I live in Barcelona now and I guess this feels like my home race," said the four times 500 cc vice-world champion. " Besides, I've been under a lot of pressure from my children to ride here," grinned the four times 500 cc vice-world champion. " And you don't want to disappoint them, do you ?"