As the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship arrives at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands for round 4 of 14, all eyes were on the select group of riders invited to the SBK Paddock Show for the traditional pre-event press ...
As the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship arrives at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands for round 4 of 14, all eyes were on the select group of riders invited to the SBK Paddock Show for the traditional pre-event press conference.
Present on the stage were Valencia race 2 winner Noriyuki Haga, the protagonists of the last corner clash in race 1, Carlos Checa and Max Neukirchner, Regis Laconi, Max Biaggi and Dutch rider Arie Vos who has a wild-card entry on a Ducati 1098 for his home race.
Troy Bayliss, who was due to represent Ducati Xerox in the press conference, crashed on his bicycle while training yesterday, picking up a sore back in the process. The Australian, who will arrive in the circuit later today, will have a check-up at the Clinica Mobile but will be fit to race this weekend.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB) : "I have already lost some points this year, so my start is a little bit disappointing. I think that this year now we will go better. Of course we have good settings for here, unfortunately last year was not a good race, but the feeling is good with the bike now and I am sure I can be competitive."
Carlos Checa (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) : "First of all I would like to say sorry again to Neukirchner for Valencia, it was not my intention, I thought I could pass and that's all. Assen is very important for the team, we have good reference points from last year when James did two good races. Things are looking very good with the bike now and I hope I can keep this level for the rest of the year."
Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki) : "I had an operation on the Monday after the crash and after a few days I started again with my fitness training. Now I am well and I hope I can ride here very fast. I was very angry after the incident but now everything is OK with Carlos. Now we are in Assen and I hope we find a good set-up. I won a German championship race here and I really like the circuit."
Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati) : "My wrist is better than before, compared to Valencia, where I was at 50%, now I am at 80%. It's a good recovery. Unfortunately Valencia and Assen are two very challenging tracks for a rider and where the rider makes a difference, but now here I am much more confident that I can get a good result because my wrist is much stronger."
Regis Laconi (Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse) : "We did three days testing at Jerez last week and two days were wet, but we managed to improve the situation with the chattering, which is the main problem right now. We will also have some more developments for the next races, maybe Monza or after, but I think we have found something positive for the rest of the championship."
Arie Vos (Fabricom MCT Racing) : "It's really nice to be here with these guys, the heroes of Superbike racing, and try to be competitive. For me the Ducati is a completely new bike, I did a Dutch race with it last weekend but it wasn't a good result and I hope to improve this weekend."
The Dutch Round of the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship takes place from Friday 25th through Sunday 27th April. The action starts with free practice and qualifying the first two days, followed by WSBK Superpole on Saturday at 16.00. The two 22-lap Superbike races are scheduled to run on Sunday at 12.00 and 15.30, with the 21-lap Superbike race at 13.20 local time.