Rome (Italy), Monday 26 August 2013 – The iconic Nurburgring will host the tenth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend. The German venue marked its return to the series in 2008 with a partly modified layout, featuring a new slow section after Turn 1.
Following two solid race results at Silverstone, despite still poor physical conditions, championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) agreed not to undergo surgery for his injured shoulder (at least until the end of the season), spending his holiday time doing physiotherapy and exercises, instead. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who is now 13 points behind his French rival after a difficult race day on home soil, is looking forward to bounce back on the track that saw him grab his maiden win two years ago, at the end of a rain-hampered Race 2.
Guintoli’s team mate Eugene Laverty is aiming to keep the momentum up as the double podium at Silverstone helped him to narrow the gap to the front and climb to third position in the provisional standings. The Nurburgring is indeed a favourable track for the Irishman, who was second in both races last year. Works BMW riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies are hoping to turn the page on their disappointing last event and have radically different memories of last year’s round. The Italian, who entered the German event as the man to beat, lost the lead by crashing out in both races, while Davies achieved his first ever WSBK win (Race 2).
The two riders who managed to climb on the top step of the podium in UK, Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), are aiming to build on their recent results and be competitive until the end of the season. Rea is currently the only rider able to win twice at the Ring (2009, Race 1 and 2010, Race 2).
Boosted by their Silverstone podium finishes, Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) hope to be in the mix for the top-3 once again, while Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) is still waiting for a breakthrough in his so far frustrating 2013 season. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Team Ducati) will tackle his and his team’s home Round with confidence. In 2008, the German rider managed to secure the pole start for the two races, and finished both races in third place.
Aussie Mark Aitchison will replace Alex Lundh, at Team Pedercini Kawasaki for the second time this year. The Swedish rider didn't manage to get back to full fitness for the German event, and will hope to make his return at Istanbul for the eleventh round.
IDM riders Markus Reiterberger (Team VanZon Remeha BMW) and Matej Smrz (Yamaha Motor Deutschland) will join the party at the Nurburgring. Smrz, the Czech rider, younger brother of former WSBK rider Jakub Smrz, will bring an R1 back to the series after almost two years of absence (last time out was Portimao 2011).
The final lap clash between Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) at Silverstone was the sign of how much the World Supersport title means to both contenders, who are more than ready to resume their challenge for victory at Nurburgring . The Brit leads the way with a 29 point margin over the three-time champion, but still aims to get his front wheel ahead of the rival, who edged him out in the last two races. Sofuoglu, on the other hand - as he admitted last week during a press conference held at Intercity Istanbul Park - has no other choice but to go for the win in every race, knowing that even that couldn’t be enough for the final victory, with only four events left.
The UK round saw a great display of competitiveness by the two ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse riders Roberto Rolfo and Christian Iddon, even though they both had the worst of the thrilling 4-way battle up to the chequered flag, finishing 5th and 6th behind Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and Scotsman Kev Coghlan (DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki).
Sheridan Morais’ split with PTR Honda and his new ride with Go Eleven Kawasaki opened the door for the WSS debut of former Moto3 rider Danny Webb, who can’t wait to start this new chapter of his career. Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) will be again on track as One Event rider to try and fight for the podium after the unfortunate collision during the British race with Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), that halted his charge. Another South African, Ronan Quarmby, will finish the season with Prorace Honda as substitute rider for Gabor Talmacsi after the good performance showed at Silverstone, in what was his return to the series.
2011 Superstock 600 European Champion Jed Metcher will make a one-off return to WSS with Team Suzuki Mayer, the squad which he’s currently contesting the IDM Supersport with. Several other riders from the German Championship will also be on track: Leon Bovee (DTC KME Racing), Roman Stamm (Kawasaki Schnock Team Shell Advance), Stefan Kerschbaumer (Langenscheidt Racing by Fast Bike Service Yamaha) and Pepijn Bijsterbosch (Racing Team Bijsterbosch Yamaha).