Valencia: Team YZF preview

The goal is to progress The first European race of the Superbike World Championship, the third event of this year, will take place the next weekend on the Circuito Ricardo Tormo near Valencia, the slowest track used for the WSBK. After some good...

The goal is to progress

The first European race of the Superbike World Championship, the third event of this year, will take place the next weekend on the Circuito Ricardo Tormo near Valencia, the slowest track used for the WSBK. After some good testing sessions, Shinichi Nakatomi is optimistic.

For Martial Garcia (team manager): “After some positive testing and with the help of some new factory parts, we are confident. Shinichi Nakatomi hopes to have better results than what he had in the beginning of this season.”

The Slowest track

The Valencia circuit is the slowest one used for the World Superbike. The average speed of the fastest lap (during practices) was 152,410 KPH, compared to 154 for Vallelunga, 155 for Brands Hatch and 158 for Misano.

Who will beat (finally) the lap record?

Something interesting about the Ricardo Tormo track is that the official lap record is from 2003. It belongs to Neil Hodgson riding then a Ducati with Michelin tyres, with a time of1’35.007 at 151,760 KPH.

The Valencia circuit

The first Valencia World Superbike race was held in 2000. The circuit is next to the town of Cheste, 25 km from Valencia, 320 km from Madrid and 370 km from Barcelona. The "Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo" is 4,005 km long and between 12 and 13 meters wide. It has 9 left-hand turns and 5 right-handers, with radii ranging from 30 to 250 meters. The start-finish straight is 876 meters long. Maximum downhill camber is 5.33% with 3.58% uphill. Paddock area is 49,066 m2. Maximum seating capacity for spectators is 60,000, with room for a further 50,000 on the hills surrounding the circuit.

Valencia is a fascinating but tricky circuit. It’s easy to get caught out by the many slow turns. It’s certainly not the kind of track where a Superbike rider can really use his machine’s power and speed. First gear has to be used several times and that always means extra care has to be taken. The track heats up the left hand side of the rear tyre. Especially in the double left-hander that leads down onto the start-finish straight and really puts the edge of the tyre under pressure. Valencia is a real stop-and-go circuit where the front tyre has to be good for hard braking and fast cornering.

-credit: yzf

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Neil Hodgson , Shinichi Nakatomi