As the 2007 World Superbike Championship reaches the penultimate round, all eyes are the top four riders as they battle it out for the title crown. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland heads to Vallelunga as the current leader, with a...
As the 2007 World Superbike Championship reaches the penultimate round, all eyes are the top four riders as they battle it out for the title crown. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland heads to Vallelunga as the current leader, with a 41-point advantage over his closest rival, Noriyuki Haga.
However, with four races and 100 points still up for grabs, the championship is wide open and nobody is more aware of this than Toseland. The British rider has been consistently successful this year, securing 13 podiums including eight race wins to date. His focus this weekend remains firmly on adding to that tally, with his aim being a double podium result.
Team-mate Roby Rolfo put in two impressive performances at round 11 in Germany to maintain eighth place in the standings. The Italian rider is looking forward to racing on home turf and has his sights set on his first podium of the season.
This is the first year that the World Superbike Championship has visited Vallelunga, which is situated 30km north of Rome. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda took the opportunity to test at the circuit earlier this year and both riders are confident in their ability on the 4.08km track.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"With the championship reaching its final stages and James still leading the title chase, we are feeling a bit of pressure. To be honest though, I believe the real pressure is on our rivals, because they have to make up the points while we just have to maintain the current lead. During the test at Vallelunga we concentrated on race distance and we have a good set-up for the CBR1000RRs. Hopes are high that we can secure two solid results for James and Roby this weekend."
"We are so close to the end of the season now, but it still feels a long way away tom me - particularly after what happened in Lausitz. I still have a good advantage, but I know that in racing anything can happen and you can't relax until you have two hands firmly on the trophy. I am trying to focus on the individual races and getting on the podium, but I am not letting go of my lead without a fight."
"I'm looking forward to racing at an Italian track again. We tested at Vallelunga earlier this year and I really enjoyed the circuit. There are some slower parts on this track and I found that the feeling on the bike improved a lot on these sections so I feel quite confident about the race. Vallelunga is a very narrow circuit for Superbikes and I think there will be a lot of close calls during the race. I feel fit and healthy for the final rounds and I like the fact that they are so close together!"